Winter Olympics 2022

The 2022 Winter Olympics, officially called the XXIV Olympic Winter Games and commonly known as Beijing 2022, is an ongoing international winter multi-sport event that is scheduled to officially open on 4 February 2022 and is taking place in Beijing, China. The 2022 Winter Olympics are scheduled to include a record 109 events over 15 disciplines in seven sports.

It has been said earlier that climate crisis is going to change the way we watch sports: in the future, Winter Olympics will likely take place on completely artificial snow. And by “the future,” we mean “starting now.” As detailed by a report from Loughborough University London, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are set to be the first ever where not a flake of natural snow will be on the ground – it will virtually all be human-made. So This Year’s Winter Olympics First Ever To Take Place On 100 Percent Artificial Snow. To make it happen 49 million gallons of chemically-treated water will make up the slopes for this year’s Winter Olympics.

Olympics is shown on television by many broadcasters. Many of the challenges that broadcasters faced when covering the Summer Olympics in Tokyo will remain as Covid continues to impact everyday life. However, there are a number of lessons learned and this new broadcast came just half year after summer event. Beijing IBC will be smaller than Tokyo’s because event is smaller.

There is some new TV technology taken to use. The TV Technology Behind the Beijing Winter Olympics article says that UHD, Immersive Audio and 5G highlight tech advances for Olympic Broadcast Services. More than 6,000+ hours of content is expected to be produced, and an increasing portion of it being delivered to non-traditional broadcast providers.

The most important technologies in covering this event are cloud and IP communications. Using IP tools and the cloud played an important role in planning and designing the IBC and its production workflows. Cloud allows to build a virtual infrastructure to be established long before we even go to the facility. For the Tokyo games as well as Beijing, OBS has teamed up with Alibaba Group to create OBS Cloud, a suite of custom-made cloud-based solutions specifically adapted to the extremely demanding, data-heavy broadcast workflows. “IP delivery is very important for the broadcasters to be able to easily to convert the content that we’re giving to them to formats that are used by the devices that they are putting online.”

The Tokyo Summer Games represented the first Olympics that the OBS provided UHD/HDR coverage and the 2022 Winter Games will mark the first such 4K UHD/HDR coverage of the winter event. Although various broadcasters have recently dabbled in UHD coverage of the Games, OBS developed an infrastructure that allows them to synchronize content whether it’s in 1080i HD or 4K UHD, making it easier for rights-holding broadcasters to manage and access ultra high-resolution content. Like very many earlier times Panasonic will serve as the official provider of a large part of the broadcast production gear to cover the Games.

For audio, OBS expanded its options to go beyond 5.1 channel audio that had been the norm up until Tokyo. For Beijing, OBS will provide immersive audio that is discreet and not compressed so it can meet the broadcaster distribution standard. And with a unified HD/UHD production infrastructure, “whether broadcasters pick up HD or UHD they will always be able to receive immersive audio.”

OBS’s coverage is increasingly using 5G wireless. The use of 5G “is even more important because in the Games we have a serious problem with the lack of frequencies, because we need a large number of RF crews just to do our coverage,” Salamouris said. “And 5G helps because you can rely on an established network to do our wireless transmissions instead of relying on dedicated technology that we don’t have enough of anymore.”

Related article links:

The TV Technology Behind the Beijing Winter Olympics

Broadcasting the Games – how the TV industry delivered the Olympics during a state of emergency

How video production has adapted to showcase the Olympic Games to the world

Olympics 2021: The host broadcast facts and figures for TV coverage of the world’s biggest multi-sport show


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Athletes beware: the 2022 Winter Olympics provide Xi Jinping with a golden opportunity to test his new data hoovering tools

    With Beijing on the world stage, China sees the Winter Olympics as the perfect opportunity to showcase its new digital currency. Issued by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the e-CNY is the CCP’s fight-back against Chinese tech giants – and the burgeoning crypto scene – for control of digital payments in China and beyond.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kommentti: Pekingin talviolympialaisten pahin koronapainajainen toteutui, tällaista ei saa tapahtua enää koskaan
    Ennen kuin kisoja on ehditty edes avata, on selvää, että Pekingin talviolympialaisista jää vahva ei-urheilullinen muistijälki, kirjoittaa toimittaja Atte Husu.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jennifer Maas / Variety:
    NBC Sports says 16M US viewers watched the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony across broadcast and streaming, down 43% from 2018 and an all-time low

    TV Ratings: Beijing Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony Draws 16 Million Viewers, Down 43% From 2018 Games

    NBC Sports says 16 million viewers tuned in to watch the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony across multiple platforms on Friday, a new record-low for the event since NBCUniversal began broadcasting the Olympics in 1988.

