Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series Creates Winning Experience for Turfway Park Racing & Gaming

NV5 Global selects Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix for enhanced HDMI over IP distribution at Churchill Downs Incorporated’s latest facility

Turfway Park

Established in 1959, Turfway Park Racing & Gaming has a rich history of live Thoroughbred horse racing. In the mid-1960s, Turfway Park introduced innovations, such as winter and night racing, and later became the first track to introduce simulcast wagering. In October 2019, Turfway Park, which initially opened as Latonia Race Course, was acquired by Churchill Downs Incorporated. Following the acquisition, Churchill Downs announced a $148 million renovation of the racetrack. The reconstruction of the state-of-the-art, live Thoroughbred and historical racing venue was part of Churchill Downs’ ongoing efforts to strengthen and bring innovations to Kentucky’s landmark horse racing industry.

Turfway Park’s multi-phase development is designed to offer an elevated experience while maintaining the tradition of horse racing in Kentucky. The facility includes a pari-mutuel gaming entertainment floor featuring up to 850 historical racing machines, a simulcast wagering area with player amenities, an 18,500 square-foot event center and several food and beverage venues.

“Turfway is one of many locations that Churchill Downs has selected to revitalize as they expand their portfolio of properties,” explained Daniel Martin, CTS-D, CTS-I, engineer for American Sound and Electronics. “The old facility was torn down and completely reconstructed as a multi-use facility. It’s not only a host to a racetrack, but it provides gaming, live entertainment, corporate events and other events. The large event center features an LED wall designed to broadcast live horse racing and a myriad of content depending on the particular event.”

Turfway Park

Martin added, “American Sound and Electronics was selected to perform all technology integration at Turfway Park. During the reconstruction, we had a very aggressive timeline to complete the technology integration within six months. The goal was to invite people into the facility to see the progress before September 2022, during the peak of supply chain disruptions.”

Previous installations for Churchill Downs have utilized HDBaseT to support long-distance distribution. NV5 Global, formerly KMK Technologies, led the technology design and consulting for R2A Architects at Turfway Park. NV5 recommended a new solution that provided increased flexibility while maintaining ultra-low latency across large facilities. The consultant, NV5, designed the entire project and selected Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series.

“We’ve designed Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series into numerous projects over the last three years,” said Thomas Knauss, CTS-D, principal consultant for NV5. “Their technology is a simple and intuitive method of transmitting and routing HDMI. Turfway has a multi-purpose center with a plethora of wall plates. It would typically lend itself to other solutions on the market, but the functionality and availability of these technologies have been turned upside down in recent years. The PacketAV Matrix Series provides a highly efficient distribution method for HDMI signals and simplifies the design and integration.”

NV5’s design deployed Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series to provide a flexible and reliable solution that covered each building across Turfway Park’s facility. Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series is a cinema-quality, ultra-low latency encoder and decoder solution designed to bypass the constraints of traditional matrix distribution systems. The PacketAV Matrix Series supports USB 2.0 over IP, including KVM over IP, and can be deployed on any industry-standard IP network by harnessing the flexibility and scalability of converged IP networks.

“We’ve worked with Visionary’s technology in the past, but not to this scale,” noted Martin. “We deployed 60 endpoints across the property, so this integration is a much larger scale. Each of Visionary’s endpoints resides on the client’s network, which is shared with other streaming devices, including IPTV and control. Visionary is an exemplary citizen living on the client’s network. It’s not interfering with any other technologies, which is a great testament to the product.”

Martin added, “Visionary is incredibly easy to configure. Originally, we configured the endpoints off-site at our facility. We could stack all of the boxes on a single network to perform the firmware updates and provide individual IP addresses. We were done within two hours. You don’t have the privilege of configuring other pieces of equipment in an afternoon. It was a straightforward process because Visionary’s system is very intuitive.”

Today’s supply chain challenges have resulted in severely delayed milestones in project completion for consultants and integrators. Visionary recognizes this industry-wide disruption is detrimental to an integrator’s business. The company’s priority is servicing customers and building partnerships during a unique time in the professional AV industry. As a result, Visionary delivered the equipment on time to empower American Sound and Electronics to reach important project milestones.

“The project scope includes many pieces of equipment that were hard-pressed to get,” said Martin. “It became our full-time job to acquire products to ensure they would arrive on-site on time. Although the project had a six-month lead time, we were procuring equipment immediately. Visionary was not on that list and their solutions arrived on time. It allowed us plenty of time to demo and test the encoders before installation. We’re appreciative of our relationship with Visionary and the support we’ve received from their team, particularly Tim Murray [National Sales Manager]. Their team is incredibly receptive and always quick to respond to our queries.”