Server Systems The Norm for Olympic Operations

Server systems are front and center here in at the International Broadcast Center, whether for the Olympic Broadcast Services (OBS) need to store content (the OBS EVS server can store every minute of every event for the entire games) to a more complex workflow at NBC Olympics that involves a mix of EVS servers, Avid ISIS severs for Avid Media Composers, and Omneon MediaGrid servers that allow NBC Olympics to move content off of EVS servers on a daily basis.

The relationship between the NBC Olympics Central Video Tape area and Highlights Factory, both based on EVS servers, typifies the new workflows.

Jay Deutsch, EVS, senior manager, technical support and systems architecture, says that the Highlights Factory and the 13 servers in the Central Video Tape area are connected to each other via an IP Director. “That allows for partial restores of content and prevents duplicate recording,” he says.

Also NBC Olympics “TOES” (Trusty Old Edit Suites) that were previously tape-based have now made the move to file-based final output. Sony HDW-2000 and Sony PDW-F1600 tape decks are in the suites alongside a Sony MVS-6000 Sony switcher but each TOES also now has an EVS XT[2] with two channels of record and four channels of playback.

“And now a 30-second promo can be cut in a TOES area and land directly on the EVS play-to-air server so the promo can be cut down to the wire,” says Deutsch.

NBC News, which is also operating out of the IBC for the first time since the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, is also taking advantage of file-based workflows. The news division’s Avid ISIS is located next to the NBC Olympics ISIS system and it is also connected to the EVS system via IP Director.

“NBC News can cherry pick content they want and have it sent to their Avid ISIS,” says Deutsch.

The Omneon system plays an important role by being able to store three or four days of content, allowing the EVS servers to be cleaned of all content at the end of every day.

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