    The total audience delivery (TAD) of 16 million viewers is down 43% compared to the 28.3 million viewers that watched the PyeongChang Winter Olympics opening ceremony in February 2018.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Olympics 2022
    Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics to be broadcast in 8K UHD in China

    The China Media Group has launched its first 8K channel, CCTV 8K, in China to broadcast the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on big screens in public. No international broadcasters have announced 8K plans.

    Winter Olympics in 8K UHD
    The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics were supposed to mark the real beginning of 8K but it fizzled out and ended up as a local technology showcase in Japan.

    While Sony had 8K TVs ready, Panasonic abandoned its original plan to launch 8K TVs to coincide with the games.

    The efforts to realize 8K broadcasting continues and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will be shot, produced, and broadcast in 8K Ultra HD, but once again only on large screens in public places. It is not clear if the broadcasts will include HDR (High Dynamic Range).

    - “The China Media Group (CMG) on Monday launched “CCTV-8K,” an 8K ultra-high-definition TV channel, to broadcast the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to audiences,” said the China Media Group. “To meet the goal of presenting the Beijing 2022 via 8K ultra-high-definition technology, the CMG has advanced the construction of the relevant production and broadcasting system, and has accelerated the rapid growth of the whole industrial chain that covers 8K TV production, broadcasting and transmission.”

    The China Media Group said that it has set up big screens in public places across the country including on train stations along the high-speed railway linking Beijing to the co-host city of Zhangjiakou.

    No international broadcasters have announced plans to distribute the 8K UHD feed from Beijing.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NBC Opens Olympics With ‘Worst Hand Imaginable’

    Last year, NBC Sports executives called the Tokyo Olympics their most challenging undertaking ever.

    Now that experience is starting to look like a cakewalk.

    For this month’s Winter Games in Beijing, NBC confronts an even trickier mix of challenges, threatening to diminish one of the network’s signature products and one of the last major draws to broadcast television.

    The list of headaches is long: an event nearly free of spectators, draining excitement from the arena and ski slopes; the threat of star athletes testing positive for Covid, potentially dashing their Olympic dreams; and the vast majority of its announcers, including Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski, offering color commentary from a network compound in Stamford, Conn., instead of China.

    The rising political tensions between the United States and China, including over China’s human rights abuses, add a troubling cloud to a typically feel-good spectacle.

    The success of the Games is critical to NBC. Even as streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ have lured millions of people from broadcast networks, sports have remained a reliable moneymaker. The company has exclusive broadcast rights to the Olympics through 2032, at a cost of $7.75 billion.

    Ratings for the Olympics have dipped in recent years — and fell sharply during last year’s Summer Olympics. NBC has told advertisers to expect the ratings to be lower than the 2018 Winter Olympics

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    China Broadcasters Unveil Tech Innovations for Beijing Winter Olympics

    China Media Group has launched CCTV-8K, an 8K ultra-high-definition TV channel, to broadcast the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, state-owned news agency Xinhua reports.

    To deliver the channel, CMG had to accelerate development of its nascent 8K production, broadcasting and transmission operations, said the Asian Broadcasting Union.

    CMG has started to install giant 8K screens in public places across the country, starting with four railway stations in Beijing and Olympic venue Zhangjiakou.

    Other media novelties this year include Kuaishou, a short video and live-streaming platform, being set as an official broadcast partner. Kuaishou claims more than a billion downloads of its app and to be catching fierce rival Bytedance (which owns both TikTok and its Chinese equivalent Douyin.)

    The games are set to go ahead in an ultra-strict anti-COVID bubble.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ZDF all set to broadcast Beijing Winter Olympics across Germany in tandem with ARD

    ZDF is producing blanket coverage of the Winter Games event, taking the host feeds from Olympic Broadcast Services (OBS) as well as several of its own in China. The opening ceremony will be broadcast by ZDF and the closing ceremony by Das Erste.

    The NBC is receiving all feeds from the broadcaster’s operations at the Beijing IBC. In Beijing ZDF has a small IBC in Zhangjiakou with switch case and five off-tubes. For the biathlon it has four cameras connected remotely via Nimbra Technik from ZDF’s NBC in Mainz, for ski jumping there is one LiveU camera, for alpine ski there is also one LiveU camera, and there is a presenter platform on OBS Tower with two cameras again connected via Nimbra.

    Adds Darge: “We have our own cameras for biathlon, ski jumping and alpine skiing for moderation and interviews in the Mix Zones.”

    Managing challenges

    ZDF is facing the challenges of the chilly temperatures in Beijing right now, as well as the coronavirus guidelines. Darge comments: “The logistics in Beijing are not particularly easy, as the colleagues are in a bubble that you are not allowed to leave for Corona reasons. Of course, this severely restricts the work and journalistic freedom. And the weather is always a big problem with winter sports, as there are often changes.”

    In the coronavirus restrictions in China and Germany, Darge says: “Both in Beijing and in Mainz there are guidelines that protect us from Corona and these must be strictly observed.”

