Put in a tender in November 2015 and awarded to Ateksis, TJK (Turkish Jockey Club) TV Project was successfully completed before it went on air in HD as of April. This project, whereSony HDC-4300 4K/HD camera was put to use for the first time in Turkey, features a 14-camera mixer console, a show studio and a main control console.
As a part of the TV system offered within TJK’s Istanbul hippodrome, 13 pieces of Sony HSC-300 HD Studio cameras and one Sony HDC-4300 4K/HD were installed. All Sony HSC-300 cameras featured HJ lenses of Canon Broadcast series while the HDC-4300 4K camera was equipped with 76xs Box Type of Lens by Canon Digisuper. This project has helped TJK TV serve as the very first project in which Sony HDC-4300 4K/HD camera was put to use in Turkey.
Here are some other products and solutions adopted as a part of the project: The project involved a Switcher of Sony MVS-6530 3ME while each source in mixing consoles was displayed through monitors by Sony LMD series and some reference monitors by Sony BVM series were put to use for vision control. All routers, multi-viewers and all system connection equipments (Glue) were provided by products of Grass Valley as a part of the system. The 6-channel Playout system was put into force through Grass Valley K2 Dynos that were previously put to use in Ankara locations of TJK TV. The camera assistance equipment featured Vinten products with 33 kg-capacity while one Jimmy Jib Super Kit Camera Crane with 9.1 meters in length was put to use to have more diverse shoots in a studio.
The sound equipment of the system were provided with Allen & Health digital sound consoles while the intercom system, which provides internal communication, was mounted by means of Clear Com. Tektronix’s products were preferred as the testing and measurement equipment of the system.
One wireless camera system by Vislink was put to use in an external fashion within TJK TV's hippodrome as this product brings in flexibility for a wide workspace with regard to outdoor shootings within hippodromes.
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Making no concession on quality, HDC-4300 is smoothly integrated with both HD infrastructure & accessories and the world's most advanced 4K live production flows. Optional software upgrades enable to incorporate incredible 4K 2 and HD 8x super slow motion and 4K image capture features into standard HD outlets. This product responds to all the flexibility and control requirements of users in one single high-performance platform.
Mr. Mutlu Kütük, one of Ateksis project directors, underlines the fact that this is a very special project and notes that it is another link of the chain as one of the successfully-completed projects the company takes pride in.
Sony Professional Product Range Sales Manager Mr. Koray Köymen commented: "We are delighted by TJK TV opting to broadcast for viewers through Sony's cutting-edge technology. I would like to thank Ateksis, our solution partner that came out victorious of a competitive tender."
We sat down with TJK TV's General Manager Mr. Erkal Filiz to talk over TJK TV and the project details:
- You are renowned as a senior manager who has previously worked for private TV networks for years. Can you tell us about your new position and yourself in summary?
Dating back to 1985 for TRT, my professional life has been on an incessant run. I would have never thought that this industry would grow to this extent with an ever-increasing dynamism when I started to work for MAGIC BOX (STAR) as the very first private TV network and then SUPER FM as the very first private radio station and founded METRO FM. When I was involved in the foundation and expanding of ATV, the future of the industry began to take form. In addition to TV networks that has gone out of broadcast, a great deal of TV networks and radio stations appeared.
Upon a proposal by SHOW TV, one of the leading TV networks, in 1994, I engaged in a highly comprehensive broadcasting task involving CINE 5 (the very first encrypted TV channel), SHOW RADIO, RADIO 5, RADIO VIVA and RADIO NOSTALJI.
After I joined Group Çukurova following 16 years for SHOW TV and establishment of a platform called DIGITURK by Group Çukurova, I took office this time for a much larger media outlet.
This coincides with the time I started to serve as a Lecturer for Işık University while I worked for TURVAK (Foundation) to share know-how and knowledge and train well-qualified professionals for the industry. In 2010, the need of the Group for Media Infrastructure (studios, management offices etc.) hit the top and all companies of the conglomerate were dispersed. We sought to gather SHOWTV, SHOWTURK, SHOWMAX, LIGTV, LIGTV2, LIGTV3, TURKMAX, ALEM FM and LIG RADIO under one single umbrella.
