Originally Posted by mrvideo
Yep, the Brits have the best coverage ever. NBC could learn a lot from the BBC. Ya, I know, apples and oranges.
Was able to see the whole six hour presentation from BBC one, starting with their 2 hr preshow.
Glad you're enjoying it. They're doing their coverage with 1/3 the staff that NBC deploys (and I believe that includes the staff host broadcasting the rowing, tennis and football) - NBC doesn't host broadcast anything... The BBC team are working VERY hard. I had lunch with one of them today (well grabbed a 20 minute sandwich!)
Simply deploying commentators (and in the case of sailing a full production team) for the bulk of the events on the 24 streams is quite an accomplishment. (Not all streams have commentary - but the bulk of them do)
Strange thing is that they rolled a video that mentioned the various ways that one could see the Olympics via the BBC, but for some reason failed to mention the 24 SD/HD channels available via satellite (free).
Those are what as described as "Red Button" feeds - they aren't considered or referred to as specific channels and the BBC won't mention the numbers available because our Freeview OTA platform only has 2 extra Red Button channels (1 HD/SD simulcast and 1 post-1900 feed timeshared with a children's channel) The 24 HD and SD Red Button feeds are only available to viewers with cable or satellite (though they don't require a subscription as they are on the free satellite platform as well as Sky's pay-TV one) The BBC try to avoid mentioning the benefits of a specific platform so as not to be seen to favour one - and distort the market place. Remember the BBC is fiercely anti-commercial (to the extent that on many shows presenters have the North Face / Berghaus etc. logos masked on their clothing)
They quite often do a DVE move from the presenter shot pushing back to reveal a 25 way 5x5 mosaic of the feeds (or 24 feeds which 'might' be the feeds - I don't think the studio has access to the precise playout area outputs) to illustrate it - which is quite neat. (Sometimes they put this 5x5 mosaic in one of the studio plasmas and do a camera pull out from one of them to reveal the screen and then the studio)
Whilst all of the 24 HD (and SD simulcast) channels have channel numbers (450-473 for the HD channels on Sky) and full EPG listings, the easier way to navigate them is to "Press Red" (i.e. press the red button on your remote control) which will fire up an interactive digital text application that lets you search in a more flexible way than a linear EPG. You can search alphabetically for sport, find out what time the events are and then if that sport it is on it will take you to the right channel, or channels.
The "Press Red" interactive TV system is a UK standard across OTA, Cable and Satellite - they use different middleware and authoring systems but share a common mode of access (the red button) - and the BBC try to be as platform neutral as possible, though OTA bandwith is much more restricted (and they will be reducing the number of satellite streams they have post-Olympics) The coloured buttons you see on all European TV remotes were originally there to navigate "Fastext" (an upgrade to the Teletext system we have on analogue - and some European countries use on digital TV - broadcasts)
There is a next generation of "Press Red" coming - which will use IPTV delivery (iPlayer - the BBC equivalent of Hulu already does this on some broadcast platforms) to connected TVs, using the UK standard middleware rather than having to write bespoke apps for each manufacturer's chosen platform. This is not Flash or Silverlight based - it's effectively the same H264 format video in the same interlaced full-motion format as broadcast (though not always at the same bitrate)