Modelcar race live streams with Axis cameras.
Modelcargo software and Axis cameras help enthusiasts watch modelcar races.
Modelcargo is a manufacturer of modelcar components, that participates in international competitions and supports these events. The company wanted to broadcast the model car races to let people around the world watch them live. The images are edited by an automatic program and uploaded to an Internet interface, which makes it easy to access and watch the stream via any Internet browser anywhere.
Modelcargo has developed its own software – Trackmo, which performs streaming and serves specifically for broadcasting car races. There are currently five camera systems installed in Europe (Italy, Austria, Norway, Switzerland and Luxembourg) from where live streams can be performed. On days of the week with no race, the owners of the tracks can use the cameras as security cameras.
After testing several cameras, Modelcargo took the lead with Axis solutions. Nearly a year of testing and use has proven that the cameras are very reliable, of good quality and have many currently untapped features. There are plans to install cameras to more racetracks, to take advantage of the additional smart features of the cameras and to make the system fully automated and remotely controllable.
Our first fear was that these IP cameras are security cameras and not media cameras, but in practice, these high-quality cameras can also be used for media broadcasting and offer more options than a simple media camera.
Modelcargo, a manufacturer of modelcar components, wanted to create a platform where images received through cameras are converted to streaming by their proprietary software (Trackmo), which then can be watched by anyone, anywhere via the Internet with any browser. It was challenge to create a secure and versatile streaming solution. The company looked closely at the market and decided to use Axis cameras because of their reliability and good quality.
“Our first fear was that these IP cameras are security cameras and not media cameras, but in practice, these high-quality cameras can also be used for media broadcasting and offer more options than a simple media camera,” said László Gál, Managing Director of Modelcargo. It was another challenge to create a secure and versatile streaming solution.
At present, camera systems are installed on five tracks in Europe (Italy, Austria, Norway, Switzerland and Luxembourg) and another next two systems will be ready soon. The tracks look like real-size ones, with different curves, straight and bending sections and lengths. The track itself is a 6 to 8-meter-wide asphalt strip with diameters that can be defined in a rectangle of 80 x 50 meters.
As all tracks are different they require different cameras with different angles and resolutions. On the Italian reference track, one camera, AXIS Q3515 LVE Network Camera, is positioned 6 meters high and sees the entire rack. In addition, AXIS P1425-LE and AXIS P1445-LE cameras are used. There are 3-5 IP cameras on each track. When no races are scheduled, the cameras are used for security.
Cars can be of different sizes, scales and categories. The system was originally designed for the large-scale category with cars in the scale of 1:5, which means that a race car is 95-100 cm long. These cars are already easy to follow on the track, but there are also smaller cars in scale 1: 8 and 1:10, and even these can be clearly displayed in the streams. It is important to have audio cameras as they provide the background noise of broadcasting. A modified Axis microphone is also used for on-site broadcasts.
The ultimate goal is to make the system fully automated and remotely controllable; which allows the operator to control which camera should watch what and how, with the use of a local computer or a tablet on the edge of the racetrack. Currently, only 25-40% of the cameras’ capacity is used as they are not integrated with other systems but work separately. In the near future, the company would like to use other smart features of cameras (e.g., motion detection), and be able to adjust the sound and image combination to make the streaming as interesting as possible.
The software has been integrated with a so-called automatic lap counting system that processes car data and displays it in a spreadsheet format. It can display when and which car passes the finish line; when a specific car made its fastest lap; its last lap time, in which place the car is, and the driver’s name and nationality, etc. According to the plans, the audience will grow as the number of tracks with CCTV is increasing. Viewers like watching videos or short trailers of race accidents and curiosities posted on Youtube (Pullstart.tv). The company would also like to extend the use of Trackmo to other race types, e.g., go-cart.
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