2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on NBC - General comments thread - Page 5 - AVS Forum
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post #121 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 01:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by icemannyr View Post

NBC added a link to the live feed of NBCSN's coverage for the web version of Live Extra.
http://stream.nbcolympics.com/generic/13733/
That link you posted isn't complete. But if you just go to nbcolympics.com the link to get the live feed for NBCSN is there. If you're using AdBlock Plus in your browser you'll have to disable it for the Adobe authentication page, else you won't get sent to your cable provider for login authentication.

Of course once you get past the Adobe authentication redirect and pass the login for TWC, you're now immediately presented with an ad from NBC! Yes, you also have to disable AdBlock Plus for nbcolympics.com in order to receive any content.

Frankly, I'm glad I can just watch NBCSN in HDTV on my 65VT50 (recorded, and then I can FF through commercials), and not have to put up with ads in online streaming in a window on my computer monitor.

I MEAN THE WHOLE SCREEN IS JUST LITTERED WITH ADS AND COMMERCIALS!!! Just going to the "Results and schedule" page, or TV Listings... ads, promos, CLUTTER!!!

I'm going back to real HDTV.
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post #122 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 06:26 AM
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That's why I installed ad block software, to avoid ad spam but I guess they'll force you to watch them, at least on the TV you can go to the bathroom or take a break, on the computer screen they are there all the time!

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post #123 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mrvideo View Post

The copyright holder is the IOC, not NBC, or any other world broadcaster.

I wonder how much NBC would have to pay the IOC in order to do a U.S.A. release.

Besides, the broadcaster that would probably provide the best HD release is the BBC.

Yes - the BBC released a great Blu-ray of the Opening and Closing ceremonies of London 2012, complete with highlights from various events. There is a commentary-free audio option. Very watchable (with a few little edits supervised by Danny Boyle) - and the vertical timing error (where the event truck appeared to be a few lines late into the OBS truck) was fixed.

Not sure if it is regionally restricted - but it will be 1080/50i (aka 1080i25) so may not be that great on US set-ups that aren't 50Hz friendly.
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post #124 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by agus0103 View Post

Thanks for checking in all the way from Sochi.

On another note, I've noticed that instead of their IBC space some countries have their main studio located in a glass cube built within the Coastal Cluster. From here, their studios get huge windows overlooking the flame and coastal venues. The ARD/ZDF (Germany) program guide even mentioned that this is the first time their studio has not been located "in the catacombs of the IBC." Based on what I've seen so far, I think Canada and Switzerland might also be broadcasting from a cube too.

Yes. The BBC have a tiny studio which they are only using for a relatively small amount of their programmes. For most of the time they are presenting "out and about" from the Olympic park - which gives you a great feeling that they are part of the buzz of the games rather than isolated in a box. Thy did the same for 2010 in Vancouver/Whistler. However, in common with previous BBC Winter Games coverage, the bulk of the production team are in the UK (Salford near Manchester now, since BBC Sport moved out of London). The various multilateral feeds from the host broadcaster (i.e. the clean event feeds) are backhauled to the UK, along with the commentary audio and presentation unilaterals (studio and out-and-about presenter cameras) and the show is cut and sound mixed in the UK. (Graphics and replays handled there as well). That's why the BBC has such a small presence in the IBC.

However the BBC are providing much more coverage than in previous years. BBC Two/BBC Two HD is basically turned over to the Winter Olympics for the duration - and the website has live streaming of all the major events (advert free of course!)

The video will be geo-blocked to UK IP addresses - but this gives you an idea of the offering : http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/winter-olympics/2014

We now have "Connected Red Button" which allows access to the IP streamed video on a number of recent Smart TVs. We still have the traditional interactive TV Red Button offering - but this is limited to a small number of streams (not the 24 SD and 24 HD streams we had on satellite for London 2012!)
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post #125 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by thedeskE View Post

Nice Opening - BBC streamed with no commercials wink.gif

Enjoy! Times like this I love having the BBC. No adverts, all the major events streamed live (720/25p I think), with the commercial free HD BBC Two/BBC Two 1080/50i HD TV channel running coverage (mainly live) 0700-1900 (with a gap 1200-1300 for a political show when the Olympics moves to BBC One / BBC One HD) All broadcast in H264 and backhauled / distributed in a quality that avoids horrific compression artefacts.

