Kentucky Derby to run on world's biggest 4K LED video board

 
May 1, 2014 | by Christopher Hall

The greatest two minutes in sports, the annual Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Ky., runs the first Saturday in May — and this Saturday the country's biggest horse race will run on the world's biggest 4K LED digital signage video board.

Derby home Churchill Downs earlier this week unveiled what the video board's builder, Panasonic Enterprise Solutions, claims is the world's largest 4K ultra-high-definition LED video board. The 170-foot-tall video screen, "The Big Board," is the fruit of a $12 million investment by the Downs.

"One of the complaints people would always make," Churchill Downs President Kevin Flanery told The Louisville Courier-Journal, "was that they went to the Derby and never saw a horse."

That won't be an issue anymore, as apparently people will be able to watch the race from nearby office buildings:

View of @ChurchillDowns #BigBoard from my building, fortunately, not my office. I'd be so distracted next few months! pic.twitter.com/L9ufkaO76A

— Jessie Oswald (@JBOswald68) April 25, 2014

"During the past 10 years, we've invested more than $160 million at Churchill Downs to significantly upgrade our venue and greatly enhance the fan experience," Flanery said in a press release about the board from Panasonic. "Working with Panasonic to install the first outdoor 4K video board was a critical component of our investment strategy to make Churchill Downs the best thoroughbred racing facility for all our events and turn it into one of the premiere 'must-see' sports and entertainment destinations in the world."

The mammoth display screen measures 171-feet wide by 90-feet tall, and sits 80 feet above the ground with active display area of 15,224 square feet.

That's perhaps not quite as large as the Texas Motor Speedway's "Big Hoss," which was recently certified as the biggest high-definition video board in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records, according to NBCSports.com. (That doesn't mean The Big Board isn't still the world's largest ULTRA-high-definition video board.) The 108-ton Big Hoss measures roughly 218 feet wide and 125 feet tall (including support structure), coming in at 20,633.64 square feet (or about half an acre). But it is bigger than the famous display in "Jerry World," AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home to the NFL's Dallas Cowboys.

Either way, it doesn't seem like Downs-goers are of a mind to quibble.

@ChurchillDowns ain't horsing around with this giant screen! #horsepun pic.twitter.com/eVv7yxaQnR

— Abby Weingardt (@AbbyWeingardt) April 27, 2014

You can hear the 24,000-plus in the crowd react to the first showing of The Big Board at the opening of the Spring Meet in this video from horse-racing news' The Paulick Report.

The horses in the Run for the Roses won't be missed by anyone at the track this year — as long as they're still conscious and not in line for the loo.


Topics: Display Technology , LED Signs , Outdoor Signage


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