Article Overview

TVN Horse Races

Instant Tapeless Production and Stewards Review

TVN is ThoroughVisioN Pty Ltd, a premium sports and interactive rights management company that specialises in horse racing. To date it manages the thoroughbred horse racing rights for all racing in Victoria and metropolitan Sydney, and seeks to manage other racing rights throughout Australia and globally.

TVN separates the management of its rights into different channels including commercial pay TV via Foxtel Australia (races broadcasting), mobile production, Internet, and the horse racing archive management. TVN also manages the International rights for the Victorian Racing  Club’s premier day, the Melbourne Cup. Although TVN is an independent company to date, it is fully funded by the thoroughbred horse racing industry, its key beneficiaries, partners and supporters. Thoroughbred Racing Production (TRP) is the production company of TVN in charge of the entire broadcast production of the races for TVN.

Customer requirements and visions
In order to maximize the live viewing experience of visitors to Victoria Horse Racing and offer an efficient and reliable review system for the stewards’ team, TRP needed a fully integrated production control system that would meet the following requirements:


• Be able to record multiple camera angles and make content immediately available for live replays, simple highlightspackages, closers, etc.
• Offer multiple users access and control of the ingested content for simultaneous reviewing or production actions through a media production network.
• Control and manage back up and storage of races and interesting sequences (clips and multi-camera angles) onarchive devices.
• Offer reliable and intuitive multiple camera reviewing capabilities for stewards’ team, helping them in their judging decisions.


“TRP’s simple brief was to produce the best thoroughbred racing telecasts in the world. To meet this, EVS’ LSM’s and IPDirectors were the best choice”, said Charles Cole, Engineering & Technical Operations Manager TRP.

New TVN Production and Review Workflow
For their new production and review workflow project, TRP decided to implement EVS instant tapeless technology in order to get the most efficient and reliable answer to their requirements. The set-up is configured to guarantee a permanent recording of eight cameras managed by two XT[2] production servers located in TVN Outside Broadcast trucks. The ingested footage is instantly available for the TVN production team in these OB Trucks in order to createslow-motion replays, highlights, and clips. The footage is also made accessible in the Stewards Room for review and judging actions.

“We wanted fast reliable easy to use production tools not only to provide replays but also convey all the colour and excitement generated by thoroughbred racing”, said Charles Cole, Engineering & Technical Operations Manager TRP.


TVN OB Trucks Coverage Operations
One TVN operator is in charge of operating the MulticamLSM remote controller of the XT[2] server for live actions while another operator works on EVS IPDirector content management software for near-live and clip management operations.

Through EVS XT[2]-LSM, the IPDirector and the XF[2] (XFile) we are able to lift the production across the board. We are able to produce colour pieces for play on and offs, as well as taking our on course production to a new level” said Marco Iacopino Manager - Special Projects at TRP.


The LSM operator performs traditional LSM actions through direct control of the XT[2]’s server ingest and playout channels. These actions include :
• Instant replay on any of the eight camera angles,
• Clipping based on simple mark-in/mark out operations,
• Simple highlights creation and immediate playout to air.

The LSM operator is assisted by the IPDirector operator when he or she needs to access footage from the second XT[2] server. In addition to production network control, the IPDirector operator is in charge of the media management. This activity consists of creating a clip for each race, regrouping all eight camera angles together to obtain eight synchronized clips, naming them, and sorting them in relevant bins/folders before transferring those clips to EVS XF[2] removable storage devices available for future productions.

“With the XF[2] we are able to archive every angle from every race with the simplest of ease as well as being able to restore past race files just as easily”, Said Marco Iacopino Manager - Special Projects at TRP.


Stewards Operations
The race stewards are given access to the XT[2] content through an IPDirector station. 2 monitors are also available for them to review 2 synchronized playout channels of one of the XT[2] servers. Charles Cole Engineering & Technical Operations Manager : “EVS is also the cornerstone of the integrity of thoroughbred racing in Victoria as it is the principle tool used by the stewards linked to OB van via an IPDirector”.

As the 2 channels are ganged, all reviewing operations (Play, Pause, FF, REW, Jog, etc.) are performed in sync on both angles at the same time. By using IPDirector, the Stewards can select any couple of camera angles for review. Marco Iacopino : “The IPDirector and its remote network flexibility has made it possible for racing stewards around the state to watch all angles of footage linked synchronously as the race unfolds whilst also giving them the option to spool back on the record trains instantaneously, and all this while sitting in the comfort of their steward’s room.”

The Stewards can also retrieve specific sequences of the race using selected timecode in the IPDirector. In addition, the system is also allowing Stewards to load previous races for review. “This function has been extremely useful to the stewards, as it gives them the ability to load past race clips in their entirety and then watch the race back like it had just run (all race clips being synced).” Marco Iacopino.


EVS Instant Tapeless Technology operated at TVN


• Two 6-channel XT[2] production servers configured for four recording and two playout channels. In total, eight camera angles are recorded on a loop recording mode.
• MulticamLSM XT[2] controller for live replays, slow-motion replays, clipping, simple highlights creation and playback actions.
• IPDirector in the live OB truck for XT[2] content review, clip creation, playout control, media management in the OB trucks during live productions.
• IPDirector available in the stewards’ room for reviewing operation of multiple camera angles recorded on the XT[2] server located in the OB trucks.
• XF[2] removable storage server used for back-up of races, clips and interesting sequences on hard disk drives.