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Dante Goes to the Races

By

2 July 2014

Randwick Grandstand_lowres

Randwick Racecourse is updated with a Dante system that gives it 160 audio channels across more than 60 zones.

The Australian Turf Club’s (ATC) Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney spans more than 200 acres, including a six-level grandstand and 15 unique indoor and outdoor spaces used for horse racing and non-race day events, from conferences and exhibitions to premier music and entertainment shows.

As part of a major upgrade, the ATC overhauled the audio experience for race fans with a low-latency, high-quality Dante network.

The installation was done by P.A. People,  which was tasked with the design and integration of a solution that would converge multi-channel audio and IPTV video services onto a single, venue-wide network.

Josh Jones, project manager at the P.A. People, quickly concluded that Dante by Audinate, was the ideal fit for the project. “When specifying the system, it was obvious that Dante was the only networking solution that could give us the scalable channel count required,”said Jones.

Jones points to Dante’s ability to support a wide variety of audio applications on a common Gigabit network as a way to reduce overall cost. His previous experience using Dante was during the Papal visit for World Youth Day in 2008.

The scale of deployment is certainly impressive. The multi-level Grandstand has more than ten audio zones per level, with local inputs through corporate suites and special function spaces to accommodate unique audio
feeds. The Dante enabled Harman BSS BLU digital signal processing system allows Randwick personnel to easily distribute and manage a large number of audio channels across the venue. Jones noted that the entire network was easy to set up, test and deploy and stressed the importance of this simplicity since the entire solution supports more than 160 channels moving backwards and forwards throughout the racetrack grounds.

The deployment extends beyond the Grandstand to bookie areas, an owners pavilion and the “Theatre of the Horse” parade ring, among other spaces. Additionally, the network extends audio capabilities to the IPTV video element, with sound for each of the 30-plus in-house TV channels distributed as discrete audio feeds.

“There’s an audio hierarchy that exists, but ultimately the race call is king,” said Jones. “Once the horses leave the starting gate every audio zone receives the race call. The remainder of the time it switches back to the local audio broadcast.”

In terms of future growth, Jones sees plenty of expansion opportunity within the current configuration. “We are not yet running at capacity, which means there is plenty of room for Dante to flex more of its muscle,” said Jones. “With Dante, we were able to utilize the DSP in the remote BSS units, distributing the processing power throughout the venue. This kind of flexibility gives us excellent scope for future growth.”

 

Excerpts from Press Release

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