The technology that powers NBC’s coverage of the Tokyo Olympics


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NBCUniversal will present 7,000 hours of coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics on its platforms, including NBC, NBCSN, Telemundo Deportes and Peacock.

At the heart of this production effort will be a variety of tools and solutions.

NBC to host prime-time Olympic show in 4K HDR in select markets

Cameras and switches

NBC will use nearly 100 Sony cameras at event venues, for athlete interviews and at press conferences. Cameras, including Sony’s HDC-3500, which enables IP transmission, will be used with XDCam camcorders, including the PXW-Z750, PXW-Z450, PXW-X400 and PXW-Z280. For slow motion replays, Sony’s HDC-5500 and HDC-3500 4K / HDR high frame rate cameras will be used.

NBC Olympics will use several models of production mixers from Sony, including the flagship XVS-9000 IP-ready mixer and the XVS-8000 and XVS-6000 video mixers designed for IP and SDI production. The switches will handle the feeds from each site to the NBC Olympics production facility in Tokyo, as well as HD cable coverage across NBCUniversal’s various networks and platforms.

“For the Tokyo Games, NBC Olympics has planned several key advancements as we move towards UHD and a new generation of infrastructure,” said David Mazza of NBC Sports. “This includes converting the IBC to a fully IP system and combining 1080P, 4K and HDR workflows, while protecting the 1080I SDR streams for our major broadcasts. Sony has played a key role in helping us with an updated equipment menu and advising us on how to ensure these processes run as efficiently as possible while maintaining the highest quality images and reliability. “

Graphics and augmented reality

Ross Video will provide augmented reality graphics for NBC’s coverage of the Tokyo Olympics through its Rocket Surgery creative unit, using Voyager with rendering from Epic Game’s Unreal engine.

“Ross Video’s Voyager product will help the operation of the NBC Olympics studio bring a next-level immersive visual to our studio presentation, bringing augmented reality to our prime-time coverage,” said Michael Sheehan of NBC Sports. “Instrumented Jib & Steadicam will give our creative teams the ability to use this great new technology in a way that helps tell the stories of these Olympic Games. “



Ross Video works closely with NBC Sports on other high profile properties including “Sunday Night Football”.

Real-time graphics, meanwhile, will be handled by Chyron’s Lyric X, a 4K-capable graphics creation and delivery solution. Lyric systems will be used at Stamford to enable an agile workflow to adapt graphics and deliver them quickly. Additional Lyric systems will be deployed in a dedicated control room in Tokyo to support the creation and delivery of flexible graphics for a selected group of events.

NBC Sports’ two main studios in Tokyo will feature LED video walls powered by Chyron’s Prime Video Walls solution. A single Prime system will deliver high-resolution graphics and video content to various displays regardless of size or aspect ratio. A powerful data link to the elements of the scene will simplify the visualization of the data.

Remote production tools and workflow solutions

Signiant will provide file transfer software to allow NBC Sports to move petabytes of footage between its headquarters in Stamford and the International Broadcast Center in Tokyo.

“Moving files is at the heart of all of our remote workflows in Tokyo as well as in our distribution center in Stamford. We are excited to see how it optimizes our transfers and provides greater resilience through our national and international transfers. Signiant allows us to scale to handle our workload at the Tokyo Olympics and our increased file sizes due to our HDR and 4K production efforts, ”said Darryl Jefferson of NBC Sports.

NBC Sports moves prime-time coverage outside for Tokyo Olympics

Signiant’s network optimization technology enables transfer of footage over standard IP networks, reducing latency and packet loss. The software also allows content, including advanced graphics and pre-recorded footage, to be transferred securely to the broadcast center in Tokyo.

Grass Valley will provide audio and video routing solutions as well as control and monitoring systems for NBC Sports using a Cisco Spine and Leaf switching topology through the NMOS GV Orbit compatible router control. Over 70 IQUCP modular gateways using both 25GbE and 50GbE product versions, 170 Density + XIP-3901 IP audio / video processing modules, SDR / HDR, IS-04 / IS-05 and 16 MV-820- multiviewers IP, underpinning a robust, reliable and scalable infrastructure. System management is enabled through the GV Orbit Dynamic Orchestration System, allowing production teams to harness the power of IP using familiar SDI workflows.

Telestream will provide multimedia capture and automated processing workflows through its Lightspeed Live Capture and Vantage multimedia processing platform, enabling mixed HDR / SDR workflow.

Lightspeed Live Capture systems will receive HDR 1080p59.94 signals from events and create media in two different formats simultaneously. As 1080p59.94 HDR is recorded in XAVC Class 100 HDR (Hybrid Log Gamma or HLG) format, Telestream’s Vantage software, running on a range of Lightspeed G6 servers, will process the media as it grows. SDR versions will be created in XDCAMHD 422 to 1080i59.94. HDR to SDR conversion will be done via a new advanced color processing pipeline in Vantage using color processing look-up table (LUT) filters that translate HDR (HLG) to SDR (Rec. 709). In real time, while Lightspeed Live Capture is recording, Vantage will check HDR and SDR resources in Avid Interplay. The Vantage system provides image tracking editing capabilities of HDR and SDR products, allowing Avid operators to edit on the fly from live files as they are recorded.

“It’s really a collaborative effort between Telestream, NBC Olympics and Avid to develop this dual track HDR / SDR workflow,” said Scott Murray of Telestream. “The work we’ve done here will make it possible to repeat these types of workflows for productions of all sizes more cost effectively in the future. “

Avid will also support coverage through its MediaCentral and Nexis solutions.

NBC Olympics will deploy Avid’s MediaCentral solutions to drive Tokyo-based remote and on-site workflows that will generate content for linear, OTT and social media platforms. Meanwhile, Avid Nexis shared storage and Media Composer will be used for real-time content production and delivery.

MediaKind will provide video contribution and distribution solutions for the coverage.

The Amagi Cloudport cloud-based channel broadcasting platform with Amagi Live will be used to create the live coverage of Olympic Channel in UHD.

The NEP Group will provide mobile broadcast units, including Supershooter 8, ST1 and ND6, as well as on-site support for various events, including the opening ceremony.

EVS’s XT-VIA servers will be used on site and in Stamford. With more than three times the internal bandwidth of the flagship XT3 server, the XT-VIA delivers over 12 channels of 1080p and six or more channels of UHD-4K in SDR and HDR, with a level of performance that meets high demands. from NBC Production of the Olympics.


RTS will provide broadcast intercoms for NBC with over 600 ports, using OMNEO for local communications and RVON for international communications.

Calrec will provide audio for NBC Olympics, including a mix of Artemis and Brio audio consoles as well as six RP1 remote broadcast mixing systems. In total, there will be six Calrec Artemis consoles in Stamford with a 64-fader Artemis and a Brio console in the main control room in Tokyo. Also in Tokyo, a 32-fader Artemis Beam manages audio in the 4K control room for “immersive” audio broadcasts, and two 40-fader Artemis consoles used in NBC Olympics flypacks for “immersive” beach production. volleyball and golf.

For remote workflow, six RP1 units will connect IBC’s NBC Olympics studios to control rooms in Stamford, as well as two on-site studios in Tokyo, basketball and volleyball venues to their venues. home control. Two Brio consoles are also used in downtown studios, distributing audio for redundancy between RP1 and Brio.


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