JRA upgrades with Spectrum HD

Japan Racing Association (JRA) has invested in a Spectrum HD media server system from Omneon to provide ingest and playout for its broadcasts of horse-racing programmes and information to racetracks and off-track betting facilities.

The project is part of JRA's plans to transition over to and all-HD environment. Spectrum HD systems have been installed at its two broadcast centres in the Kanto and Kansai areas, each providing around 270 hours (6.7TB) of storage, six channels of MPEG-2 HD ingest and 18 channels of playout at 50 Mbps. Live content is delivered to the centres from the racetracks and ingested to Spectrum Servers, before being transmitted by asynchronous transfer mode.

The installation and system integrated was provided by Tokyo-based Ikegami Tsushinki Co., Ltd and went on air at the end of June.

"In making the jump to HD, JRA wanted to use only best-of-breed systems that would provide seamless interoperation now and in the future," said Yahiro Nakagawa, broadcast system subsection chief at Ikegami Tsushinki. "They were impressed with the Spectrum system's reputation for reliability, as well as the flexibility afforded by its open architecture design. They also liked the modular character of the Spectrum system, which will enable JRA to make its transition to HD without any significant disruption of the services that racing fans depend on."