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New video board at Churchill Downs bigger than 5 average U.S. homes

Will broadcast crisp, clear content for fans

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 6, 2014) – It’s bigger than three NBA basketball courts, five average-sized U.S. homes, 2,200 46-inch flat-screen televisions and 320,000 Apple iPhone 5 screens.

The future looks big at Churchill Downs. This photo depicts what the new 4K Big Board will look like when it is unveiled.
The future looks big at Churchill Downs. This photo depicts what the new 4K Big Board will look like when it is unveiled.

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.

The board, provided by Panasonic Corp., 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 manufacturing partner, Lighthouse Technologies, a recognized leader in high-quality LED display systems worldwide.

“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-s.f. 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 complete 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.