Olympic-Type Tech On Tap In South Korea

With the Winter Olympics underway from Pyeongchang, South Korea, here’s a look at some of the various tech vendors and the equipment that’s making it possible for NBC to provide a record 2,400 hours of coverage.

With the Winter Olympics underway from Pyeongchang, South Korea, here’s a look at some of the various tech vendors and the equipment that’s making it possible for NBC to provide a record 2,400 hours of coverage.

Avid — It’s supplying MediaCentral to manage content creation, automate workflows and facilitate collaboration between the venues and the IBC. NBC Olympics is also using Avid Nexis software-defined storage platform specifically designed for media, as the linchpin of its production pipeline connected to dozens of editing suites with its Media Composer nonlinear video editing system.

Calrec Audio — Summa, Artemis Ray and Brio digital audio consoles provide seamless mixing. Calrec is supplying a Summa console for the primetime audio control room in NBC’s production compound at the IBC. In addition, NBC will use a 56-fader Artemis Ray as its primary console at the sliding venues in the mountain resort of Alpensia for coverage of bobsled and luge events. A 72-fader Artemis Ray will serve as the primary console at the speed-skating venue and indoor venues at the coastal city of Gangneung. In addition, a Calrec RP1 remote production system and a compact Brio console will support operations at the coastal studio, giving NBC Olympics the ability to control the production remotely from multiple control rooms in its headquarters in Stamford, Conn.

ChyronHego — It is supplying its Lyric graphics creation and playout solution, Live Compositor, and PRIME Clips. NBC Olympics will use 30 Lyric systems to cover the Winter Games, with about half deployed at its headquarters in Stamford, Conn., and the remaining used at NBC Olympics’ production facility at the IBC. In addition, multiple ChyronHego Live Compositor systems will be used for producing additional programming and digital content.

FOR-A — Several of its 4K supported solutions are being used for production, including video and routing switcher, multi viewer and video conversion technologies. Broadcasters in a number of countries, including the United States, Japan and Korea, are using FOR-A solutions. FOR-A’s frame rate convert technologies have been used in all recent Games, and one solution that will be used in PyeongChang is the FRC-9000 unit, which features 4K/3G/HD/SD multi-format support and conversion with motion compensation processing, and offers the option to upgrade to dual channel conversion in 3G/HD-SDI and store up to two Dolby E encoder/decoder optional modules. FOR-A products that will be used in 4K production systems include both the HVS-490 and HVS-2000 video switchers.

Grass Valley — It has been supplying infrastructure solutions to NBC Olympics since 2006, and in 2018 is again providing a number of solutions that will enhance NBC Olympics’ production efficiency within NBC’s studios inside the International Broadcast Center. The SME-1901 streaming encoder is providing multiformat video/audio over IP and featuring 3G/HD/SD SDI inputs. It accepts any video format and provides two H.264 streams, one high resolution and one low resolution. Also, NBC Olympics is using Grass Valley’s iControl customized end-to-end facility monitoring and control system. With iControl, the team is building an integrated monitoring and control surface for QC operators, consolidating multiple key functions into a single interface for greater efficiency, such as control of XVP-3901, monitoring of WFM feed and control of the QC router. iControl also improves the flow by allowing operators to select feeds that they wish to pay more attention to.


Harmonic — It is providing MediaGrid shared storage systems and Spectrum MediaDeck integrated media servers.

NBC Olympics will use Harmonic solutions for a variety of production applications, including broadcast, on-demand, digital, news operations and long-term archive. Harmonic Spectrum MediaDeck media servers deployed by NBC Olympics in Pyeongchang will enable on-the-fly capture and proxy generation for all incoming materials. Harmonic MediaGrid shared storage systems located inside NBC’s studios at the IBC, as well as at NBC Olympics’ headquarters in Stamford, Conn., will provide centralized shared storage with tremendous bandwidth and capacity. For the production workflow at NBC Olympics, Harmonic MediaDeck media servers will simultaneously record as many as 60 incoming venue feeds, giving NBC personnel at the Stamford facility independent control over 60 additional channels of ingest for locally produced Olympic content. Each recording’s proxy will be replicated in real time on a Harmonic MediaGrid storage system connected via two 10-Gigabit circuits to a second MediaGrid installed at the Stamford facility. In less than a minute, high-res content created on the PyeongChang MediaGrid system can be replicated on the Stamford MediaGrid system for immediate use in streaming, VOD and traditional broadcast editing.

Linear Acoustic — Audio upmixing and technical support with more than 40 UPMAX v4 units, along with the award-winning UPMAX algorithm as a plugin for Avid workstations. Additionally, a state-of-the-art upmix algorithm which creates immersive audio for next-generation audio formats, such as Dolby ATMOS, will be debuted at the games. Linear Acoustic is also providing MT2000 multichannel bitstream analyzers and on-site technical support in PyeongChang.

Lawo — VSM (virtual studio manager) broadcast control and monitoring solutions, as well as IP commentary systems. VSM will be the overall control system for NBC Olympics’ core routing and tally management, connecting to multiple 3rd party devices on an IP backbone. NBC significantly increased the number of GUI-based VSM panels that are accessed from various monitors and tablets provided throughout NBC Olympics’ various production facilities. VSM also provides remote Tally information between the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in South Korea and NBC Sports Group’s headquarters in Stamford, Conn.

SMT —Since 2000, SMT has been a key contributor to NBC Olympics’ productions. For the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, SMT will deliver results integration solutions including on-air graphics, scheduling and searches for content in the media asset management (MAM) system. Included are TV graphics interfaces for NBC Olympics’ Chyron Mosaic systems in its coverage of alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, snowboarding, figure skating, short track speed skating, speed skating, bobsled, luge, skeleton, ski jumping and the ski jumping portion of Nordic combined. SMT’s Point-in-Time software system integrates live results to allow commentators to locate a specific time during a competition in both live and recorded coverage.

Vitac Corp. — It’s providing closed captioning services. Vitac’s live closed captioning coverage includes captioning for all Winter Olympic programming across NBCUniversal networks, including NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and the USA Network. The Pyeongchang Games are the 12th Olympics captioned by Vitac.

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