Thanks to the common use of infrastructure, I had a chance to play an active role in the most comprehensive project of the industry upon the establishment of Ayazağa Premises to create a synergy of rare nature. I called it a chance since it is well known that you do not get to come across with such major projects every day starting from scratch.
This project enabled me to take office for LIGTV, one of the conglomerate's companies, in line with the needs of the time. I left LIGTV in summer 2015 after a hectic period of time spent for the production of more than 5000 sports events including football in particular across Turkey.
Just when I was blowing off some steam after 31 years in my career, an opportunity did arise to work for TJK TV's projects and we have been involved in restructuring since day one for infrastructure, content and technical & administrative matters.
-TJK TV is now an enterprise that meet the top-level broadcasting requirements. Can you provide us with some information about the background and present status of TJK TV? What is the technical infrastructure of Veliefendi Hippodrome like? Any specific features you would like to talk about?
First of all, I have to note that TJK TV began to air horse races in 1976 and "in color TV", as well. So, we are talking about times TRT was in black & white broadcasting solely in a few major cities. Given the fact that TRT delivered the very first TV broadcast in 1968, it is safe to say that TJK TV has kept up with broadcasting. I underline this because this date points to 14 years earlier than the introduction of the very first TV network. In line with the increasing number of hippodromes, the number of mixing consoles has soared and 6 out of 9 hippodromes are currently equipped with a fixed mixing console.
The network did not opt to establish its own broadcasting body as TJK TV has aspired to broadcast horse races live since its inception. Instead, the horse races had been aired in rotation by TELEON, SHOW TV, TRT, KANAL 6, TRT 4, SKYTURK and CINE 5 as of 1992 before they were broadcast by TJK TV on DIGITURK platform as of 2004 and TAY TV, one of Doğan Media Outlet’s companies, as of 2006 as a part of an ongoing deal.
As for today, TJK TV broadcasts and delivers productions in line with the liabilities, mission and vision of the Jockey Club of Turkey. The broadcasting policy is not only comprised of horse races but also of coming up with projects for horse breeding and horse eugenics.
To this end, we designed the network's prototype in line with its purpose. We formulate the scheduling plans accordingly. This called for improvement in infrastructure. We broke ground for the channel's identity through investment projects kicked off a couple of months ago. We introduced standardization for graphic images of races in all hippodromes and helped them feature a modern outlook. We have made sure each and every statistical detail peculiar to horse races is brought to air in the fastest and most comprehensible fashion possible. On the other hand, we established a new studio to host shows in our TV network featured within Veliefendi Hippodrome. A new 14-camera HD mixing console, one main console and a secondary mixing console were put to use for a variety of events within horse tracks, studios and Veliefendi Hippodrome. It is imperative not to rule out the human factor in line with infrastructure upgrades. In addition to in-house training sessions for current employees, we reinforce them with necessary assistance.
In addition, we exert full-range efforts for show and format diversity. We have introduced TV shows, cartoon movies and documentaries concerning horses, horse breeding and races. We draw up programs to contribute to the self-improvement of our own screen stars and increase the coverage of news for the industry.
- Apart from Veliefendi, there are hippodromes in Ankara, Izmir, Izmit (Kartepe), Bursa, Adana, Şanlıurfa and Diyarbakır and you deliver a type of broadcasting that requires a significant racing organization that goes on throughout the year. I know that you have upgraded the one in Ankara. What types of plans do you have in store for other locations?
As you know, TJK TV deals with an intensive live broadcast traffic. In that we are on live air for at least 4 hours in 2 cities on a daily basis. The entirety of such productions is delivered by our own teams. Like I said before, 6 out of 9 hippodromes are equipped with a fixed mixing console. The ones in Istanbul and Ankara provide HD broadcast while we rent HD Live broadcast vehicles for those not equipped with a fixed mixing console. That is how we increase the coverage of HD live broadcast. We formulate plans to invest in introducing HD systems to substitute for mixing consoles with no HD feature. Our goal is to upgrade the mixing consoles of hippodromes located in Izmir, Adana, Bursa and Şanlıurfa. However, I must note that we have to come up with a long-term plane since this calls for a significant budget requirement to renew them all.