Sadly the rest of Europe hasn't done as well since London 2012. Unlike the UK (BBC) and Germany (ARD/ZDF) many other countries have lost public service broadacst access to the games, and they've gone Pay TV. This is because the EBU (the European Broadcasting Union which represents European public service broadcasters) wasn't able to negotiate a Europe-wide rights deal, and the larger European countries' rights were sold separately, with the smaller countries' rights sold as a single lump to be sold-on.

For instance, this is the first year that Sweden has not had Winter Olympics coverage on free OTA - SVT no longer have the rights and instead Viasat (a Dish/DirecTV type operation) have it. I think the same is true for NRK - who lost the rights to TV2 (but NRK have been sub-contracted by TV2 to act as host broadcasters for the Biathlon I believe?) TV2 is also not entirely Pay TV - so may be FTA in Norway for some stuff?
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post #126 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 11:06 AM
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Quick question for NBC or CBC viewers - particularly of the curling - listening in 5.1.

The BBC is 5.1 from these games - and the surround channels sound a bit... err... odd. Wondered if it was the host 5.1 that was a bit off (sounds very gated or processed) or if it was somewhere after the host feed. (Though I guess NBC may do their own sound anyway?)
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post #127 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 11:16 AM
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A long streak will come to an end tonight.


Matt Lauer to fill in for Bob Costas on NBC's Olympic primetime show
NBCOlympics.com
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Feb 11, 9:15am EST

TODAY host Matt Lauer will fill in for Bob Costas during NBC’s Olympic primetime show Tuesday night. Costas has been struggling with an infection in his left eye, which has now spread to his right. He joked about it on Monday night as he toasted the evening with Mary Carillo by downing a shot of vodka. “I'm not really that much of a vodka guy,” he said. “I'm looking at it this way, though. My eyes can't get any redder, no matter what I do.”

This marks the first time since CBS presented the Nagano Olympic Winter Games in 1998 that someone other than Costas will host an Olympic primetime show. It’s also the first time since 1988 that someone other than Costas will host the Olympic primetime show on NBC, a remarkable run of 157 straight nights.

In a live call to Lauer on Tuesday morning’s TODAY, Costas said he hoped he could return after one night off, but wasn’t sure. “Let’s hope it’s only tonight. I’m walking around, I might as well be playing ‘Marco Polo.’ I have no idea where I am.” Costas gave Lauer vital information for his pinch-hitting duty – the names of Russian pairs figure skaters Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov – before signing off. Lauer said he’d start prepping right away.

“By the way, I will be doing the shots of vodka starting in about 15 minutes,” Lauer said.
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post #128 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Sadly the rest of Europe hasn't done as well since London 2012. Unlike the UK (BBC) and Germany (ARD/ZDF) many other countries have lost public service broadacst access to the games, and they've gone Pay TV. This is because the EBU (the European Broadcasting Union which represents European public service broadcasters) wasn't able to negotiate a Europe-wide rights deal, and the larger European countries' rights were sold separately, with the smaller countries' rights sold as a single lump to be sold-on.

For instance, this is the first year that Sweden has not had Winter Olympics coverage on free OTA - SVT no longer have the rights and instead Viasat (a Dish/DirecTV type operation) have it. I think the same is true for NRK - who lost the rights to TV2 (but NRK have been sub-contracted by TV2 to act as host broadcasters for the Biathlon I believe?) TV2 is also not entirely Pay TV - so may be FTA in Norway for some stuff?

I was wondering if you'd check in too to give the UK perspective. smile.gif

The EBU losing the contract for their members to broadcast the Olympics was certainly a major shakeup, but I'd argue that for the most part these Olympics and the upcoming 2016 ones did mostly stay on the public-service broadcasters in Europe that have long broadcasted the games. Certainly the biggest exceptions, as you noted, are Sweden and Norway. RAI in Italy also doesn't have broadcasting rights, but they lost many rights to Sky Italia starting with the 2010 Olympics I believe. Other than that, I think the only other EBU broadcasters that lost broadcast rights are LRT in Lithuania and RTP in Portgual, though that could actually improve coverage in both countries since I don't believe their public broadcasters are particularly well funded with many resources. There's a Wikipedia list of 2014 Olympics broadcasters here.