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Beijing 2022: SVG and SVG Europe to host daily Zoom support meetings for crew

    By Ken Kerschbaumer, SVG Editorial Director
    Thursday, February 3, 2022 – 19:30
    Print This Story

    The production efforts for the Beijing Games point to the tremendous dedication of those in our industry to get things done. If you have any friends on social media who have made the journey to China you can see that it was long, difficult, and now has them enclosed in tight bubbles designed to maximize the chance that the games will go off safely and as planned.

    Those tight bubbles, however, means increased stress and loneliness that can exacerbate substance use issues, mental health issues, and more. Sadly, there are stories of those in our industry who have taken their lives willingly or died from an accidental overdose in the past two years.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    8K Virtual Reality Coverage is Coming to the Olympics

    By George Winslow published 3 days ago

    Comcast NBCUniversal will provide 150+ hours of live 8k VR coverage of the 2022 Winter Olympics via the NBC Olympics VR by Xfinity App

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Years of Olympic Games Emerge as a Timeline of Breakthrough Broadcast Technologies
    By Frank Beacham published 3 days ago
    There is no better gauge of cutting-edge engineering than in the world’s top athletic competitions

    Since the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 at Athens, Greece, a steady drumbeat of new technology has emerged at the athletic events—beginning with a quest for more precise timing devices to today’s 4K television broadcasting with immersive sound.

    In the beginning, new Olympics technology was all about athlete timing. That first year, 1896, the big technology launch was the newly invented stopwatch. It was sorely needed to record the times of the winners. The crude early stopwatches only timed to 0.2 of a second, though, and it would take years to improve their accuracy. During those early games, every stopwatch had a different timing result, causing major confusion and conflict.

    The first company to take on the Olympics challenge for timing accuracy was Heuer (now TAG Heuer), which, in the 1920s, created the first stopwatch accurate to one-hundredth of a second.

    electronic timekeeping replaced mechanical timers in the 1960s.

    Film Tech Begins

    At the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris, early film technology came into play. It was used to analyze the movement performance of the athletes.

    In 1924, radio broadcasting began at the Paris Olympics.

    The 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin were covered in 28 languages in 2,500 broadcasts. By 1948, the radio coverage of the Olympic Games spanned the globe.

    The first Olympic Games to be televised were the Berlin Olympics in 1936. The closed circuit telecast of events was shown on screens around Berlin

    This was also the first competition to use telex transmissions of results, and zeppelins were employed to quickly transport film newsreel footage to other European cities.

    The first Olympic Games to be telecast over-the-air into homes were the 1948 London Games, which were transmitted by the BBC within the British Isles.

    Worldwide television came first to the Rome Olympics in 1960. Four years later, at the 1964 Tokyo Games, video was carried internationally without the need for videotapes to be flown overseas. The Games were telecast to the United States using Syncom 3, the first geostationary communication satellite. From there, the signal was beamed to Europe using Relay 1, an early low-orbit experimental communications satellite used to send transmissions across the Pacific Ocean.

    Also, for the first time during the 1964 Games, an entire marathon race was broadcast live, close-pickup microphones enhanced the sound and slow-motion replays were used in the coverage.

    In the 1976 Montreal Olympics, electronic scoreboards were used for display of real-time scores. In China, 2008, GPS was used for the first time in rowing competitions, allowing viewers to see the progress as the race progressed.

    Each Olympic Games broadcast has progressively introduced new technical improvements, including the arrival of color television in the 1960s; high definition in 2008; and the more than 230 hours of live 3D broadcast in 2012. Dolby’s 5.1 surround sound soon dramatically improved the audio technology.

    In the summer of 2021, NBC combined 4K, HDR and live, on-the-fly Dolby Atmos immersive sound. Though this feed was not available to most audiences, the breathtaking images were a major advance for Olympics’ technology and will soon be available to mass audiences.

    Although individual broadcast networks had previously worked in a cloud environment when covering the Olympics, the 2021 Games in Tokyo were the first time Olympic Broadcasting Services used the cloud for broadcast production, a major shift from traditional satellite transmission. This allowed the broadcasts to overcome many limitations from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    During 2021, the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) produced more than 9,500 hours of content—30 percent more than during 2016 Rio Games. Some of that video content was in 8K resolution for the first time. Partnered with Alibaba Cloud, the OBS Cloud service transformed how the Olympic Games are broadcast to the widest possible audience.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    For the First Time in Olympic Broadcasting, As Many Signals Will Be Sent via the Cloud as Standard Delivery

    By Jenny Priestley published 7 days ago

    OBS reveals details around its production workflows, use of 5G and AI, and how Beijing 2022 is the first Winter Games in UHD HDR

    Beijing 2022 will see more than 20 broadcast organizations receive feeds in real-time at their centralized production house via the cloud, in either UHD or HD.

    Olympic Broadcasting Services has revealed that during the Winter Olympics the distribution of live signals over the cloud will be of equal volume as those via standard delivery models.

