Hong Kong Jockey Club selects Vizrt for HD broadcasts

The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has begun broadcasting horse racing events at its Happy Valley and Sha Tin Racetracks in HD following the installation of two Viz Arena systems from Vizrt.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club broadcasts coverage of races to all betting office on its own television channel and delivers live feeds to screens across the two venues. The organisation had previously been delivering its coverage in standard definition.

"We went with Vizrt because of the company's ability to provide robust services and features in HD," said Oonagh Chan, Head of Broadcasting Services, Hong Kong Jockey Club "We consider the current version of Viz Arena unmatched in quality. And having a support team based here in Hong Kong was invaluable during the integration and installation of the Viz Arena software."

Viz Arena allows broadcasters to superimpose static and animated 3D graphics over the live coverage of a sports event. Viz Arena can calculate real-time distance measurements and object placement during live action. The system creates graphics that remain in place while cameras track movement of athletes, cars, horses — whatever is competing on any surface from a race track to a swimming pool. For added flexibility, these superimposed graphics can be static or animated 3D graphics.

HKJC uses Viz Arena to create several virtual lines on the track that show how far each horse and jockey are from various points along the track to the finish line. The resulting image helps viewers see the position of each horse and how the horses compare when crossing the finish line.

During the installation period, the Viz Arena system was calibrated at the Happy Valley and Sha Tin racetracks in two stages. First, camera lenses were calibrated independently from the venue. Later, at the venue a second calibration took place to achieve the best match between the virtual images and real images.