Nevertheless, that was a huge, huge coup for TV2 and Viasat to take the rights from NRK and SVT in Norway and Sweden, respectively. Indeed, in both countries, this is the first time that the public-service broadcaster is not airing the Olympics, winter or summer. From what I read before the games, the public, or at least the media, in both countries seemed somewhat glum about the move, primarily because TV2 and Viasat said that they would be showing commercials on their channels during live competition (something NRK and SVT would never do) and also because, without the Olympics, there is less perceived value obtained from paying the hefty and mandatory license fees that go toward funding NRK and SVT. Having to pay for access to all the Viasat or TV2 channels airing competition, or even the live streams on the internet, also probably doesn't help, although I noticed when visiting TV2's website that one can sign up for a free one-month trial subscription and get access to Olympic live streams.

Anyway, with all that said, now that we are a few days into the games, I wonder what Norwegians and Swedes think of their television coverage of these Olympics. Whatever the case, I'm sure they're still tuning in in enormous numbers given how passionate they are about many of the sports.
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post #129 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 05:33 PM
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There was a funny article about the Norwegians being upset at the first commercials ever for their Olympic TV.
They typically get lax suppression for watching the games during work hours at most business establishments.

Obviously, the Winter Games are a big deal there and considered a Right To See when it happens.

We should all be so lucky. It's a world event and in some lost era, a celebration of all people.
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post #130 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agus0103 View Post

I was wondering if you'd check in too to give the UK perspective. smile.gif
:-) I hate to disappoint.
Quote:
Nevertheless, that was a huge, huge coup for TV2 and Viasat to take the rights from NRK and SVT in Norway and Sweden, respectively. Indeed, in both countries, this is the first time that the public-service broadcaster is not airing the Olympics, winter or summer. From what I read before the games, the public, or at least the media, in both countries seemed somewhat glum about the move, primarily because TV2 and Viasat said that they would be showing commercials on their channels during live competition (something NRK and SVT would never do) and also because, without the Olympics, there is less perceived value obtained from paying the hefty and mandatory license fees that go toward funding NRK and SVT.
Well given that neither NRK or SVT ever air adverts (and have VERY limited sponsorship) it will be a shock. NRK and SVT didn't just not air ads during live competition - they didn't/don't air ads at all...

I was in Stockholm this weekend - and a friend of mine was paying, reluctantly, the 300SEK (approx US$45) to stream Viasat over IP for a month. For that they got multiple live streams.
Quote:
Anyway, with all that said, now that we are a few days into the games, I wonder what Norwegians and Swedes think of their television coverage of these Olympics. Whatever the case, I'm sure they're still tuning in in enormous numbers given how passionate they are about many of the sports.

As someone who watches SVT quite a lot - and who speaks OK Swedish - I wasn't that impressed with the TV3/Viasat presentation. SVT were VERY good at the Olympics. It will be interesting to see how the Viasat/TV3 approach is received. It did feel a bit commercial...
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post #131 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedeskE View Post

There was a funny article about the Norwegians being upset at the first commercials ever for their Olympic TV.
They typically get lax suppression for watching the games during work hours at most business establishments.

Obviously, the Winter Games are a big deal there and considered a Right To See when it happens.
That's quite an understatement. The Winter Olympics are huge events in Norway and Sweden. Historically their main free OTA channels have effectively become 24/7 Winter Olympics channels - coupled with multiple live streams on-line. Suddenly losing this to a pay-TV operation is a major blow. I guess the good news is that Norway and Sweden have pretty good broadband - as many won't have installed dishes or pay-TV OTA boxes for the fortnight and instead will be paying for a month of live streaming over IP.
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post #132 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

That's quite an understatement. The Winter Olympics are huge events in Norway and Sweden. Historically their main free OTA channels have effectively become 24/7 Winter Olympics channels - coupled with multiple live streams on-line. Suddenly losing this to a pay-TV operation is a major blow. I guess the good news is that Norway and Sweden have pretty good broadband - as many won't have installed dishes or pay-TV OTA boxes for the fortnight and instead will be paying for a month of live streaming over IP.

Either way, something we should all get, the right to celebrate an event of ALL people.

Instead we in the US get news of our guys who didn't win and little about who DID win or the event.
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post #133 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Quick question for NBC or CBC viewers - particularly of the curling - listening in 5.1.