    It is also the first time that the Multi-channel Distribution Service (MDS) will not only be distributed via satellite, but will also be available via the cloud, said OBS. The company has also moved part of its broadcast workflows to the cloud, consolidating many of the services offered to the rights holding broadcasters (RHBs).

    Production workflows
    As part of its plans for Beijing, OBS has also worked on moving from a traditional, hardware-based production workflow to a virtualized, software model. At the Curling venue, the production crew will work from a production gallery in the compound, using Commercial Off-TheShelf (COTS) solutions that offer a similar user experience as traditional broadcast appliances. An on-premise data centre will replicate the cloud-based architecture platform.

    “The first stage of this innovative project will give priority to functionality and interoperability, as well as ingesting and processing of the 1080p50 SDR video feeds coming from 18 cameras used for the coverage of one of the sheets at curling, alongside the audio feeds,” said John Pearce, director of venue technical operations at OBS.

    “Further, four additional native IP cameras, dedicated to the virtualized OB van project, will be connected to the network stack, eliminating the need for camera control units.”

    According to Pearce, this approach allows the broadcast production environment to be scaled to cater for changes in demand and workload, with production workflows that can be spun up and down as required in a matter of seconds.

    “In the future, one could imagine having more flexible production crews, not necessarily based in the venue compounds, but perhaps operating from their own country premises, eliminating the need for dedicated full production crews on-site and avoiding the long-term rental of worldwide broadcast equipment for the live production of the Games,” Pearce added.

    5G and AI
    OBS revealed it plans to deliver signals from more than 30 live and near-live cameras via 5G, including those fitted on snowmobiles at cross-country skiing and also those used in the start and finish areas at alpine skiing.

    5G-connected cameras will also be used as part of the virtualized OB van project to capture the action from curling.

    AI technology will be deployed to create clips from figure skating and ice hockey, which will be shared with OBS producers to edit highlights packages and music pieces.

    First Winter Games in UHD HDR
    During Beijing 2022, all the sports sessions, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and the Medals Plaza Victory Ceremonies will be natively produced in UHD HDR, with immersive audio.

    Overall, OBS said it intends to utilize a total of 15 Outside Broadcast vans, together with nine field data centre production units, a fly-away system and a virtualized OB van − which have all been specifically configured and fitted-out to meet OBS’s new production and distribution requirements.

    “Almost all of the content will be produced natively in UHD HDR; however, OBS will also rely on several specialty cameras that at this time can only operate in HD 1080p SDR,” he added. “The video source of these cameras must be up-converted to UHD HDR in order to be integrated into the main production so that there are no perceived colour or brightness differences.”

    A full IP infrastructure has been built to support the transport of the UHD HDR signals for the contribution network. The OBS Venue Technical Operations (VTO) team has developed a set of look-up tables (LUT) in-house to maximize the quality between all cross-conversions (from/to UHD-HD and HDR-SDR).

    This year also marks the first time a Winter Olympics has been captured in immersive 5.1.4. OBS said it intends to expand upon 5.1 surround sound by adding an overhead sound layer, and thus a third audio dimension with the addition of four hanging ceiling microphones with heights that will be adjustable.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NBC’s Broadcast of the Beijing Olympics in UHD/HDR Will Mark a First for the Winter Games

    By Tom Butts published 10 days ago

    The broadcasts—also with ATMOS audio—will only be available in certain markets

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How the 2022 Olympics will flaunt the Great Technology Wall of China

    “Tokyo was a watershed in terms of broadcasting with the cloud-based, streamed OBS (Olympic Broadcasting Service) available to media and rights holding broadcasters, offering a world feed of compelling immersive experiences and content on more screens than ever before.

    “OBS used Alibaba’s cloud, and offered for the first time in Tokyo ultra high definition TV, real-time insights and overlay visualizations, livestreamed 360% instant replays, 3D tracking and in- event biometric data. Essentially audiences across the world were transported by artificial intelligence (AI) and mixed-reality (MR) into events.

    “It is unlikely that apart from an edge provided by Chinese 5G connectivity, Beijing will up the ante on Tokyo on the broadcasting front.”

    1.43 million 5G base stations can be found in China, with 654,000 added last year in run up to the Olympics.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Behind the latest Olympics broadcasts: TV tech brings the world together

    Olympic TV firsts

    Tokyo 2020, ultimately postponed to July 2021, broke new ground in Olympic broadcasting. These were first Games to be fully produced, on site, in ultra-high-definition television (UHDTV), with high dynamic range (HDR) images bringing viewers closer to the athletes than ever before.

    A next-generation immersive audio configuration (5.1.4) enabled equipped Games viewers to enjoy a more realistic audio experience, with sound seeming to come from every direction – even from above.

    Television has become increasingly” fluid”, with programming moved seamlessly between devices or restarted without any need for deliberate recording.

