NBC Visualizes Olympics Graphics With SGI

Mountain View, CA--To create new and differentiated broadcast graphics throughout its coverage in Athens, NBC has chosen SGI visualization systems, including the Silicon Graphics Tezro workstation. For more than a year and a half, 3D and graphic artists at NBC headquarters in New York have been using SGI systems to create the interstitial content, including show opens and closes, intros/outros, and a variety of graphic treatments, including the building of massive amounts of 3D models for technical animations.
"We continue to use SGI hardware because it delivers the consistency and performance, the tremendous power, speed, and efficiency in building our broadcast graphic elements," said Dr. Philip Paully, director of graphics, engineering, and operations for NBC Olympics. "I've been working with SGI hardware since Barcelona, and there have been no failures, no downtime. If we ran these programs on other platforms, we wouldn't be finished in time.
"To create the complexity of the 3D modeling that we do, you need a computer as powerful as an SGI system. Another key issue: SGI equipment integrates so well with the existing graphics network for all the other devices--we do a lot of work with character generators and still stores, too--that we have no problems with file interchange between any of them."
The same SGI systems used to pre-build NBC's Olympics broadcast graphics are now up and operational in the International Broadcast Center (IBC) in Athens, for use throughout NBC's coverage.
The systems include: two 4-processor Silicon Graphics Tezro visual workstations running Discreet flame software, configured with SGI VPro V12 graphics and SGI DMediaPro DM2 and DMediaPro DM5 graphics options; two 2-processor Silicon Graphics Octane2 visual workstations, one Silicon Graphics Octane2 running Discreet flame and one running Alias Maya software. A 4-processor SGI Onyx2 visualization system for rendering output from Discreet flame and Alias Maya and four compact, 2-processor SGI Origin 200 servers for Maya remote rendering, clustered together using SGI NUMAlink cables into two 4-processor systems.
The addition of the SGI VPro V12 graphics on the Silicon Graphics Octane2 visual workstation provides NBC with unsurpassed 3D texturing, visual precision and exceptional value. The Silicon Graphics Tezro visual workstation, which comes equipped with SGI VPro V12 graphics, supports a full suite of SGI DMediaPro options.