CHINA—As with any major live sporting event, the deployment of sophisticated AV systems at the Beijing Olympics went well beyond the arenas themselves. Broadcasters from around the world descended on China for the duration of the Games, often bringing their own comprehensively equipped OB trucks with them. Additionally, the Games acted as a catalyst for Chinese TV operations to upgrade their systems, with one eye on the Olympics but the other fixed firmly on the future.
Rental company Audio Broadcast Services (ABS) fitted out 17 specially built surround-sound control rooms with Lawo mc series consoles to handle the event’s sound mix, and was also responsible for planning, delivery, project engineering, and on-site support—including the supply of additional consoles if needed. Among the Asian broadcasters using the Lawo consoles were state broadcaster CCTV (Chinese Central Television) along with Fujian TV and Hainan TV, who both installed Lawo solutions into new OB trucks.
Another western manufacturer to supply mission-critical equipment during the Games was intercom specialist Clear-Com. The company supplied equipment to OB vans belonging to China Beijing TV (BTV), Shanghai TV (STV), QTV (Qingdao), and Dalian TV. CCTV also purchased an arsenal of Clear-Com equipment to make up heart of the communications network at the International Broadcasting Center (IBC), the hub of all broadcast activities at the Games, as well as its new Television Culture Center (TVCC), which housed administration along with news studios and program production.
“Live sports coverage is perhaps the most demanding broadcast challenge there is,” says Matt Danilowicz, Managing Director of Clear- Com. “When you are talking about a live broadcast, especially during such a high-caliber event as the Olympics, you need to be in constant contact with each of the moving parts. That means the people in the venue, in the control room, in the studio itself, as well as the on-air talent.”
Both BTV and STV are already contracted to continue to use the Clear- Com equipment beyond the games, and Danilowicz comments: “We’ve been investing in the Chinese market for several years, beginning with a local sales and support office in Beijing. Our continued success in this market signifies a growing need among Chinese customers for highly reliable, flexible, and failsafe communication solutions. The investments these customers make today for the Olympics will have a long-term pay-off into the future.”