    The advent of streaming to laptops, tablets, or smartphones, as well as via social media, has prompted the demand for content to explode.

    The latest camera technologies can capture thousands of images every second and can even “see” colour in near-total darkness. Beneficial not just for sports programming, such advances have transformed documentary filmmaking with the ability to capture stunning images of wildlife and the natural world. Thanks to these technological advances, television productions now rival cinema in terms of image quality.
    Standardizing HDR and AI use

    The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies, brings experts from around the world together to develop standards for global communications.

    These include ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) Recommendation BT.2100 for high-dynamic range (HDR) images, which featured prominently in the latest Olympic Games.

    Other areas of ITU study related to television include advanced immersive sensory media, object media, and artificial intelligence (AI) applications in broadcast media production.

    Massive computing power lets AI automate numerous complex tasks. In broadcasting, as in other fields, these technologies are progressing at an incredible pace.

    AI supports real-time caption translation into multiple languages and text-to-speech for live programmes. On-screen data from a sporting event, for instance, can be inserted into live commentary as an audio description.

    Forecasting broadcasting

    Studies examining the future of television broadcasting recognize the rapidly changing technology landscape, in which viewers can enjoy audio-visual content delivered through a growing number of platforms and reproduced on a wide variety of user devices.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    With this year’s Winter Olympics being held on 100% artificial snow, scientists have a dire warning for the future.

    By 2100, Only One City In The World May Be Able To Host The Winter Olympics

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Suomesta valvotaan etänä Pekingin uusinta jäähallia

    Parkanolainen Suomen Tekojää on ollut vahvasti mukana Pekingin olympialaisissa uusimman jäähallin toiminnassa. Yritys on asentanut kylmäkoneistonsa olympialaisten Wukesong Ice and Sports Arenalle, jonka jäätilannetta voidaan valvoa etänä Suomesta käsin. Myös joustokaukalot ovat suomalaistekoa.

    Etäohjaamista helpottaa se, että Kiina on avannut verkossa palomuuriaan kisojen ajaksi kohteissa, jotka sijaitsevat ns. olympiakuplassa. Alkuperäinen sopimus oli yrityksen mukaan, että se olisi paikalla Pekingissä varustamassa hallia.

    Suomalaisyrityksen väki pääsi alkuun Kiinaan, mutta meno vaati aina kahden viikon karanteenin. Siksi yritys päätti tehdä kaiken etänä pandemian takia ja koulutti paikallista väkeä olemaan apuna.

    Yrityksellä tätkeää oli myös paikallinen yhteistyötaho, joka oli mukana projektiin pääsyssä.

    ’’Kumppanimme voitti kilpailutuksen areenan jäähdytysjärjestelmän toimittamisesta ja pääsimme sitä kautta mukaan, kertoo Tekojään toimitusjohtaja Timo Mansikkaviita.

    Olympiakohteeseen pääsyä auttoi myös parkanolaisyrityksen referenssit aiempien MM-kisojen toiminnassa. Ja näin voitiin rakentaa Kiinan ensimmäinen ympäristöystävällistä hiilidioksidia kylmäaineenaan käyttävä jäähalli.

    Pekingin olympialaisissa käytettävä jäähallitekniikkaa käytetään Suomessa myös uudessa Tampereen Nokia Arenalla, jossa tekniikka otettiin käyttöön viime marraskuussa.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Teräväpiirtokuvaa Pekingin olympialaisista

    Pekingin talviolympialaiset näkyvät Ylen lisäksi HD-teräväpiirtolaadulla TV5:n AntenniTV:n 27 kanavapaikalla 2.–20. helmikuuta ajan. Digita ja TV-yhtiö Discovery Finland ovat sopineet lähetyksien välittämisestä teräväpiirrolla.

    Uuden sopimuksen myötä TV5-kanava on Pekingin talviolympialaisten ajan katsottavissa HD-laatuisena koko Suomessa. Sen kautta voi seurata Pekingin talviolympialaisten miesten ja naisten jääkiekkoturnauksia.

    ’’Urheilulähetyksissä tarkka kuvanlaatu korostaa katsojan läsnäolon tunnetta, mikä tekee katselukokemuksesta entistä nautinnollisemman”, sanoo Digitan TV-liiketoiminnasta vastaava johtaja Teppo Ahonen.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Camera takes tumble down ski slope at 2022 Winter Olympics

    Somebody who planned to take pictures at the 2022 Winter Olympics with a pretty nice camera had a rough start to their next two weeks.

    Social media mourned as NBC Olympics posted footage of the camera rolling, rolling and rolling downhill at a skiing event Thursday before finally being stopped by another photographer — who very likely understood the pain of the poor camera’s owner and decided to lend a helping hand.

    No details about damage to the camera were immediately available, although bits and pieces from the camera were seen flying courtesy of NBC’s slow-mo camera.

