NBC Sports CTO: A 4K Olympics Challenge

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NBC Sports CTO: A 4K Olympics Challenge
NBC Sports CTO: A 4K Olympics Challenge
« on: Fri June 03, 2016, 02:46:29 PM »
NBC Sports CTO: A 4K Olympics Challenge
From high dynamic range to Dolby Atmos, there’s more to NBC’s Rio plans than 4K
5/26/2016 01:28:00 PM Eastern

By Chris Tribbey

In just a few months, NBC Olympics will kick off its weeks-long coverage of the Rio Olympics, and it’s added 4K, high dynamic range, and Dolby Atmos to its list of technical challenges in bringing the Games to a worldwide audience.

Dave Mazza, senior VP and CTO of NBC Sports Group and NBC Olympics, spoke with B&C about the nuts and bolts behind NBC Olympics’ 4K coverage plans.

What will be the top technical challenges in not only capturing the Games in 4K, but also in delivering and storing the content?

Primarily the new nature of all the equipment, especially between the different vendors who have not yet been able to test compatibility between each other. And the fact that not all the standards have settled down yet, specifically around high dynamic range (HDR). Also, the larger files and more storage, along with the higher bandwidth and higher levels of advanced compression needed to transmit the signals long distance.

For the opening ceremonies and HDR, are we looking at the baseline HDR 10 standard? And what added technical hurdles will be involved with delivering the content with HDR and wider color gamut?

We are all learning about this as we go. We’re producing in Sony’s sLog3 format and then converting to PQ-2084, before the HEVC encoders where it picks up the HDR 10 specification. We will be grading to 1000 nits of peak brightness and using Rec. 2020 color space.

Delivering the opening ceremonies in Dolby Atmos is a first for any major sporting event, near as we can remember. How will the Olympics be captured and delivered in this next-gen, object-based audio format?

We are doing this mostly as a demonstration of some of the new immersive capabilities of Atmos, and to understand how difficult it is to create in ‘real life.’ Dolby has been a tremendous help in guiding us through the entire workflow process, along with Calrec and their audio consoles.
At this point, our Atmos goals are primarily to light up the height speakers and give the viewer the feeling of sitting in the stadium with sound all around them, including the overheads for the things like fireworks and other height based sources. We intend to generate a 5.1.4 signal.

What hardware — from the cameras to the booth — will prove most crucial in pulling off 4K delivery of the Games?
We are relying exclusively on the Sony HDC-4300 4K cameras along with brand new Canon 2/3rd-inch true 4K lenses. This combination should make some stunning pictures. We are passing through Sony MVS production switchers and using Sony PWS-4500 XAVC servers for recording, and monitoring it all on Sony's BVM-X300 OLED monitors. We are sending home on both Ateme and Envivio HEVC encoders.

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NBC Sports CTO: A 4K Olympics Challenge
Re: NBC Sports CTO: A 4K Olympics Challenge
« Reply #1 on: Fri June 03, 2016, 02:51:17 PM »
NBC Announces 4K Plans for Rio Olympics
MVPDs will have next-day 4K access to several sporting events, while the opening ceremonies will get HDR and Dolby Atmos treatment
5/26/2016 01:21:00 PM Eastern

By Chris Tribbey

Just a few months before the 2016 Summer Olympics kick off in Rio, NBC Olympics has announced it will offer its cable, satellite and telco distribution partners 4K coverage of select events on a one-day delay.

The opening and closing ceremonies, swimming, track and field, basketball, the men’s soccer final and judo will be among the Olympics events available in 4K, beginning Aug. 6, the day following the opening ceremony, all the way through Aug. 22, the day after the Games conclude.

“The Olympics are always at the forefront of innovation, and the 4K content we’re making available to distribution partners is the next step in that tradition,” Dave Mazza, senior VP and CTO of NBC Sports Group and NBC Olympics, told B&C. “Viewers with 4K capability will enjoy the photogenic content we will be passing on, from the athletes to the competition to the pageantry of the Games, all against the backdrop of the spectacular city of Rio.”

In a potential first for a major sporting event, NBC Olympics also announced it would make the opening ceremonies available for distributors in high dynamic range (HDR) and Dolby Atmos, the next-gen, object-based sound technology.

NBC Olympics said it will distribute the 4K Ultra High-Def (UHD) coverage provided by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) and Japan’s NHK to its U.S. distribution partners, who will each choose how they make the 4K content available to pay TV subscribers. OBS was responsible for choosing which Rio events would get the 4K treatment.

“Since the London Games, OBS and NHK have been working together, experimenting on the future standard of 8K. Substantial recent technological advancements have allowed us to pursue this opportunity further for the Rio Games and to offer a 4K feed for a number of sports, down-converted from the original 8K, to NBC and other interested Rights Holding Broadcasters around the globe,” Yiannis Exarchos, OBS CEO, said in a statement.

Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics, added: “The Olympics have been a consistent driver of technological advancements, and Rio will be no different. The stunning backdrop of Rio combined with the world-class competition of the Olympics will give the American audience a spectacular early look at this impressive new technology.”


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