Kiwi punters will soon be able to see every muscle twitch as the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) introduces High Definition (HD) for all New Zealand racing, a move that will significantly enhance the viewing experience for customers.

“In 2017 we changed the way we capture greyhound racing in New Zealand, which also brought a move to HD. Our customers absolutely love it!” says Andy Kydd, NZRB’s General Manager of Media & Content.

“The picture quality is significantly better, crisp and clear, with much finer detail; even those without HD capability at home will notice an improvement in the quality.”

The switch is thanks to the replacement of NZRB’s outside broadcast (OB) vehicles to new state of the art trucks supplied by Sony.

“We’re currently the largest OB service provider in the country, but our equipment was over 15 years old. The risk of losing vision, even briefly, would have such a negative impact for our customers and for the racing industry, we had no option other than to upgrade the fleet,” says Kydd.

“Through the use of more modern technology, we’ve been able to reduce the size of the fleet and right-size our broadcasting operation, this allows us to reduce costs and deliver more profit back to the racing industry,” says Kydd.

The new OB vehicles will cover all thoroughbred and harness race meetings throughout New Zealand, with each truck based in one of four main regions - Northern, Central and Southern (Christchurch and Dunedin).

The top half of the South Island was first cab off the rank with a successful launch at Addington Raceway on September 14.

All race meetings in this region will be transitioned from the current standard definition truck to the new high definition truck over the next six months, with NZ Cup & Show Week in November the first major carnival to be filmed and broadcast in full HD.

“Continuing to deliver major improvements like this, on time and on budget, is so important to both our customers and the racing industry. HD is a standard that our customers expect and we’re about to dramatically improve their experience,” says Kydd.

The move to HD for equine racing in New Zealand will be gradual, in line with the roll out of each new OB vehicle. NZRB expects the roll out to be complete by the end of 2019.