The User: The Darwin Turf Club, Darwin, Australia
The Challenge: Real-time encoding of race video from live camera feeds meeting strict format requirements for post-race analysis
The Solution: StreamZ
The Benefits: "The StreamZ encoder connected very easily into our workflow. It was up and running within 30 minutes of installation."
"StreamZ does what we require. It's a well-built, well-supported product."
The Darwin Turf Club (www.darwinturfclub.org.au) is a horse racing association and venue with more than half a century of bringing all that the sport has to offer to Australia's Northern Territory. Stakes are higher than they were 50 years ago, and race stewardship demands pin-point accuracy that only technology can guarantee. The Darwin Turf Club selected Digital Rapids' StreamZ encoder to provide real-time video encoding to the precise specifications required for seamless integration with DVRace, the software used by the Stewards to analyze each race.
Systems integrator Darwin Pro Video worked in conjunction with engineering firm Machin Post Technical and fellow solutions provider Pro AV Solutions to qualify, supply and integrate StreamZ into the Turf Club's workflow.
StreamZ was selected because of its ability to convert to multiple formats if needed and its compatibility with other workflow components, which other tested solutions could not provide. "The new broadcast facility at the Fannie Bay Racecourse (operated by the Darwin Turf Club) was nearing completion and we needed to find something that could take SDI inputs and produce the required MPEG-2 files in real-time," says Bill Fletcher, owner of Darwin ProVideo. "The DVRace software's requirements are stringent. A number of systems were tried but the resultant files could not be replayed successfully by the DVRace program. The sample files from a Digital Rapids StreamZ system worked perfectly with DVRace, making our decision easy."
The Darwin Turf Club chose a dual-channel StreamZ encoder so that two separate camera feeds could be encoded at the same time. "We are able to record two camera angles for each horse race in real-time and have them available for the Stewards within minutes of the end of each race," says Fletcher. "The StreamZ encoder connected very easily into our workflow. It was up and running within 30 minutes of installation."
The StreamZ encoder is a vital component in the video system that the Stewards use on race days. The ability of the encoder to deliver real-time output of each race enables the Stewards to use near instant replay of video from multiple angles to assess that the rules of the race were adhered to and to rule on any disputes or protests.
Future plans include encoding to Adobe Flash formats for streaming on the web, and adding additional encoders to support more cameras as they are added to the broadcast system. "StreamZ does what we require," concludes Fletcher. "It’s a well-built, well-supported product."