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2016 Olympics: Sony/TVU Networks Go for the GOLD!


Coverage for an Olympic event is always tricky.  Recording at just the perfect angle and clarity is critical in pulling-off an enjoyable and spine-tingling scene.  I wanted to focus on two very different companies and their parts in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio!

Sony is at it AGAIN (or, more accurately, STILL)! As you know, never a company to coast on its success, Sony is at the forefront of innovation for media professional products and crystal-clear capture. Advancing technology seemingly beyond our beliefs and always the front-runner, Sony would be bringing home gold medal after gold medal if it were competing!

Combined with a company that complements, rather than competes, trying to bring home some gold itself, is another mighty entry – TVU Networks.  While certainly not Sony, TVU definitely wows in the performance of its creative technology.  The global technology leader in live IP video transmission solutions has on-location customer support and equipment rentals for the Summer Games. Providing its 3G/4G LTE wireless uplink equipment and delivering dedicated WiFi/Microwave Mesh bandwidth from strategic locations in the Brazilian city throughout the Games via their Brazilian office, TVU Networks has a broad-base of experience providing such on-site equipment rentals for live coverage of major global sporting events, which has included the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, 2014 World Cup and 2012 London Summer Olympics.

“We’re thrilled to offer broadcasters the flexibility and ease of TVU solutions throughout another Olympic Games,” said Paul Shen, CEO of TVU Networks. “With a sporting event of this magnitude, we understand the importance of a broadcaster getting it right and delivering the highest quality live video footage possible to its audience. We have years of experience in working with local partners to provide support for these types of large events.”

TVU Networks has its headquarters in Mountain View, CA. They are a technology and market leader when it comes to IP-based live video solutions. The TVU solution helps to transform a broadcaster’s SDI-based video acquisition, routing, distribution, transmission and management of operations into an IP-based infrastructure. Over 80 countries from industries which include news broadcast, law enforcement, sports, web streaming, corporate and government of various sizes are being served by TVU.

Of the majority of broadcast markets around the world with China, The USA and other major countries with economic powers inclusive, there are more than half of those making use of their IP video solutions. The TVU Networks is a key pioneer when it comes to IP video technology. Most of the largest news broadcasting stations over the world have, in one way or another, developed a TVU grid and leverages it in their workflow infrastructures.

Again, TVU is offering different varieties of rental packages through the use of their Global Rental Program, which is designed to meet the needs of broadcasting organizations. Furtherance to this, the customers will be enabled to leverage the infrastructure of the TVU grid for sending HD videos to any country around the world.

The Rio Olympics is right in the middle – because of that, Sony is making colossal efforts to ensure that everything runs smoothly through the Closing Ceremony. Sony’s Professional Services Group has deployed a wide network of resources that will provide support for 24/7 for all the broadcasting equipment and coverage.

“The equipment we will have on the ground in Rio, from our HD production technology to our newest 4K cameras for crisp replays, is the perfect combination of technology to meet the production requirements and deliver an outstanding telecast,” said Alec Shapiro, president of Sony Electronics’ Professional Solutions Americas group.

And because The Rio Olympics 2016 is one of the premium sports events of the year, with many world-class athletes ready to showcase their talent in front of the world, this event has become one of the most discussed events of the year. To ensure that the exceptional talent of the athletes is recorded in high definition, it was important that they should employ a company that has the right ability to record each and every moment of the event. This is the reason NBC decided to choose Sony to cover the event for them. Sony is one of the leading electronic companies currently residing in the market and has provided the world with some exceptional cameras that not only are recording high-definition for you but are also providing high definition photos, as well! When Sony was finalized as the media coverage partner of the event, the equipment used by Sony would provide some remarkable viewing experiences to the audience that would follow the event on their television screens.

