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DiGiCo Consoles Heading for Beijing

NBC Olympics will use a trio of DiGiCo DS-00 digital consoles for NBC’s coverage of basketball, boxing and indoor volleyball at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in August.

Bob Dixon, director, sound design and communications, NBC Olympics, reportedly chose the DiGiCo consoles for their small footprint, expandability, sonic quality, and cost. According to Dixon, the three DS-00 consoles will each be outfitted with expanders to handle a total of 40 mic/line inputs, 32 analog line outputs and 64 AES inputs and 64 AES outputs.

“We’ve had to change quite a bit this year technically,” explains Dixon. “Whereas in previous years, NBC was using a hybrid of both SD and HD, often with stereo or up-mixed audio. But with the 2008 Games, it’s the first time we’re broadcasting all network shows in high-definition with six discreet channels of audio. We’re covering about seven venues on our own, taking some of the feeds from the host broadcaster, but then adding our own cameras and mics to give it our own perspective.

“As for digital consoles, when looking for a digital console that was between a very large format and a smaller console, there are not as many choices as you’d think. DiGiCo was the perfect solution. And they were extremely proactive in working with us to accommodate our needs for the TV market.

“In previous years, NBC Sports used consoles that were 11 mono inputs, three stereo inputs and eight output busses. Starting in Athens in 2004 and continuing in 2006, NBC went to using two of the consoles grouped together. With DiGiCo, NBC is adding more tape machines, more cameras and the 5.1 audio, which creates big change in demand.”