HKJC chooses Snell Kahuna 360 for HD upgrade
CHINA: The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) recently invested in Snell Kahuna 360 multi-format SD/HD production switchers as part of a major, multi-phase upgrade of its broadcasting centre to support HD operations. The HKJC produces a total of 9,600 hours of TV programming every year, and selected the Kahuna 360 switchers to replace an array of ageing vision mixers.
After a stringent evaluation and procurement process, the Kahuna 360 solution is said to have impressed the client with its ‘technology and price/performance, as well as its ability to provide multi-format inputs and outputs for both SD and HD’. The Kahuna 360’s resilience and ability to auto-fallback with no visible interruption in service also impressed HKJC, as its live racing coverage is watched by millions of viewers.
‘With such a busy programming and production schedule, reliable and state-of-the-art production switchers are a critical element in the HKJC broadcast environment,’ said Oonagh Chan, head of broadcasting services for the HKJC. ‘Kahuna 360 is truly an all-in-one solution, with the scalability we need to evolve our operation into the future,’ she continued. ‘As a longtime user of Snell switching, conversion, and playout equipment, we are keen to acquire solutions that offer high quality and reliability as well as value – and we know we can depend on Snell's first-rate support organisation.’
In phase one of the switcher upgrade, two Kahuna 360 4 M/E mainframes were integrated with HKJC's existing multi-viewer and TSL tally control systems. Since each Kahuna 360 mainframe can support two or more control panels, four separate programmes are produced simultaneously. One mainframe serves as the field programme mixer to produce a clean TV feed from over 40 HD cameras plus playout sources during the live race coverage.
The other Kahuna 360 acts as the master programme mixer, combining the clean feed output with playout and bilingual data superimpositions to deliver the feed in both Chinese and English for the ATV Home Channel. Kahuna 360 will be a central component in phases two and three of HKJC's HD migration, which includes the design and build-out of a new broadcast centre.
‘Kahuna 360's multi-format capabilities are a critical factor in HKJC's current migration to HD operations,’ said John Carter, senior product manager for production switchers at Snell. ‘The system's built-in up/down-conversion and auto-formatting capabilities enable HKJC's TV production centre to operate simultaneously in SD, HD and 1080p signals on the inputs and outputs, which means HKJC can produce high-quality HD productions without the expense of an external signal converter.’