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Racing UK opens up new Timeline

Broadcast facilities provider Timeline TV is building new HD facilities for Racecourse Media Group at Ealing Studios in West London.

Broadcast facilities provider Timeline TV is building new HD facilities for Racecourse Media Group at Ealing Studios in West London, writes David Fox.

It will house the satellite and cable channel Racing UK, the betting shop channel Turf TV and the international racing services provided by GBI racing (which is a joint venture between At the Races and Racing UK providing British and Irish horseracing to international markets).

The new facility includes five production galleries, with associated sound control and voice over booths, three Final Cut Pro edit suites, an 800 square foot (about 75 square metres) studio, and Master Control Room.

Crucial to the operation is Timeline TV’s signature tapeless production system powered by three EVS XT-3 servers with a unique interface to a 256TB SAN. EVS operators and producers will use EVS’ IPDirector to manage incoming and archive media, make clips, build playlists and send content to the Final Cut editors. MCR staff will also use IPDirector for media management including the archive and retrieval of clips into a deep storage LTO-5 tape robot.

As part of the implementation, racecourse data feeds will automatically populate the IPDirector database with race card and results information and provide on screen graphics via Chyron HyperX character generators.

The longevity of the facility is crucial to the design, so core products such as the Evertz EQX router and infrastructure products are 3G capable.

The dual set studio is equipped with three Shotoku robotic cameras with touchscreen control units allowing operation from the galleries or MCR. The power supply is backed by both a UPS (uninterruptable power supply) and generator for full resilience.

Racing will be fed to Ealing via 18 lines on a route diverse BT JPEG2000 MPLS network, to minimize picture latency, an important consideration for betting. Produced programme feeds will be fed via BT Tower for transmission to subscribers.

“Timeline are delivering a world class facility which will secure RMG’s future as a sports broadcaster to disparate audiences of racing fans through its wholly owned and joint venture channels. Timeline’s experience in managing tapeless coverage of major sporting events was a clear draw in locating our new production base,” said RMG Director of Broadcast, David Bellin (pictured).

The production complex within Ealing Studios is being built by specialist contractor Studio Schemes, with the system integration by Timeline and Megahertz.

The channels move to Ealing this month and the initial contract is for seven years. Timeline also has live and post production facilities in Soho and Media City (Manchester), and provides flyaway production units, temporary tapeless production systems and RF links. It specialises in shared server systems and in the delivery of IPDirector networks.