Blackmagic Design - Caballos - 4K - EFX Productions

A number of Blackmagic solutions are enabling 4K broadcasting of horse racing from several racecourses in South Africa.

Live production company EFX Productions has developed an IP solution for broadcasting in 4K resolution, which includes a fixed infrastructure at Fairview Racecourse in Nelson Mandela Bay and a mobile OB Van that alternates between Kenilworth and Durbanville racecourses in Cape Town. The system allows the production team to record live race footage, which is then broadcast to international sports channels and affiliates around the world.

Brendan Marsay, head of technology at EFX Productions, decided to use 26 URSA Broadcast cameras in each set-up. The cameras are positioned on several towers at regular intervals around the track. Each is equipped with an URSA Studio Viewfinder and different Canon lenses, depending on the type of shot required. To complement the URSA Broadcast units, PTZ cameras and additional models are also used for slow-motion filming.

“The low power requirements and large voltage input acceptance of the URSA Broadcast make it a great candidate for powering from small solar rigs. This allows us to run the cameras continuously, without having to worry about provisioning expensive power sources or hybrid fiber cabling,” Marsay says.

Blackmagic Design - Caballos - 4K - EFX Productions

IP workflow

To connect the various devices that make up the production, EFX Productions decided to deploy a fibre network that runs around the perimeter of the racecourse. In turn, a number of ATEM Talkback Converter 4K units process the signals coming from the cameras which are transmitted to the production centre, where they are mixed and uploaded to a cloud platform for broadcasters to access.

“Although EFX Productions has many years’ experience of live broadcasting, this was our first horse racing project, and we were able to use that to our advantage,” concludes Marsay. “Our brief was to bring a fresh perspective and deliver high quality, engaging, watchable racing television. Central to that solution was our decision to implement an acquisition package based on the URSA Broadcast. It ensured we matched the level and quality of on course coverage that’s needed to keep horse racing fans across the world glued to their screens,” concludes Marsay.

Blackmagic Design - Caballos - 4K - EFX Productions

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By • 3 Feb, 2022
• Section: Catchment, Study