The BBC is 5.1 from these games - and the surround channels sound a bit... err... odd. Wondered if it was the host 5.1 that was a bit off (sounds very gated or processed) or if it was somewhere after the host feed. (Though I guess NBC may do their own sound anyway?)

NBC's Curling is taking in the Host 5.1 and adding commentary to the centre. A tiny bit of re-mixing of the 5.1 is being done, but not much.
I don't know what the BBC is doing with it.

Live from Sochi,
Alfonso
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post #134 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thedeskE View Post

Instead we in the US get news of our guys who didn't win and little about who DID win or the event.
And commercials... lots of them.
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post #135 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Not sure if it is regionally restricted - but it will be 1080/50i (aka 1080i25) so may not be that great on US set-ups that aren't 50Hz friendly.

Doctor Who Blu-ray releases are region free. I only buy the BBC Doctor Who releases because I prefer the original frame rate.

As pointed out in other threads, I have no problem playing BBC releases on my Samsung Blu-ray player and HD monitor combination..

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post #136 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rezzy View Post

Seems like NBC has had the Olympic games locked up forever. Maybe CBS will snag them in the future; this macroblocking has got to go, but I'll watch anyway..

The video quality is horrendous on most anything fast-moving ... watching OTA signal on 100" projector and don't know if it's my local network affiliate or widespread but this is the absolutely worst macroblocking I've seen on anything -- ever. eek.gif

Anyone else notice how horrible it is or am I being overly critical (don't think I am BTW).


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post #137 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SnellKrell View Post

Let's get real.

The "N" in NBC stands for "National" - it's the National Broadcasting Company.

It's an American network covering an interantional event, and righfully so, NBC
is featuring the "home team."

There's nothing wrong with that. Surely, other networks from other countries
are featuring their home-grown atheletes.

I'm more concerned by the terrible looking pictures that I'm receiving OTA from
the network's flagship station here in New York City.

Soft, almost SD! UGH!

Jim Hilson
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post #138 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by HislonV View Post

Actually not true. The majority of other countries take the host feed and add commentary. They broadcast the "long form" event.
Only a handful of countries have a large presence in the IBC. Some countries have little or nothing. NBC has the largest crew and space. They also have their own facilities on site at several of the popular venues and do a separate show from the OBS host feed. They buy splits of effects mics and a few of the host cameras to add to their own. They also have editing facilities at some venues.
By the way, for those commenting on the 4:3 graphics, those look like OBS graphics which are used for the world feeds and they have to deal with the lowest common denominator.

Jim Hilson
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post #139 of 235 Old 02-11-2014, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

That link you posted isn't complete. But if you just go to nbcolympics.com the link to get the live feed for NBCSN is there. If you're using AdBlock Plus in your browser you'll have to disable it for the Adobe authentication page, else you won't get sent to your cable provider for login authentication.

Of course once you get past the Adobe authentication redirect and pass the login for TWC, you're now immediately presented with an ad from NBC! Yes, you also have to disable AdBlock Plus for nbcolympics.com in order to receive any content.

On FIOS you are automatically logged into nbcolympics.com when you access any of the live feeds. The flash player is much better than the YouTube player.
It would be nice if in full screen the video was full screen.
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post #140 of 235 Old 02-12-2014, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filtor View Post

The video quality is horrendous on most anything fast-moving ... watching OTA signal on 100" projector and don't know if it's my local network affiliate or widespread but this is the absolutely worst macroblocking I've seen on anything -- ever. eek.gif

It is your local affiliate. How many subchannels does your local affiliate have?

The NBC network feed is perfectly fine. You would love to be able to project it. Extremely clean.

My local NBC affiliate has two subchannels, forcing the main HD video to only have ~13.1 Mbps, which is horrible for 1080i video. Even if it had the full 17 Mbps, it would still have issues, but not as bad.

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Originally Posted by HislonV View Post

Actually not true. The majority of other countries take the host feed and add commentary. They broadcast the "long form" event.
Only a handful of countries have a large presence in the IBC. Some countries have little or nothing. NBC has the largest crew and space. They also have their own facilities on site at several of the popular venues and do a separate show from the OBS host feed. They buy splits of effects mics and a few of the host cameras to add to their own. They also have editing facilities at some venues.
By the way, for those commenting on the 4:3 graphics, those look like OBS graphics which are used for the world feeds and they have to deal with the lowest common denominator.