Sony’s coverage of the whole event is so that the athletes are able to inspire people all across the world. This is the reason around 100 Sony cameras have been employed to capture the arrival of athletes, the sports events, interviews, and press conferences. Replays are one extremely important part of the game – thus Sony’s HDC-4300 4K high frame rate camera system is being engaged to ensure that HD replays are being shown to the world. Sony will be using a PWS-4500 XAVC server to store all the high definition videos that will be recorded throughout the event.

Handling feeds from each and every event also requires some exceptional sound equipment; that task was also assigned to Sony. Sony is using the MVS Production Switcher models, which also includes the MVS-7000X series, to handle the feeds from each of the sports venues. Sony has employed hundreds of professional monitors on the Rio Olympics stadium, with various types of monitors installed around the venue. The monitors include a combination of professional LCD video production and public displays and hundreds of the TRIMASTER EL OLED monitors (BVM and PVM series).  TRIMASTER EL OLED monitors (BVM and PVM series) have been utilized specifically for critical evaluations needed during the events.

According to www.nbcolympics.com: “4K UHD technology displays images at over eight million pixels (3,840 x 2,160), providing pictures with an ultra-high resolution that is roughly four times that of current HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels). The 4K UHD coverage of the Opening Ceremony, which will be produced by NBC Olympics, will also include High Dynamic Range (HDR), which produces a wider and richer range of colors, and Dolby ATMOS, a new sound technology that allows for a more immersive audio experience.”

“In each new Game we are challenged to stay ahead of the curve and offer the best possible images to our viewers, and the most production firepower and flexibility to our production teams,” said David Mazza, CTO & SVP of Engineering, NBC Olympics. “Sony is always rolling out new production gear that ultimately impacts the viewing experience in the home, and this year will be no exception.”

About NBC Olympics

A division of the NBC Sports Group, NBC Olympics is responsible for producing, programming and promoting NBCUniversal’s Olympic coverage. It is renowned for its unsurpassed Olympic heritage, award-winning production, and ability to aggregate the largest audiences in U.S. television history.  For more information on NBC Olympics’ coverage of the Rio Olympics, please visit: nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/

About Sony Electronics

Sony Electronics’ Professional Solutions of America group develops and manufactures video and audio technologies for a range of professional production applications – from 2D to HD to 3D to 4K and more. These include broadcast television and motion picture production, live event production, event videography, ENG/EFP, digital cinematography, digital cinema, videoconferencing, medical, visual imaging, digital signage, remote system diagnostics and monitoring, and IP surveillance and security. Sony professional technologies are used in a range of market segments including houses of worship, government, healthcare, education, and hospitality, among others. For more information, visit, www.sony.com/professional.

About TVU Networks®

Headquartered in Mountain View, CA, TVU Networks is a technology and market leader in IP-based live video solutions. TVU’s solutions help transform broadcasters’ SDI-based video acquisition, transmission, routing, distribution and management operations to an IP-based infrastructure. TVU serves customers of all sizes in more than 80 countries from industries that include news broadcast, web streaming, law enforcement, sports, corporate and government. In broadcast markets around the world including the USA, China and other major economic powers, TVU is the dominant market leader with more than half of all news broadcast stations using its IP video solutions, which includes TVU One, the award-winning portable live cellular uplink solution, TVU Grid, the award-winning IP video switching, routing and distribution solution, the TVU Anywhere app for smart mobile devices and TVU MLink, TVU’s fixed mounted transmitter for vehicles. TVU Networks is a pioneer in IP video technology and is leading the way in helping organizations looking to transition to a predominantly IP-based infrastructure. Many of the largest news broadcast station groups in the world have deployed TVU Grid and are leveraging it in their existing workflow infrastructures. More information about TVU Networks can be found at www.tvunetworks.com.

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Ryan Salazar

Editor-In-Chief, Publisher at Broadcast Beat Magazine, LLC.
Ryan started working in the broadcast and post production industry at the young age of twelve! He has produced television programs, built large post production facilities, written for some of the industry's leading publications and was an audio engineer for about ten years. Ryan previously wrote for Broadcast Engineering Magazine, Creative COW and his projects have been featured in dozens of publications.
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