Gearhouse delivers Bathurst 1000 race in 4K to launch Foxtel's new 444 Channel

THE Customer

Supercars delivers motorsports-let entertainment for large-scale events, such as the annual 2018 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. The company has gone through waves of expansion since the 1960s as the sport became globally recognised. The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 competition is the largest supercars round of the season and takes place at the Mount Panorama racecourse in Bathurst, a three-hour drive from Sydney, Australia. It is Supercars’ champion event.

THE PROJECT

Supercars commissioned Gearhouse Broadcast to provide the broadcast facilities for the 2018 SuperCheap Auto Bathurst 1000 live in 4K. With a relationship of working together going back five years, Supercars had no doubt that Gearhouse was the right partner to solely capture and deliver the 1000-kilometre race live in the highest image quality available.

The legendary Supercar race was selected by leading Australian pay television giant Foxtel to launch its highly-anticipated new 4K channel, 444.

THE APPROACH

To capture the 161-lap endurance competition, which saw Craig Lowndes secure a remarkable 7th victory in his final appearance in the ‘great race’, Gearhouse provided all the facilities, equipment and outside broadcast trucks. They also brought in 50 skilled professionals to help with the ambitious 4K production. 

The setup required five OB trucks onsite to facilitate the 4K production. Gearhouse Broadcast Australia brought in kit from its USA, UK and European offices to deliver the highest quality 4K content for Foxtel’s live TV broadcast. It deployed 26 Sony HDC-4300s and a Sony HDC-P43 at various locations around the track. To film it in even greater detail, it added Sony’s HDC-4800 slow motion cameras to its event kit list. This brought the total of native 4K broadcast cameras to 28, each equipped with Fujinon and Canon 4K/UHD lenses to provide the best possible image quality.

There were an additional 56 HD sources, including specialty track cameras, pit cameras, Heli and traditional EVS output channels up-scaled through the 4K VMU. The crew used a CamCat high-speed cable rail camera system on the straight as well as 12 speciality cameras mounted around the circuit in place like curbs and walls.

The live production infrastructure featured Grass Valley solutions at the venue and Foxtel’s facility, which included a Kahuna 9600 production switcher and the NVISION compact router. During the broadcast, signals that were sent to Foxtel were switched and monitored through a Sirius 800 series router with MV-800 multiviewer before they were transmitted to Foxtel for final switching and transmission.

Due to the sheer size of the 6.2km circuit, crew rigged more than 30kms of fibre around the site to bring all the cameras, audio, data, timing and communications back to the OB compound. The RF spectrum was always busy with over 20 video paths used.

THE OUTCOME

By using Gearhouse Broadcast’s extensive range of equipment, the ability to enhance to 4K from the traditional HD coverage of the 161-lap endurance race, was successfully delivered live to Foxtel for it new 4K channel. 4

Nathan Prendergast, from Supercars commented: “Gearhouse Broadcast was the natural choice for delivering a large-scale event like Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in 4K for the first time. The team at Gearhouse Broadcast has provided Supercars with excellent broadcast coverage for the past five years, so we had total confidence that they would deliver the latest, cutting edge content to enhance our broadcast even further.”

Get in touch