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The numbers behind NBC's HD Olympic coverage


August 8, 2008

August 8, 2008 The Games of the 29th Olympiad get underway today in Beijing and millions of viewers will be treated to an unprecedented coverage with all sports to be captured by by high-definition cameras for the first time. Dvice has compiled a fascinating list of numbers that show just how huge this high-tech broadcasting exercise will be and outlining the massive resources that have been poured into the event to make this possible - 2,200 hours of live streaming broadband coverage, 3,000 hours of on-demand video, 20,000 journalists and an investment of $40 million in HD equipment China...

The HD infrastructure has been made possible by a commitment by the Chinese government and host broadcaster Beijing Olympic Broadcasting,. The exclusive U.S. broadcaster NBC will also be supplementing the HD coverage. The nerve center for the world's media pack will be the 90,000 square meter International Broadcast Center (IBC) located in Beijing's newly-built National Convention Centre. NBC will show more than one-half of the events live and consumers will further benefit from the choice offered by the high level of on-demand Internet coverage on offer. More than 200 million viewers are expected to tune in.

Some of the key facts noted by Dvice include:

  • 1,000 HD cameras provided by Beijing Olympic Broadcasting (BOB)
  • 3,600 total hours of HD programming
  • 3,000 hours of on-demand video including highlights and encores
  • 2,900 hours of live broadcast coverage
  • 2,200 hours of live streaming broadband coverage
  • $40 million investment from China for HD equipment
  • 100 outbound video feeds from Beijing to NBC New York, compared with 13 from Athens, 4 from Sydney
  • 170 Sony XDCAM HD recording decks
  • 100% produced in HD, a first for a U.S. broadcaster in the Summer Olympics (50% of 2006 Torino games was produced in HD)
  • Via Dvice, Broadcasting & Cable, Beijing 2008 Official Website.

    About the Author
    Noel McKeegan After a misspent youth at law school, Noel began to dabble in tech research, writing and things with wheels that go fast. This bus dropped him at the door of a freshly sprouted Gizmag.com in 2002. He has been Gizmag's Editor-in-Chief since 2007. All articles by Noel McKeegan
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