    The unfortunate incident was reminiscent of a walkie-talkie that rolled down the hill during the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

    But a camera and lens is definitely more expensive than a walkie-talkie, and people were really torn up about it. Both the United States ski team and the bobsled and skeleton team responded with condolences on Instagram, with the bobsled and skeleton team asking: “Did it get a time?”

    Who Was That Camera Falling Down a Ski Slope at the Winter Olympics?

    No B-roll jokes, please — have some respect. Captured in NBC footage Vulture’s photo team called “never-ending” and “so sad,” a camera took a tumble down a snowy slope at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on February 3. Small parts of the camera can be seen flying off from the sheer force of her flips and spins down the icy hill. After several rows of people failed to notice the frankly impressive display of athleticism behind them, a photographer at the bottom of the slope eventually reached out to collect the camera’s motionless body.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Winter Olympics: TV reporter dragged away by Chinese security official live on air
    China has been widely criticised for its treatment of free and foreign press

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Panasonic delays 8k cameras by two years (now coming in 2022)

    Four years ago Panasonic promised that they can launch the first 8K camera for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Nikkan reports that now Panasonic thinks their 8k cameras will come in 2022 for the Beijing Olympic Winter Games (Google translated):

    Panasonic is the prospect of the 2022 year, which will be held the Beijing Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic, and ultra-high-definition 8K video, and for the business consumer for a digital camera with a slow-motion playback function of the high-definition 4K (consumer) throw into.

    Last year a Panasonic 8K prototype camera was used in short film production.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    UHD, immersive audio, 5G and virtualised OBs: all the broadcasting innovation at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games

    Beijing 2022 will offer an exciting glimpse into the immersive and virtualised future of Olympic broadcasting, as revealed by tech leaders at host broadcaster OBS.

    The Winter Olympics features a UHD HDR production and immersive 5.1.4 audio; live virtual reality; 70+ hours of 8K and an experimental virtualised OB van as part of a record 6,000+ hours of content produced for the event.

    Banks of 4K cameras – here at the Golf in Tokyo – will be used to replay action to feel like the viewer is moving around the athlete.

    For all that, it is the use of 5G in Beijing which may prove most game-changing for wider live production.

    Host broadcaster OBS is promising, as it did with the Tokyo Games, the most immersive televised Winter Olympics yet. Many of the same tech advances deployed in Japan pop up again.

    Here’s everything you need to know.


    Tokyo 2020 set a new benchmark for an Olympic broadcast in being a full UHD HDR production. This is being doubled down in Beijing with a single UHD HDR workflow from which HD SDR will be derived. OBS claim this to be a ‘full native UHD’ set up but admits that – as in Tokyo – it will also rely on several specialty cameras “that at this time can only operate in HD 1080p SDR.”

    “Virtualisation will redefine broadcast production requirements and workflows and simplify them,” Sotiris Salamouris, OBS

    In fact, the number of HD contribution feeds (41) it is creating outweighs that of UHD (31) with presumably HD to UHD conversion of numerous cameras taking place to get to a master UHD format. It will prepare 43 HD feeds for international distribution compared to 36 UHD.

    The HDR to SDR conversion includes a set of look-up tables composed in-house to enable better interoperability between the two co-existing HD SDR and UHD HDR workflows. The UHD production will adhere to SMPTE 2036-1 at 50 Hz with HDR in Hybrid-Log Gamma (HLG).

    “Although our production workflow is greatly simplified by having a single workflow model, achieving consistency across all HDR and SDR sources remains quite a complex undertaking on a job of this scale,” says Isidoro Moreno OBS’ head of engineering.

    Immersive audio

    This will be first Winter Olympics captured through a 5.1.4 audio configuration, ideally giving viewers a more realistic audio experience. To the 5.1 surround sound mix is added an overhead sound layer, from four hanging ceiling microphones with adjustable heights. In total, OBS will be using more than 1,600 mics (40 different models). Two audio QC rooms installed inside the IBC (international broadcast centre) will guarantee quality consistency across all sports. The 5.1.4 audio configuration will be provided for both HD and UHD.

    “In Tokyo, this immersive audio set-up helped mitigate the absence of spectators,” says OBS CEO Yiannis Exarchos. “However, in Beijing, there will be limited spectators in the venues and their presence will certainly enhance our coverage.”

    IBC infrastructure

    The International Broadcast Centre (IBC) acts as the nerve centre for all broadcast operations during the Olympic Winter Games. Feeds from all competition venues are sent to the technical facilities at the IBC to be then accessed by broadcasters, many of whom have a physical base of operations in the IBC. Due to the size and complexity of the IBC, for the 17 days of the Games, the IBC serves as the largest broadcast centre in the world.

    OBS and eight rights holders operate from the Main Media Centre (MMC) in the newly-built China National Convention Centre.

