The new "Big Board" under construction at Churchill Downs, the legendary home of the Kentucky Derby, will be the only video board in an outdoor stadium or arena capable of displaying the new and advanced 4K ultra-high definition technology.
The announcement was made by Panasonic Corporation of North America and
Churchill Downs Racetrack on Monday in advance of the 2014 International
Consumer Electronics Show, the world's largest consumer electronics show that runs Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas.
As the largest 4K video board in the world, the 171-foot wide by 90-foot
tall video board will sit 80-feet above the ground and will top out at 170-feet
in height so that fans throughout the racetrack will be able to view crystal
clear racing content.
Panasonic will be providing a product that will display in excess of 2,160
vertical lines with more than 4,000 horizontal lines of resolution. In total,
the board will be capable of displaying over nine million lines of resolution
enabling a wide variety of capabilities including image magnification, replays,
betting odds and race results, advertising, brand messaging, split screen and
ticker displays, public service announcements and many other creative elements.
The LED systems are being provided by Panasonic's premium manufacturing partner,
Lighthouse Technologies, a recognized leader in high-quality LED display systems
"We are thrilled to announce that the world's largest 4K video board will
have a home at Churchill Downs and, the fact that it will have 4K resolution
truly solidifies our claim to fame as being known as the best venue for
thoroughbred racing in the world," said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill
Downs Racetrack. "We are eager to debut this new video board to fans and believe
they will be truly excited about the clarity in which races will be broadcast."
"We're very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Churchill Downs
and deliver a 15,224-square foot board to an icon of the sports world," said Jim
Doyle, President of Panasonic Eco Solutions North America. "4K content is truly
the wave of the future and we are excited to bring avid racing fans this
technology that gives them the ability to view content on a big screen as if
they were up close and personal with the racetrack."
Preliminary construction on the Big Board, a $12 million investment, began
in December and installation is scheduled to be completed by mid-March.
The video board will be installed about midway along the backstretch and
outside the dirt course of the historic track. This position maximizes the
170-degree viewing angle for fans in the 55,638 clubhouse and grandstand seats
and the tens of thousands of fans in the track's famous 26-acre infield.
The software and equipment that will control the Big Board will allow for
multiple split-screen presentations of video, images, data and innovative live
and recorded programming. Churchill Downs also will add full-1080i fixed and
mobile HD cameras and a new audio system to deliver state-of-the-art picture and
sound quality to its fans.
Current plans are to unveil the Big Board to the public at "Opening Night"
of Kentucky Derby Week on Saturday, April 26, in a dazzling nighttime display of
the Big Board's technological capabilities.
So, just how big is the "Big Board"? It's bigger than:
* 3 NBA basketball courts,
* 5 average size U.S. homes,
* 2,200 46-inch flat-screen TVs, and
* 320,000 Apple iPhone 5 screens