Churchill Downs Productions taps Utah Scientific

The
broadcasting arm of Churchill Downs Incorporated has chosen the Utah Scientific
UTAH-400 series SD/HD routing switchers along with SC-4 routing control systems
for the digital upgrade of two of its production trucks. The new installation
will add capacity, ease the transition from analog to digital, improve
production quality, and make the production crew’s job easier.

Churchill
Downs Simulcast Productions (CDSP) produces live programming from five
racetracks throughout the country, including the famed Churchill Downs in

Louisville, home of the
annual Kentucky Derby. CDSP programming is distributed to more than 1,000
off-track betting facilities across the
United
States and

Canada.

CDSP chose
the UTAH-400 routers to replace analog routers as part of a broader upgrade
that also includes replacement of video servers. CDSP’s Mobile Unit B (MU-B),
based at Calder Race Course in Miami, Fla., was first to complete the upgrade
in March with a complete UTAH-400 routing system configured for 48×40 SD video,
16×24 analog video, and 32×32 stereo audio.

“We had
very little time allotted for getting MU-B up and running,” said Paul
Kucharski, director of engineering for CDSP. “So it was particularly important
that

Utah
could configure the router system in the factory. That meant we didn’t have to
spend time reading manuals and looking up IP addresses. The router arrived
ready to plug and play.”

Meanwhile,
CDSP’s MU-C production truck is currently being upgraded for digital operation,
though it will continue to provide analog feeds to the Churchill Downs
closed-circuit system. The UTAH-400 includes an option for internal format
conversions, so CDSP won’t need costly peripherals to accomplish this.
Kucharski says another benefit of the UTAH-400 is that it allows placement of
router control panels in remote locations, like edit bays within CDSP track
facilities, without the need to run additional cables.

“We’re
proud to be associated with Churchill Downs, and pleased to help the organization
create a streamlined, modern production and broadcast operation across its five
facilities and for horse-racing fans across the world,” said Tom Harmon,
president of Utah Scientific.

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