Hong Kong Jockey Club upgrades broadcast operations with Snell Kahuna 360

Louise Duffy | 19-12-2012

The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has chosen 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, which produces 9,600 hours of TV programming every year, selected the Kahuna 360 switchers to replace an array of ageing vision mixers.
The HKJC's weekly programming line-up includes more than 36 hours of content, including pre- and post-race programmes and infotainment content in addition to live coverage of twice-weekly race days. Carried by several Hong Kong SD and HD channels as well as pay-TV and satellite services in seven other countries, the HKJC's broadcasts reach over three million viewers every week.
"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. Kahuna 360 is truly an all-in-one solution, with the scalability we need to evolve our operation into the future," said Oonagh Chan, head of broadcasting services for the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
"As a long-time 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 is 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's support of multiple layers and keyers as well as its DVE capabilities has been essential to this requirement.
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."