Panasonic Taps Astucemedia to Drive Real-time Graphics for ‘Big Hoss TV’

Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company enlisted the help of Astucemedia—a Montreal-based provider of live broadcast graphics services with an office in Dubai, UAE—to provide visually rich graphics design with real-time data integration services to Big Hoss TV. 

Recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest high-definition LED video board, Big Hoss TV enhances the fan experience for those attending NASCAR and other motor sports events at the Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas.

The colossal screen—which measures 218 feet wide by 94.5 feet high—delivers spectacular broadcast-quality coverage of racing events as they take place, including field interviews with drivers and their pit crews, 1080p HD camera footage, instant replays of high-speed race action and interactive features and games for the fans at Texas Motor Speedway. The big board also displays live tweets and visually stunning real-time graphics depicting the drivers’ MPH, RPMs, speed, leaderboards, and other vital racing stats.

Big Hoss TV is also the first instance where uncompressed 4K-resolution video renders directly out of a Viz Engine—Vizrt’s 3D live graphics/video compositing rendering engine—to the HD LED display. The HD LED drivers extract a 3K center-cut from the 4K Vizrt video output to generate an impactful display without quality compromise. This installation also utilized another Vizrt live graphics system—the Viz Trio CG—that complements the Viz Engine for rendering. The solution is controlled by Panasonic’s exclusive new stadium controller designed for complete Vizrt Integration.

Texas Motor Speedway commissioned Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company—a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America—to build the colossal Big Hoss TV display. Panasonic also provided systems integration services for a high-end in-stadium production control room used to produce Big Hoss TV shows that rival what viewers expect from major broadcast sports networks.

When Panasonic asked Astucemedia to contribute its unique broadcast graphics expertise to the project, Astucemedia delivered a custom, turnkey solution spanning graphics design and creation to real-time data integration.

Astucemedia also provided on-site services at Texas Motor Speedway when Big Hoss TV was unveiled in early April 2014 during a double-header of two high-profile NASCAR races: the Nationwide Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 and the Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500, and in June for another high-profile double-header: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 and the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600.

For the Big Hoss TV graphics workflow, Astucemedia provided a solution that leveraged elements of its unique Data Platform. Four (4) high-frequency live data feeds from NASCAR Scoring & Timing, Sportvision, IndyCar and SMT (Cosworth Live-To-Air) were captured to create a real-time “blended feed” REST API. The real-time data, including race statistics and car telemetry such as MPH, RPM, GPS and track temperatures, was easily embedded into the graphics scenes using Astucemedia’s Vizrt plug-ins. Viz Trio operation was performed via a custom GUI template that uses a push-button interface as well as a responsive HTML5 app that was used to monitor data, trigger graphics and switch between feed providers.

“We were delighted to work with Astucemedia on Big Hoss TV and their unique technical expertise in the broadcast graphics arena proved very valuable to this project,” said Michael Rocha, director of content solutions for Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company.

“Astucemedia took on this challenge with enthusiasm, a positive attitude and a spirit of cooperation,” Rocha said. “From the start of the project, it was clear that they fully understood our needs, and dovetailed with our team in a very proactive and responsive way.”

And according to Thomas Desmeules, director of research and development for Astucemedia, “We really enjoyed our close working relationship with Panasonic and the opportunity to make a creative and technical contribution to the project. We appreciated their trust in us and our ability to make all the graphics pieces fit together for Big Hoss TV.”

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