    A secondary broadcast centre in Zhangjiakou is operated by OBS for alpine events, additionally hosting five broadcaster facilities.

    Digital transformation

    Underpinning all the technical capability of OBS’ move to remote and virtual workflows is the switch from traditional broadcast hardware to one that’s fully IP-based. This change was completed a couple of years ago. Equally important is a broadcast-specific cloud-based platform that OBS created with Alibaba. Content delivery, signal processing, post-production and many other elements are now based in the cloud.

    Excharcos says, “For the first time, OBS will distribute the multilateral signals in HD and UHD via the cloud, and it will also be the first time that rights holders will have the ability to edit the content available on our online distribution platform [Content+] remotely. It means a more efficient way of working and addresses broadcaster’s huge demand for content to share on their digital platforms, without having to multiply their resources.”

    Virtualised outside broadcast test

    An important project for Beijing 2022 is a virtualised OB van which has a control room based on virtualised “cloud-ready” technologies. “We are trying to replicate the way an OB functions with reducing the physical broadcast footprint to the minimum,” explains Exarchos. “This pilot programme will be based at the curling venue. Depending on the results, we could use such a set-up at future Games. Not only does it offer greater flexibility and scalability, but the OB operations could be performed in a much more sustainable way than having a huge number of trucks coming from all around the world.”

    The first stage of this project prioritises functionality and interoperability, as well as ingesting and processing of 1080p50 SDR video feeds from 18 cameras used for the coverage of one of the sheets at curling. Four additional native IP cameras, dedicated to the virtualised OB van project, will be connected to the network stack, eliminating the need for camera control units.

    “Virtualisation will redefine broadcast production requirements and workflows and simplify them,”

    OBS will also generate content with smartphones, providing 8000 short video clips from back-of-house athlete areas designed for publishing on social media.

    6000+ Estimated hours of content produced by OBS for Beijing 2022 – more than 6x than Torino in 2006

    1.7 Tbps – of international connectivity – the most ever for an Olympics (Pyeongchang had 500Gbps)

    660+ camera systems – including 13 railcams, 11 cablecams, 148 speciality systems, 38 high speed

    4300 – OBS personnel (34% hired in China)

    5700 – accredited personnel from rights holding broadcasters

    130 – broadcasters including sublicensees taking the feed

    0 – figures for the carbon savings, sustainability goals, or total carbon footprint of the operation (although reduced footprints, reusable IP kit and remote workflows will be contributing to reductions)

    Primetime for 5G

    OBS is able to expand its traditional camera positions at these Games because of more widespread 5G coverage.

    “5G has now reached a level of sophistication where it can be applied to production in earnest,” says Mario Reis, director of telecommunications. “Thanks to the full-scale implementation of a 5G network across all Beijing 2022 Olympic venues, we can now use its capabilities in our live coverage. It provides our production teams with greater flexibility than having to tether and plug in wired cameras, and the added mobility of camera positions will help OBS capture the action from unique angles.”

    Where, in Tokyo, 5G-connected cameras were only used for ENG coverage at the Ceremonies, for Beijing 2022 production teams will deliver live signals over 5G from more than 30 live and near-live cameras, including those fitted on snowmobiles at crosscountry skiing and those at the start and finish areas at alpine skiing. 5G-connected cameras will also be used as part of the virtualised OB van project to capture the action from curling.

    Intel has helped select the 5G transmission and receive technology (encoders and modems) that goes with those cameras. China Unicom has established the telecom networks required to send the 5G signals back to the IBC, as well as tweaking the established network to allow OBS to do all this in real-time with low latency transmission from cameras to production units.

    “5G has now reached a level of sophistication where it can be applied to production in earnest,” Mario Reis, OBS

    “5G has great capacity to support low latency and high bandwidth live broadcast transmissions over a public infrastructure,” says Salamouris. “This is certainly a key enabler for field production, especially considering the limitations of the legacy broadcast solutions that rely on dedicated radio frequencies that become scarcer and scarcer.

    Going remote

    For Beijing 2022, the majority of the broadcasters will be using remote production to run all or part of their production outside of China. Driven in part by the necessities of the pandemic, but also the shift to remote production workflows, the size of broadcast teams being sent out to the Games has fallen dramatically – nearly 40 percent fewer broadcast personnel on-site in Beijing compared to PyeongChang 2018. For the first time, more than 20 broadcasters will receive feeds in real-time at their centralised production house back home through the cloud.

    “The fact that broadcasters have shown significant interest for this new service is indicative of the growing integration of cloud-based workflows and how broadcasters are offloading more of their traditional video infrastructure to the cloud,” says Exarchos.

    All in all, this means that for the first time in Olympic broadcasting, the distribution of live signals over the cloud will be of equal volume as through standard delivery models.


