Dutch Broadcaster Deploys Blackmagic’s Videohub for Olympics Coverage

FREMONT, CA & SOCHI, RUSSIA—Dutch broadcaster NOS has deployed Blackmagic Design’s Universal Videohub 288 for signal routing and distribution during its coverage of the Olympic Winter Games. Built by live production specialist Broadcast Rental, the Sochi facility handles more than 60 live signals from across the Games.

As well as live feeds from commentary positions in more than 40 sports venues, the master control room, based in the International Broadcast Center at Sochi, also receives inputs from ‘Holland House’, where Dutch athletes, coaching teams and supporters congregate, to take viewers behind the scenes of the team’s Olympic experience.

The Universal Videohub is controlled via a touchscreen monitor and software, and will distribute HD-SDI video signals into the unit’s ingest system for editing, where two broadcast feeds for transmission in the Netherlands are being produced. The router also manages distribution of signals to multiviewers and monitors within the control hub to assist with signal selection. A tally system is also connected to the Videohub to monitor the status of the router. Information from the tally, such as time codes or feed titles, can be viewed in the under monitor displays in the multiviewers, giving production staff all the information they need about each feed in a glance.

Broadcast Rental will also have engineers working in partnership with the NOS production team throughout the Games, providing dedicated technical support and allowing production staff to focus on delivering the most relevant and exciting action from across the Olympic venues.

“Blackmagic Design’s Universal Videohub really is the heart of our Olympic operation, as it gives us a secure level of integration within a temporary unit and has enabled us to build a highly reliable, customized control suite that matches NOS’ requirements exactly,” explained Martijn Swart, Broadcast Rental. “Its SD and HD-SDI connections mean that we can quickly and easily link to the editing systems to provide seamless transitions between events.

“The unit was initially conceived to deliver NOS’ broadcast coverage of the London Olympics in HD,” he continued. “We’ve expanded and refined the unit even further, retaining the Universal Videohub as our central element of a control hub that facilitates exciting, engaging coverage for Dutch viewers across the fortnight’s action.”

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.