The technology powering NBC’s Beijing Winter Olympics coverage

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NBC’s 2022 Winter Olympics production is powered by a variety of broadcast gear and tools. Here are some of the companies helping make the coverage possible. 

Cameras and Broadcast Lenses

NBC Sports is utilizing over 100 Sony cameras to capture footage at event venues and record athlete interviews, press conferences, and other assignments that require studio and portable recording and capture in Beijing. A selection of the Sony cameras, including the HDC-3500, will be used for IP-enabled transmission, while the rest will operate in SDI.

NBC Sports is also incorporating more than 300 of Sony’s professional monitors, including the BVM-HX310 4K HDR master monitor for critical picture evaluation and PVM-X Series 4K HDR Trimaster monitors for on set and location monitoring.

Broadcast lenses for the coverage, meanwhile, are provided by Canon.

NBC is using a broad array of broadcast lenses, including the UHD-DIGISUPER 90 long-zoom field lens to provide outstanding 4K UHD imagery. 4K and HD lenses are used in studio and at venues in Beijing.

Graphics

Chyron solutions are being used for live, on-air graphics with integrated data as well as systems to drive graphics displays in studio video walls.

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NBC Sports is utilizing Chyron LyricX CG systems for live production in Beijing at figure skating and extreme sports venues, as well as in remote broadcast trucks based in NBC Sports’ International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Connecticut. Additionally, operators based in Stamford will use the Chyron PRIME Live Platform to drive content for studio video walls in Beijing.

Video Walls

Planar fine pitch LED display technology is included in NBC’s Beijing Studio A.

NBC Sports’ Beijing set includes a 1.8mm pixel pitch Planar TVF Series LED video wall with more than 15 million pixels of resolution. NBC Sports is utilizing the video wall to achieve popular resolutions and deliver clear, crisp images at nearly every angle and viewing distance.

“We are thrilled to feature this state-of-the-art LED video wall technology in our Beijing studio for the Winter Olympics,” said Atila Ozkaplan, VP of Production Operations, Olympics for NBC Sports Group. “After incorporating the industry leader’s display technology in previous Olympic Games, I’m confident they’ll deliver the continuous operation and unparalleled visual performance NBC Sports requires to engage audiences and create impactful viewing experiences.”

Video Replay

EVS’ LiveCeption Signature solution is deployed across the International Broadcast Centers in Beijing and Stamford, and other venues for their 1080p – UHD HDR live production of the Olympic Winter Games.

The solution is comprised of EVS’ flagship XT-VIA servers and LSM-VIA replay and highlights systems to provide the power, scale and versatility needed to deliver the high standards of performance of NBC Olympics’ productions.

Remote Production and Workflow Solutions

Signiant is providing file transfer technology for NBC, moving petabytes of HDR and 4K footage from Beijing back to its headquarters in Stamford, Conn., immediately upon capture.

Signiant’s patented acceleration technology enables seamless transfer of the footage over standard IP networks, eliminating latency and packet loss, so that NBC Sports’ editors in Stamford can begin creating highlights almost immediately as the action is happening. The software also allows for content to be transferred quickly, easily and securely back to the International Broadcast Center in Beijing.

Grass Valley’s IP technology, including its Dynamic System Orchestrator, is powering NBC Sports’ coverage. NBC Sports maximizes the benefits of the IP technology through this unique configuration, control and monitoring solution specifically designed for the dynamic orchestration of broadcast media networks across SDI, hybrid or pure IP. NBC Sports’ solutions pair with the provider’s IP technology providing agile and responsive processing in the demanding environment of live sports production.

“The capabilities of Grass Valley’s suite of products, reflecting meaningful input from NBC Sports, has provided incredible flexibility to satisfy our Olympic production needs at the competition venues, International Broadcast Center in Beijing and at our headquarters in Stamford, Conn.,” said Todd Donovan, VP Engineering Technology, NBC Olympics. “This flexibility has been especially critical due to the unusually short turnaround between the Summer Games in Tokyo and these Winter Games.”

NEP Group is providing mobile broadcasting, engineering consultation, and technical support for its NBC’s production including a 1080P HDR flypack, cameras and EVS XS-VIA replay system at Capital Indoor Stadium.

“Due to the location of the Winter Olympic venues and the limited space in the broadcast compound, a custom Fly-pack solution was necessary for NBC Sports’ production,” said Chip Adams, VP of Venue Engineering, NBC Olympics. “NEP, along with its regional division located in Singapore, designed a system and sourced the facilities and engineering staff that met the extensive HDR production requirements required for this high-profile venue. Having a 30+ year partner gives us confidence that these types of challenging projects will be successful.”  

Monitoring and Delivery

TAG Video Systems is providing OTT monitoring and multiviewing for its production of the Olympic Winter Games.

NBC Sports is utilizing TAG Video Systems’ MCM MultiChannel software-based monitoring and multiviewing solution for complete end-to-end monitoring of their video network, delivering ultra-low latency of uncompressed ST 2110 and JPEG-XS signals in Beijing for live production, monitoring and probing of the transport between the host nation and the United States, and monitoring of the broadcasts over the Peacock OTT platform and CDNs.

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In addition, TAG enables NBC Sports to visualize the signals in real-time across the entire network, including UHD signals ensuring the consumer’s high-quality experience.

NBC is using Harmonic’s software-based Edge solution to deliver live 4K HDR broadcasts with immersive audio to local stations and affiliates. The Harmonic-enabled broadcast distribution at scale in UHD HDR spans the full course of the Olympic Winter Games.

Harmonic’s XOS Edge solution streamlines all Olympic feeds from Beijing, enabling live 4K HDR broadcasts of the Opening Ceremony and nightly primetime coverage of the Winter Games, while ensuring the highest possible quality for HDR audiences. It is deployed at participating affiliate stations for automatic switching between UHD HDR for Olympics coverage and HD for local news reporting.

MediaKind is providing video contribution and distribution solutions including video processing and advanced modular receiver technologies.

Telestream’s tools are aiding in the capture, automated media processing, closed captioning, and test and measurement.

Telestream’s Lightspeed Live Capture and Vantage are being used to deliver a unique, mixed HDR/SDR conversion workflow for NBC Sports’ content produced in HDR. The NBC Sports Advanced Technology group worked with Telestream to develop custom color LUTs (Look Up Tables) that are used within Vantage to ensure the most accurate color processing pipeline throughout the production and postproduction process.

Leader Electronics is providing NBC Olympics with waveform monitors and rasterizers, including dozens of Leader hybrid waveform monitors and rack-mount hybrid rasterizers for quality control (QC) operations.

Broadcast Audio

Calrec is providing remote audio workflows for its production of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

For the first time ever, NBC Sports is using fully remote audio workflows for all its production of the Winter Games, with no audio consoles physically on-site at the event. NBC Sports has four Calrec RP1 Remote Production cores in the International Broadcast Center (IBC) in Beijing to cover numerous studios. Full control for the IBC remote production cores is provided on Artemis consoles based at NBC Sports’ International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn.

NBC Sports also has installed four remote production units at four remote venues in Beijing. These will be connected over Dante to Artemis consoles in OB units in Stamford.

Intercoms for NBC’s production is provided by RTS, using solutions including VLink, RVON and Trunking.

Set Design

NBC Beijing Winter Olympics

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