    China Media Group (CMG) and NHK (rights holders for China and Japan, respectively) will collaborate to produce 8K coverage from select venues as well as from the Bird’s Nest Stadium. NHK is producing the figure skating events; CMG takes charge of the Ceremonies, freestyle skiing/ snowboard big air and speed skating in 8K. A feature of the Main Media Centre (MMC) is a 15 x 8 metre 7,680 x 4,320 pixel display for showing off the results.

    “Early Olympics trials of 8K were simplistic,” says Salamouris, “in that we were only using a few cameras, and only one type of production unit. Now the whole 8K production has really matured and the technology around it is moving quickly so that it will eventually become an option for more and more broadcasters.”

    8K VR

    Beijing 2022 marks the first ever multi-sport event to be covered in 8K VR. 70-80 hours of the format will be produced from sports selected on the ability to place cameras close to the athletes.

    Up to six 180-degree monoscopic cameras and one 360-degree camera will be in action. Viewers will be able to choose camera perspectives of live streams or watch a produced stream on VR headsets Oculus Quest/Quest 2 and Pico, and also on mobile. VR VOD content will be available. Broadcasters are further invited to use the 8K VR feeds as presentation backdrops.

    5G plays into the evolution of VR at the Games. High downstream bandwidth from 5G will “free” consumption of content to be happening anywhere, and not just where Wi-Fi is available.

    AI / ML

    AI tools will be used in figure skating and ice hockey to speed highlight package creation. “We are moving closer to being able to integrate AI technology as part of our toolsets and using it for our video tagging workflow,” says Salamouris. “If this content isn’t properly tagged, then it is very difficult to work with. For a long time, we’ve employed students to tag our live content. While we wouldn’t replace those students with an algorithm, AI would allow us to tag far more content and offer ultimate flexibility and expandability compared to the capabilities of human-only loggers.”

    OBS in-house technology, which it began developing ahead of Tokyo, is called Automatic Media Description. “We train the system to automatically search for specific content/video sequences, and once indexed, stitch this content together to produce quick highlights packages which are made available to OBS producers,” he explains.

    Although some athlete tagging is currently achieved by OBS loggers, it is practically impossible to tag all athletes in all available video frames, says Salamouris, but this is often what rights holders require.

    “After Beijing 2022, we will start experimenting with automatic switching, which would mean using AI in live broadcast operations,” he says.

    Data visualisation

    Specifically for Curling, data gathered from an overhead camera will visualise stone trajectories, contact points, and distance between stones for on-screen analysis. In other disciplines, real time ‘Jump’ data such as speed, height, length, duration and angles of skis is collected from motion sensors and processed by computer vision analysis.

    2D image tracking

    After being introduced at Tokyo, 2D image tracking (also referred to as athlete ‘pinning’) technology crops up again in Beijing, for the biathlon and crosscountry skiing events.

    Live speed measurement

    Speed measurement in the coverage of alpine skiing events was introduced as part of the TV graphics at Sochi 2014. Until now, the speed was measured from a very specific position and limited to only snapshots, or just a few seconds of data. This was due to the limited sensor coverage. For Beijing, OBS will deploy a multitude of antennae with increased reception capacity that allow for the capture of more data throughout a much larger portion of the downhill course.

    Multi-Cam Replays

    Arrays of 4K high speed cameras will be deployed at ten venues including at Figure Skating, Ice Hockey, Freestyle Skiing/Snowboard Halfpipe and Short Track Speed Skating. Another system will be near the end of the take-off ramp of the space-age looking ski jumping facility to capture the first seconds of the skier’s flight.

    These replays can be paused at different points in motion, an effect “similar to action scenes in the The Matrix,” says OBS. A rig with 120 4K cameras will be used at the Ice Hockey venue.

    The rigs are remotely operated by a single operator who can freeze the action, manipulate the replay from side to side around the athlete, as well as zoom in. Since the system simply stitches together these feeds and does not have to virtually create filler frames, no rendering is required, allowing clips to be ready in under five seconds.

    For curling and speed skating, OBS will process multi-camera replays in the cloud, the first time this has been attempted live. All frames captured by the array of cameras installed at these venues will be sent to an edge server and reconstructed in the Alibaba Cloud to generate the replay clips. Those will be up-converted to 4K in the cloud before being sent back to the production unit in the venue compound.

    “In some cases, you need multiple cameras that are placed around an object and fly the cameras around, but you also have the volumetric technology that Intel has developed, which records and recreates a model of a solid object,” informs Salamouris. “In the first case, the flight camera pattern is more fixed, whereas in the second case, the producer has much greater flexibility in terms of the flight camera trace that you can build around it.”

    While the volumetric approach is much more flexible and richer in terms of produced results, it comes with significant computational complexity

  22. Fay Anabelle says:

    I can’t watch this with good conscience. It may not mean much in the grand scheme of things, but I’ll be boycotting the Olympics for the first time since 1976.

    I’m sorry to see so many people getting excited over the CCP’s ugly perversion.


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