Beijing Olympics makes its mark on eve of NAB2008

The Beijing Olympic Games this summer are on the minds of some vendors here in Las Vegas on the eve of NAB208.

Omneon Video Networks revealed during its NAB press conference April 12 in Las Vegas that it is putting a system in place for NBC Olympics to speed the backhaul of video from the games to be used in the assembly of highlight packages by editors and producers in New York.

According to Geoff Stedman, Omneon VP worldwide marketing, NBC wanted to support production of an unprecedented 3600 hours of Olympics content without having to send all of the editors and producers needed to produce such a massive volume of work to Beijing. Rather than eat the expense of plane tickets, accommodations, meals, etc. to support the small army that would be required, NBC will rely on an extensive array of Omneon technology, including the company’s newly announced ProCast file transfer software. NBC Olympics in Beijing will transfer proxies of all footage with associated metadata shot during the competition to NBC in New York City. The network’s staff will use the proxies to build edit decision lists for highlight packages, and then only transfer from Beijing full-res clips identified in the EDLs.

This approach not only will let the network reduce the head count of personnel it must send to Beijing, but it also will ensure 6800mi backhaul of data from Beijing to New York City is done as efficiently as possible.

Thomson also touted its involvement with the Beijing Olympics this summer during its NAB press conference Saturday. The company claimed that fully 70 percent of all cameras used at the Olympics will be of its manufacture. European OB specialist Alphacam will employ some 120 Thomson LDK-8000 HD cameras for the Olympics. Thirty-six LDK-800s will be equipped with Super SloMo capability.

Parting thought: Omneon celebrated its upcoming 10th anniversary in business following the press conference with a gala event at the Moon Night Club high atop the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. Sometimes, walking amid the towering hotels and casinos with their garishly adorned facades can be a little overwhelming. But viewed from the 54th story of the Palms Hotel, the view of the Las Vegas Strip last night was breathtaking.