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Cobham: Nano HD TX goes to the races

The Channel 4 broadcast of Royal Ascot and the Epsom Derby, the crown jewels of British horse racing, was enabled in part by the deployment of a Cobham Nano HD TX wireless transmitter as part of a wireless camera facility installed by Broadcast RF in the race starting stalls to provide detailed, up close views of jockeys and their mounts in the tense moments before each of many races throughout the day.

“In the past there had been issues with the perceived intrusiveness of more bulky camera systems so close to the start of the action,” said Broadcast RF sales director, Chris Brandrick. “These thoroughbreds are, by their very nature, highly strung. They and their jockeys are there for one purpose, to win a race, and for that they must maintain total focus. Any risk of distraction must be minimised.”

“We were asked to resolve the issue of such sensitivity by providing the smallest, most discreet package we could possibly supply, and our first item on that list was Cobham’s Nano HD TX, the smallest HD video transmitter available on the market.”
Importantly for Broadcast RF, OB provider NEP Visions and Channel 4 Racing, the miniature transmitter system could be very quickly rigged and derigged. Fitted with an external transmit antenna and quick release mount, the system was camouflaged to blend into the starting stalls, and was therefore all but unnoticeable.

With proprietary Cobham COFDM and H.264 encoding technology at its core, the Nano HD TX is claimed to provide excellent live production image quality over wireless links, with support for composite, SDI, HD-SDI and HDMI video input formats.