NBC Taps Blue Order to Manage Olympic Assets Beyond TV

For the fourth Olympics in a row, NBC has selected Blue Order Solution AG to provide digital asset management for the network’s coverage of the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

Blue Order was previously deployed by NBC for its Olympics coverage in Salt Lake City in 2002, Athens in 2004 and Torino in 2006. For Beijing in August, Blue Order has enhanced its enterprise Media Archive media asset management platform for NBC’s online, on-demand and mobile services. Distributed and replicated over two locations in China and the United States, NBC will use Media Archive to import content ingested via Omneon Media Deck, logs created in NBC’s OPIS logging system and statistics data received from IDS. Editors based in the United States will be able to select recorded events and provide intros/outros for re-runs or subclip them to create highlights packages. The defined packages are then forwarded to distribution, including both the transcoded media and the timeline-related metadata.

“The Highlights Factory puts Media Archive in the heart of the production chain for NBC New Media coverage of the Beijing Olympics,” said Dr. Frank Rauch, chairman of Blue Order Solutions in Kaiserlautern, Germany. “Bringing together media and metadata originating both in China and the USA, Media Archive provides both the business process management and the editorial interface for this coverage, independent of the physical location of the users.”

According to Dave Mazza, senior vice president of engineering for NBC Olympics, the network’s NBCOlympics.com Web site will feature 2,200 total hours of live streaming video coverage, as well as 300-400 hours of clip-based Olympic “Highlights,” “Rewinds” and “Encores.”

In China, the “Highlights Factory” will record up to 40 streams in SD and 1 stream in HD. In the United States, additional 2 SD and 5 HD channels are available for ingest. Proxies, keyframes and metadata will be fully replicated between both sites. High-res material from the Games selected for re-use is transcoded to Long GOP MPEG and subsequently transferred to the United States for packaging to the various distribution channels. Media Archive also includes relevant pieces of selected metadata timelines (manually created logs and IDS sports statistics) into the delivery package submitted to downstream processing.