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November 4, 2016


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Motorsport case study: Watch the results of Sony’s revamp of Paul Ricard’s monitoring and AV solution

Forty Sony SNC-WR632 dome cameras and five SNC-EM632R outdoor IR ruggedized cameras formed part of a recent AV overhaul of legendary motorsport circuit Paul Ricard. Watch the video and read the case study below to find out more about this project, including challenges faced and outcomes.


An iconic venue in French motorsport since 1970, the Circuit Paul Ricard is located at Le Castellet, near Marseille.

The circuit’s owners recently decided that its ageing AV systems needed an upgrade, including its video monitoring systems.

Bulky, inefficient CRT screens, which were more than a decade old, were increasingly unreliable, while the owners recognised the potential rewards of upgrading their video surveillance set-up from analogue to IP cameras.


With cars hurtling around the track in scorching on-track temperatures that can rise as high as 50° outdoor motorsport presents a challenging environment for AV solutions. Rain, snow and wind also pose problems too.

More difficult still, Racing at night means cameras must capture detailed pictures in near-darkness with added glare from cars headlights.

The track, which is 5.8km long, can be configured to more than 160 variations, all of which must be monitored comprehensively. Indoors, analogue video monitoring screens are power-hungry and generate a lot of heat, especially when used 24 hours a day, as is the case on occasion.

Sony solution

Circuit Paul Ricard appointed Sony, networked communications specialist SOGETREL, software vendor SeeTec to update its entire video monitoring infrastructure.

The control room now features a large video wall, comprising nine Sony 60” BRAVIA Full HD professional displays. Additional Sony monitors display images captured around the circuit in portrait mode, while another screen is dedicated to showing the race times.

VPL-FHZ55 3LCD laser light source projector tracks the race leader, while another VPL-FHZ55 provides an overall situational view of the circuit captured by on-track cameras.


Five SNC-EM632R outdoor IR ruggedised 1080p/30fps cameras keep a watchful eye around the venue. Out on the circuit itself, 40 SNC-WR632 full HD PTZ network cameras capture every split-second move of the cars at 60 frames per second.

HD streams are transmitted over IP to feed the live BRAVIA video wall in the control room. A separate analogue video output is distributed simultaneously to BRAVIA displays around the venue to provide a back up in case the HD streams fail.

Sony SNC-EM632R

Sony SNC-EM632R

Real-time race footage, videos and other information is displayed to the crowd on 100 interconnected BRAVIA professional displays dotted around the venue.

“Now we’re getting pictures from night-time races with a quality that’s close to daylight conditions. We can really follow the cars and react quickly if something happens. Video from the cameras can be displayed on the video wall of Sony screens and video projectors, and we can also share this externally with our customers. What we really appreciated – above the quality and compatibility of Sony’s products – is the responsiveness of the team, who’ve always been on hand to answer our questions.” Thierry Dostes, IT systems manager, Circuit Paul Ricard

Twelve VIP boxes are equipped with 48’’ BRAVIA displays, while 75 full HD displays are installed in the main stand and a further 18 have been added to the press room.

Three 65” BRAVIA 4K professional displays follow the action in the main reception area, which also includes touch-enabled BRAVIA professional display solutions to guide visitors around installations. Kids and adults can also play automotive games on a Sony PlayStation 4.

The nearby ´Grand Prix Burger´ restaurant is also kitted out with eight Sony displays in 48” and 65” sizes that show menu prices and sporting action.



In the control room, streams from the track-side PTZ cameras provide a crisp, detail-packed High Definition view with virtually no latency. It’s easy to identify each car clearly, even in dark weather conditions or when races sometimes happen at night.

Offering up to 20,000 hours operation without replacement, the laser light source in the VPL-FHZ55 dramatically cuts maintenance overheads for busy technical support staff. What’s more, the laser projector’s near-instant start-up means that no time’s wasted waiting for lamps to warm up at the start of a session.

Winning the contract

As Circuit Paul Ricard’s long-term technology partner, Sony was selected to provide a complete, integrated network AV solution with the help of system integrator SOGETREL and VMS specialist SeeTec.

The circuit’s owners wanted to future-proof their world-class venue with a solution that incorporated the latest AV innovations including laser and 4K display technologies.

Sony,which satisfied this brief with a solution that included cameras, screens and projectors, says the customer appreciated their promptness in delivering products on time and answering technical questions.

Sony says its PTZ cameras’ powerful optical zoom gave the client the close-up detail it sought, allowing operators to distinguish between oil and water when analysing distant trails on the track. The new system has also helped to locate the cars’ tiny transponders, which often go missing during races. The cameras’ on-board image stabiliser, meanwhile, helps in windy conditions.

Energy-efficient BRAVIA professional displays have slashed electrical power consumption. Sony reports that positive feedback from the customer over the displays’ ease of installation, picture quality and range of screen sizes.


Sony SNC WR632

Products installed

Control room:
• 2 x Sony VPL-FHZ55 3LCD laser projectors
• 9x Sony BRAVIA Professional Displays FWD-60W600P – 60”
• 3x Sony BRAVIA screens (48”)
In the car stands:
• 75x Sony BRAVIA Professional Displays FWL-32W705C/T (32”)

VIP boxes:
• 12 x Sony BRAVIA Professional Displays FWL-48W705C (48”)

Around the circuit:
• 40x SNC-WR632 rapid dome network cameras

Within the installations:
• 5x SNC-EM632R Outdoor IR Ruggedized 1080p/30 fps cameras

Main entrance:
• 3x Sony BRAVIA 4K Professional Displays FWD-65X8600P (65”)

Grand Prix Burger restaurant:
• 6 x Sony BRAVIA Professional Displays FWL-48W705C/T (48”)
• 2 x Sony BRAVIA Professional Displays FW-65X8570C (65”)

Panoramic restaurants:
• 6x Sony BRAVIA Professional Displays FWL-48W705C (48”)

Press room:
• 18x Sony BRAVIA Professional Displays FWL-40W705C/T (40”)

ISV: SeeTec


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