Tech Briefs

Aug 30, 2004  •  Post A Comment

NASCAR to Test Mini TVs at Auto Races

Based on the popularity of audio scanners for fans to rent at its auto races, NASCAR Digital Entertainment plans to launch a test of a small hand-held television carrying Speed Channel’s coverage of races for use at the track. The trial starts Sept. 9 at the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 200 at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va.

The device, from Canada’s Kangaroo.tv, will carry Speed Channel’s coverage of seven NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events this season, as well as live in-truck video feeds and live timing and scoring information.

The Kangaroo.tv unit is a handheld spectator device, 3 inches wide, for fans attending live events. It offers real-time streaming of full-color, high-resolution video and audio during the races. Kangaroo will test various prices. The device is designed for use at the tracks, in the same way that NASCAR has offered “scanners,” similar to a radio, with audio of the event.

NASCAR is looking in the long term for a device that makes sense for one or more of its racing series on a full-season basis, said Jeffrey Pollack, managing director of broadcasting and new media, NASCAR Digital Entertainment. “The at-track experience is already a multimedia experience,” he said. “Just as audio scanners have proven to be a fun way for fans to get closer to the action, we think a video-based device will create another point of access. We’re a content-rich sport, and we’re very fan-friendly. This type of device takes full advantage of that.”

Speed Channel carries exclusive coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

Mag Rack Rolls Out Fall VOD Lineup

As part of its new fall programming lineup, video-on-demand programmer Mag Rack plans to deliver more on-demand music instruction. The new offering is “School of Music,” an instruction/lifestyle offering for drummers, keyboardists, DJs and singers, modeled after Mag Rack’s current “Guitar Xpress” video guitar instruction magazine. Instructors include Red Hot Chili Peppers bandmember Chad Smith and Neil Peart of Rush. The magazine launches Sept. 16.

Also on the new fall lineup is “Wild Wheels,” showcasing innovative and unusual cars and rolling out Oct. 7. As part of Mag Rack’s efforts to link its video magazines when appropriate to current hit movies on-demand, Mag Rack’s “Classic Cars” is showcasing a retro look at so-called “muscle cars of the past” in conjunction with the on-demand premiere of Warner Bros.’ film “Starsky & Hutch.” The muscle cars movie runs through Sept. 15.