ManagementOutside Broadcast (OB)Video CompressionVideo Routing

AJA hits the road in major race

The AJA Kumo 6464 powers multi-signal routing for King of Hammer off-road race

Held every February in Johnson Valley, California, USA, the King of Hammers is a week-long series of off-road races spanning more than 200 miles of rocky desert terrain.

The race draws more than 60,000 spectators and is broadcast live to audiences via the ULTRA4 racing website and, with highlights streamed to YouTube and Facebook Live.

Hammerking Productions is responsible for the week-long production, capturing and streaming more than seven hours of footage a day to fans on-site and online. With this year’s production involving multiple camera sources and destinations, the Hammerking team tapped AJA’s Kumo 6464 for SDI signal routing.

Travis Waldher of Hammerking Productions’ production technology department, explained: “There is so much riding on this production, we can’t afford to go dark, so we need gear that we can depend on.

“We’ve used other routing solutions and had issues, but KUMO 6464 is solid. We’re able to set it up, turn it on, and it just keeps working. We never have to worry about power cycling or messing with firmware issues; it works straight out of the gate.”

Hammerking Productions used more than 22 cameras to capture a range of race angles in 1920 by 1080p. Ten remote cameras were stationed throughout the desert floor, each 30km apart; two drone cameras and a camera-equipped helicopter flew over the course; and a handful of local cable-in cameras were stationed near the start/finish, in the event that safety shots might be needed should a microwave signal transmission issue arise.

Transmitted via microwave, remote and drone camera signals were fed to a production truck housing 13 screens, the Kumo 6464 router and a host of other production gear. Stationed at the start/finish line, an outside broadcast (OB) truck was used to stream each race in real time, as well as to broadcast race highlights packages online. Content could also be viewed on-site via a 30ft jumbotron, 20ft jumbotrons near the race start/finish lines, and TVs located near the lakebed and in vendor tents/trucks.

Nearly all of the video production outputs ran through the AJA Kumo 6464 router. Remote camera feeds were first passed through an H.264 encoder over a microwave network and received by the Kumo 6464. Signals were then decoded by an H.264 decoder and routed through Kumo 6464 and output through 16 channel multiviewers.

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