News


NBC Olympics announces tech partners for Sochi

Harmonic is providing its MediaGrid shared storage and MediaDeck integrated media playout server system to NBC Sports Group unit NBC Olympics for the Sochi Winter Olympics, which kicks off tomorrow. 

NBC Olympics will use the Harmonic solution to support a “highlights factory” where staff based at the broadcaster’s Stamford, Connecticut facility will access event footage captured in Russia, create clips and make them available to mobile devices and computers. This wide-area production model allows NBC Olympics to maintain a significant portion of its operation in the US, according to Harmonic.

Harmonic MediaDeck video servers will record up to 25 incoming venue feeds as both XDCAM-HD at 50Mbps and H.264 low-resolution proxy. Each recording’s proxy is replicated in near real-time on a 480TB Harmonic MediaGrid storage system connected via two 10-Gigabit circuits to a second 384 TB MediaGrid installed at the Stamford facility.

“It’s a game changer for us,” said David Mazza, senior vice-president, NBC Olympics, of the NBC production facility in Stamford. “Everything we built for the 2012 London Olympics is being used here in Stamford every day by NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. Throughout the 2014 Sochi Olympics, we will be able to leverage both new and existing infrastructure to establish a highly efficient and very cost-effective fast-turnaround highlights-creation workflow for multiplatform content.”

Separately, NBC Olympics is using satellite capacity from SES to tramsmit coverage of the games. NBC Olympics will use Ku-band capacity aboard the NSS-7 satellite to distribute HD Olympics coverage directly from event venues and a pair of roaming NBC News SNG (satellite news gathering) vehicles to the International Broadcasting Center (IBC) at the Sochi Games.

A portion of the capacity will provide emergency backup capabilities, enabling NBC to route HD Olympics traffic from Sochi to North America over NSS-7, if necessary.

NBC Olympics has also revealed that it will use ScheduALL’s platform to provide transmission and resource management.

This will be the seventh consecutive Olympics for which NBCU has used ScheduALL’s software and services group to orchestrate the logistics of people, equipment, locations and transmission feeds.