Avid All Over NBC's Olympics Coverage
August 18, 2004
Tewksbury, MA--NBC has chosen Avid Technology for an integrated digital workflow made up of more than 35 Avid systems for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. This massive deployment of Avid systems allows NBC to edit, share, and store an extensive amount of stories every day during the 17-day telecast.
"In Greece, we are doing three times more the amount of programming than we did for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and seven times more than the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. In order to handle this dramatically increased volume, we need solutions that are reliable, integrated, and able to handle quick turnaround," said David Mazza, senior vice president of engineering, NBC Olympics. "We get that with Avid systems. We have installed the largest most integrated Avid workflow to date for NBC Olympics--particularly with the addition of the Avid Unity MediaNetwork system. The system's ability to integrate all of the Avid solutions on a combination of shared-storage networks and Gigabit Ethernet plays an integral role in helping NBC succeed in delivering the most Olympic programming ever."
The 75,000-square-foot International Broadcast Center (IBC) has five nonlinear edit suites outfitted with two Avid Media Composer Adrenaline systems each connected to Avid Unity LANshare shared- storage networks. The edit suites are routed via Gigabit Ethernet to the IBC's Graphics Center, which incorporates numerous facilities and systems, starting with a large Avid Unity MediaNetwork system with the capacity to handle eight terabytes of storage. Connected to the Avid Unity system are three Media Composer and six NewsCutter edit systems, Avid Nearchive storage, two TransferManager systems, a MediaManager system, and one PortServer Pro system.
At the venues, NBC is also using nine more Avid Media Composer Adrenaline seats connected to three Avid Unity LANshare systems and four Avid Xpress Pro systems for mobile editing, as well as an iNEWS system for scripts, prompter, and news wires. During the 17-day telecast, the IBC houses more than 2,500 NBC team members responsible for delivering more than 1,200 hours of programming.
"There are several new things happening at the Athens Olympics," said Philip Paully, director of graphics engineering and operations at NBC Olympics. "First, the Graphics Center's Avid Unity system ingests all the venue meltdown reels then catalogs and titles them in a way that allows other Avid systems in the IBC to access them. This means anyone at an Avid workstation from inside the IBC can access footage from any of the 625 games being played in Athens. Second, we have added Digidesign's new ICON integrated console environment for audio sweetening, which allows mixing, recording, editing, and processing--complete with integrated video and delivery--within a single environment. And third, instead of spending an excessive amount of money on one-off proprietary systems, NBC is using the Avid Unity MediaNetwork system to integrate its workflow with solutions from several other vendors."
David Schleifer, director of Avid Broadcast and Workgroups, said, "For the third consecutive Olympic Games since 2000, NBC has chosen Avid solutions to broadcast one of the most popular and complex television events in the world. Not only is this the ideal application for our core products--especially our infrastructure and media networks--it also underscores our commitment to delivering proven solutions that broadcasters can count on to do their job, day in and day out. We are honored that NBC continues to rely on Avid to help it bring the industry's most creative and professional live sports programming to millions of viewers around the world."