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Hong Kong Jockey Club turns to EVS for unbridled speed and content access

CUSTOMER PROFILE AND CHALLENGE

Founded in 1884, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) is China’s premiere horse racing operator and one of the city’s oldest and most respected institutions. From its two race courses – Sha Tin, which has a capacity of 85,000 and Happy Valley which can hold 55,000 – the HKJC hosts nearly 700 horse races every year.

Throughout these events, the club produces live video content for national and international broadcast, in-venue entertainment and for delivery to online and mobile platforms, all while action takes place across multiple locations. To achieve all of this quickly and efficiently, the HKJC needs a broadcast technology infrastructure that allows it to be produce multiple kinds of live content and deliver it to several stakeholders easily – all while the action and production processes are happening in several locations.

The HKJC also wanted to update its technology workflow by implementing better slow motion cameras (including hyper motion, eight and ten times slow motion) and needed systems that would let them do this as easily as possible. It wanted to further integrate a number of separate elements within its workflows – like the edit stations – to enable faster and more effective production processes. 

THE SOLUTION

The HKJC has been an EVS technology user for a while – it initially installed an XT2 live production server and an Airbox system back in 2004. In order to better connect its workflows and update its overall production infrastructure, it took delivery of multiple XT3 live production servers and LSM controllers, several IPDirector content management systems, two XStore NAS storage devices, XTAccess engines to transcode and transfer content and an XHuB3 high-bandwidth media sharing network to connect the systems together.

HKJC’s centralized production infrastructure is integrated at its Sha Tin Communications and Technology Centre (SCTC) which features three XT3 servers and LSM controllers and multiple IPDirector stations. Content ingested and edited here is stored on a locally-installed XStore NAS storage system from EVS.

To complement this production infrastructure, ancillary workflows are installed at both Sha Tin’s and Happy Valley’s own TV centers. Both locations have two IPDirector systems for content management and between them feature seven XT3 live production servers – three at Happy Valley and four at Sha Tin. The TV center in Sha Tin features a second XStore NAS storage device, giving production teams the ability to back up content while being able to easily access it whenever needed.

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Mulitple XTAccess transfer and transcoding engines are installed across the three locations to conform and transfer all ingested, edited and stored live content while an XHuB3 network also sits over all three so production teams can get to the content, no matter where they’re located or where the content is stored.

During each race, the XT3 servers ingest live program feeds from broadcast facilities onsite at either racecourse as well as from slow motion cameras put in place and dedicated to HKJC’s own production operations. Using streams and camera feeds, operators create replays using LSM remote controls, content which is then played out again by the XT3 server. These are delivered to several broadcasters as well as the CCTV Network – China’s predominant state television broadcaster.

IPDirector is used by production teams to manage content both as it’s ingested and once it’s been edited as a replay or highlight by the LSM controller. Selected video clips, replays or promotional video content can then be easily delivered to the large in-venue screens at both racecourses as well as branches of OCB, the HKJC website and mobile platforms for second screen consumption.

At the same time, EVS’ integration with multiple third-party systems helps HKJC’s Final Cut Pro and Avid editors gain easier access to replay content in the EVS environment, whether stored on the server’s internal memory or managed by IPDirector, or located on the XStore systems.

This infrastructure of EVS technology not only allows the HKJC to create better, more detailed slow motion replays but it also helps them engage with fans further, delivering enriched content to multiple platforms.

RESULTS

With these technologies in place, HKJC is able to create content which can be delivered to a number of stakeholders all at once including broadcasters, in-venue spectators and fans watching on connected mobile devices. It provides users with a workflow that enables easier access to content, allowing HKJC to do more with its live production workflow. With the right EVS solutions in place the club can make the most of its dedicated hyper and slow motion cameras to create better replays and highlights, making live horse racing even more engaging.

Better access to content brought about by integrating EVS technology for content ingest, creation and management, allows editors and third-party operators to be more creative with their edits because live assets are easier to find quickly, no matter where they’re located.

This EVS technology deployment has given the Hong Kong Jockey Club and its production teams the ability to create the most engaging live content for multiple users, from several locations, using a single unified live production workflow.