In addition, we would like to develop a project to produce a live broadcast vehicle to mitigate the dependence on outsourcing. The racing schedule must allow to do so. I think that we will be able to add this matter on the agenda once the racing schedule is set for 2017.
- What features did you like to be equipped with in technical terms while TJK TV is in a process of investing in projects? Any solution about that?
Each project is unique calling for various features and requirements. Once you put forth priorities and requirements prior to the start of a project, the rings of necessity to be established around will put some light on the scope of the project. The horse race shooting and live broadcast require peculiar details to attend to. This may sound technical but let me provide you with some examples. While cameras and lenses put to use for a football game operate in a range of 150 meters at most, the distance can go over 1000 meters in horse races. While footballers run 30-35 km/h in short distances such as 15 to 20 meters, the "ball", which is the fastest traveling object, can reach a type of pace accounting for 120 km/h. However, this requires quite a short period of time and it takes place within the same frame. As for horse races, the pace hovers around 60 km/h from beginning to end. In that some cameras that are able to capture 1500 frames per second at the finish line have to be put to use to determine the ranking. It is because results may be decided by centimetric differences.
On the other hand, the distance between camera positions and the system control room is to a nominal extent while this may go up to 1500 meters in hippodromes. With a direct impact on signal quality and transmission, this situation determines what cable and infrastructure you are supposed to benefit from. Since races are held outdoors, one has to take into account the difficulty in homogeneous distribution of the light, snow, rainfall etc. when it comes to shootings under lights at night. Such details of physical environment for horse races involve scores of elements ranging from type of cable to tripods, lenses and stabilizers.
Put into force for Veliefendi Hippodrome, the project yielded desired outcomes along with targeted quality and work flows.
- Can you elaborate on this very special and comprehensive project and cooperation with Ateksis?
We kicked off the project after reviewing each item, the details of which I have provided before, for the umpteenth time. With no preference for a specific product, brand, distributor or integrator, we drew up an administrative specification that sets forth procurement procedures, terms and conditions in a clear-cut and comprehensible fashion to meet requirements. We released it in transparency to allow for the entire industry's access.
Many companies accepted our invitation to bid and engaged in the process. In a tender attended by companies that were able to meet all the technical, administrative and financial requirements, Ateksis came out victorious thanks to its compliance. Even though the schedule was hectic by the end of the year, we jointly ran the process including installation within a designated period of time, post-sale services and the launch of the system in a smooth fashion.
The experts by both Ateksis and our institution exerted self-sacrificing efforts as a part of this process handled in line with a type of mentality based on solution partnership. I would like to thank all the specialized technical teams with contributions to the installation, which is the pivotal stage of the project, in the presence of Mutlu KUTUK (Ateksis) and Nizamettin KORKMAZ (TJK TV). God bless each one of them.
- How satisfied are you with the products that are put to use? You have started to put use Sony products for the first time within the body of TJK. What would you like to say about it?
This is a newly-established system. Our opinion has yet to change with regard to the technical specifications of equipments that are put to use as a part of the system. They are all put into practice as we thought they would. They are of use to meet our expectations in their current versions.
I think that all the electronic-mechanic details including structural cabling in particular designed in line with a plan of priority that features flexibility in signal maneuver are mounted and launched in an extremely meticulous fashion.
As you articulated, there are some brands and series that are put to use for the first time at TJK TV as a part of the project. Among them are cameras, switchers and monitors by Sony. I have to express my pleasure with the performance of the cameras and other products that we have begun to use after put in a tender and procured in accordance with our technical specification. Put to use for years in other organizations I have previously worked for, Sony products will be hopefully in force for years to come at TJK TV. I am of the opinion that Sony will come up with positive perspectives in budgeting for such projects with regard to investments we plan to make in the forthcoming years.
- Anything you would like to add?
This was a major project in terms of timing, efficiency, effectiveness and outcomes. The fact that it is one of the crucial building blocks that will constitute the backbone of mid and long-term plans for TJK TV further increases the significance attached to the project.
Availing myself of this opportunity, I would like to thank the administrative, financial and technical departments of both sides including our Department of Procurement for their efforts to put this project into force starting from the first moment when the first syllable, the first drawing and the first words were formulated.