BBC taps Vizrt for Olympic Games
Vizrt will supply BBC Sport with their HD graphics engines to deliver the broadcaster’s live television graphics for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Working in conjunction with Vizrt are two London-based graphics providers – Mammoth Graphics and deltatre. The two firms will use their Vizrt expertise to design, operate and manage the delivery of the live HD graphics operation, which will be based within the broadcaster’s studio at the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in London.
The graphics suite will be equipped with 12 Viz Trio character generator (CG) systems, with each of six Trio live graphics systems paired with six Viz Engine HD/SD rendering systems for realtime compositing of HD video and graphics.
Two Trio/Engine combinations will be dedicated to graphics creation for BBC-1, while two more combos will support different events being carried on BBC-3, a channel targeted to a relatively younger demographic. The remaining two Trio/Engine combos will serve as spares for failsafe redundancy. All of the Vizrt systems will have access to all live video feeds coming into the IBC from all the venues, and many live graphics will integrate live video.
“All graphics and templates will have a unique BBC style created in advance using Viz Artist design software including full-screens, lower thirds, and side panels, as well as a visually riveting 3D ‘medals table’ that illustrates the medals count by nation,” says Phil Long, managing director of Mammoth Graphics. “Most of the graphics for nearly three dozen sports—roughly 2,500 events—will be live and coming from the Vizrt boxes.”
Long agrees that a key strength of the Vizrt graphics platform for high-profile events like the London Summer Games is the ability to customize it to support specific applications. For example, Mammoth Graphics collaborated with another live graphics vendor, Kenziko, to create a bespoke device called KineTrak, which will debut on the London Summer Games. KineTrak detects and interprets human movements to allow on-camera presenters to control and manipulate the presentation of live graphics.
“We’re pleased that Mammoth Graphics and deltatre have expressed confidence in our live graphics workflow for the BBC’s multichannel coverage of the Summer Games,” says Petter Ole Jakobsen, CTO of Vizrt. “We take pride in providing a powerful, integrated live graphics workflow that meets whatever graphics needs sport producers and broadcasters may have when covering such demanding live events. We can’t wait to see the graphics innovations they bring to the coverage of the Games.”