Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Even though I'm staunchly against the process of keeping announcers in New York (and no I still don't have a real good reason for it), the lengths at to which NBC is going to bring you and I the Games has to be commended. The latest update on the process is that NBC Sports is taking over Saturday Night Live's studio for the month. The network also has people who's sole job is to watch and pull potential highlights to immediately add to NBC's website. Sounds fun....
Stage 8H is best known as the place where Saturday Night Live is filmed. This week, though, it's been turned into an ad-hoc data center as part of NBC's efforts to stream thousands of hours of live Olympic coverage over the Internet.That's just nuts. The Limelight CEO is saying that he expects upwards of 1 million users at anytime, and while I think that's a little bit of wishful thinking, the numbers are certainly going to break all sorts of online records. It also might be a good option for you people who are constantly bored at work.
Instead of the usual crop of comedians, NBC will have dozens of people watching every hour of the games, looking for highlights that it can chop up and make available on-demand. It's just one piece of an elaborate arrangement that shuttles the events in Beijing back to the U.S.
From each of the dozens of Olympic venues, a high-definition video feed is delivered over fiber-optic cables to the International Broadcast Center that has been set up in Beijing. A bunch of encoders and Windows Media servers get the video into an Internet-ready format. From there, it travels via satellite to NBC's headquarters in New York.
There, NBC actually adds a one-minute delay, allowing its cadre of live bloggers in Stamford, Conn., and elsewhere to write their text and have the video and commentary synchronized. Once ready, it goes from NBC to Limelight Networks, a content delivery network, which has 1,000 servers just for the live events sending the content to various Internet service providers, who then shuttle the content directly to their customers.
What it takes to bring the Olympics to the PC (CNET: Beyond Binary)