Features

Controller Boards Bring 12-Monitor Video Wall to the Track

The P.A. People, specialist contractors within the audio-visual systems sector, were commissioned by the Australian Grand Prix Corporation to deliver a large-scale video wall for access to critical information, including race and driver details, weather forecasts, and closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage.

altTo ensure the race would go smoothly from an operational standpoint, the Australian contractors, who specialize in event communications, used Matrox Graphics and Mura™ MPX Series controller boards to meet the Grand Prix’s need for a 12-monitor video wall. The wall had a total of 32 composite video feeds (track cameras) and 10 universal inputs: 2 switched-vision feeds and 8 for miscellaneous data (lap times, race position, and weather, for example). The technology allowed officials to monitor all that was happening on and around the track.

“Part of the challenge was that the video wall needed to interface with the existing analog-based camera system, but needed to be flexible enough for our rental operation to accommodate an IP-based solution in the future,” said Chris Dodds, Managing Director at The P.A. People.

Officials working within the race control room are tasked with making important decisions that potentially affect the outcome of a given race, as well as the entire Formula One World Championship season as a result. Decisions of this magnitude are usually made when rules are broken and drivers are consequently penalized. Other situations that arise and involve race control include the management of medical emergencies, tracking individual driver speeds, and monitoring weather changes.

The Trenton TVC4401 video wall controller system is validated with up to six Mura MPX Series PCI Express® x16 Gen2 boards. At the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, 3 Mura MPX-4/4 boards managed the 10 universal inputs and the 12 Samsung 460UX monitors in a 6x2 configuration. Two MPX-V16 boards handled the additional camera feeds. Meanwhile, the Mura Network Application Program Interface provided operators with an accessible means to remotely control the wall.

The Mura MPX Series video wall controller boards captured and displayed McLaren-Mercedes driver Jenson Button’s victory from start to finish in the control room. In the process, Mura MPX also provided sufficient processing power and impressive input flexibility, meeting the Australian Grand Prix Corporation’s strict audiovisual needs and budget.