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London wires up for 2012 Olympic games

Jeremy Kirk | Nov. 28, 2011
While London's massive Olympic park is still very much a frenetic construction site, IT engineers are fine tuning the equipment that will be used to transmit scores, let athletes send e-mail and transmit high-definition video of the Games.

One of the key software applications is the Commentator Information System, which feeds nearly instantaneous results to broadcasters and journalists. Other systems include "myinfo," an intranet system that will be accessible to media, athletes and press that includes bio information for athletes, schedules, results and weather.

BT is building a dedicated network just for broadcasters. It has strung a ring of optical fiber cable around the Olympic Park to handle the 6 Gbps of multimedia data expected to be generated by broadcasters and other media. Over 14,000 TV outlets are expected to cover the games with some 20,000 accredited media working from a massive broadcast center in the park.

The BBC holds the digital media rights for the games and has an ambitious plan: Its "Sport" website will carry live coverage of every single sport every day, which the broadcaster estimates is 2,000 hours of live sport. The BBC will publish 24 high-definition streams on its website. Much of that content will never be broadcast on regular TV.

According to the BBC's preliminary coverage plan, it is compiling profiles of more than 12,000 athletes that users can access while they're streaming an event, according to a video posted by TheMediaBriefing.com of a presentation in October by BBC's head of product for Sport, Cate O'Riordan.

Athlete statistics will be updated in real time, and that data can be handed "straight to our users," in the same fashion it is transmitted to commentators, O'Riordan said.

 

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