Jim,
Good to see you are still lurking and seperating fact from fiction.

Al
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post #142 of 235 Old 02-12-2014, 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by audiojunk View Post

NBC's Curling is taking in the Host 5.1 and adding commentary to the centre. A tiny bit of re-mixing of the 5.1 is being done, but not much.
I don't know what the BBC is doing with it.

Live from Sochi,
Alfonso

How do the host surround channels, err, sound? Particularly for the curling? Any odd gating or processing - it's certainly not the usually clean 'crowd effects' you normally hear in surround channels at these kind of events by the time it reaches us in the UK. (The BBC usually mix commentary across the front 3 channels rather than just keeping it in the centre - they do the same at Wimbledon)
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post #143 of 235 Old 02-12-2014, 02:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnellKrell View Post

Let's get real.

The "N" in NBC stands for "National" - it's the National Broadcasting Company.

It's an American network covering an interantional event, and righfully so, NBC
is featuring the "home team."

There's nothing wrong with that. Surely, other networks from other countries
are featuring their home-grown atheletes.

You'd possibly be surprised how different NBC is from the rest of the broadcasters covering the Olympics. Most countries take the host feed provided by OBS (Olympic Broadcasting Services) which is the clean event feed and shouldn't favour any nation or competitor. Some will have an on-site presenter or reporter to interview competitors and provide a context set-up / analysis afterwards from an event/location perspective. A few will occasionally have an additional camera or cameras to provide cleaner coverage (often just for replays) of a national competitor (particularly in Athletics at the Summer Games - it's trickier for distance sports or action sports that are more common at the Winter Games) Most countries will show whole events un-edited. Many (most in Europe) will show events live and relatively un-interrupted (ignoring the time differences, with repeats or highlights in primetime) Whilst editorially events with domestic competitors are likely to be favoured, it is entirely usual to see events covered with no domestic competitors. There is a lot of even-handedness in the coverage (there was some criticism recently of the UK commentary team who got carried away when we won our first EVER medal on snow rather than ice!) - and you will see interviews with the winners, irrespective of their home country. You will also sometimes see background features on non-domestic competitors as well.

NBC cover the Olympic Games very differently to the rest of the world. They have a much bigger presence at the IBC (International Broadcast Centre) than anyone else (to the extent that they have their own branches of Starbucks, Macdonalds etc. within their areas apparently) They often have approaching half (and usually well over a third) of the space available for ALL broadcasters. They create a far more bespoke, US-centric, offering. They have on-site production facilities at many of the major venues (few other broadcasters do this), and add significant extra cameras to produce a more US-centric feed than the OBS host feed would be, as well as paying for ISO (separate isolated) feeds of the OBS cameras and splits of OBS mics. They delay and edit much more than many other broadcasters, and run far more 'filler' features in my experience. It's all about what sells advertising at the end of the day. NBC pay more than anyone else for Olympic rights, and need to recoup their investment.

In Europe, most broadcasters (though now not all) covering the Olympics are public service broadcasters. They usually have limited or zero advertising, and a very different editorial outlook to NBC. They also have far lower budgets - so do less on-site at each venue, and in many cases do less on-site in the country (and do more back at their home base remotely)

Whatever you do don't think NBC is typical of the way other countries cover the Olympics. Quite the opposite. It's the odd-one-out.
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post #144 of 235 Old 02-12-2014, 03:29 AM
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How do the host surround channels, err, sound? Particularly for the curling? Any odd gating or processing - it's certainly not the usually clean 'crowd effects' you normally hear in surround channels at these kind of events by the time it reaches us in the UK. (The BBC usually mix commentary across the front 3 channels rather than just keeping it in the centre - they do the same at Wimbledon)
Sneals:
The rears sound fine leaving here. There is some audio compression across all 5 channels, so when the curlers yell, the rears are sucked down a little, but it is marginal. The BBC might be doing something odd.

Alf
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post #145 of 235 Old 02-12-2014, 03:59 AM
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Jim,
Good to see you are still lurking and seperating fact from fiction.

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I second the motion smile.gif .
Glad to see that Jim is back. (You aren't over at Sochi, doing some free-lance, are you?)

And, of course, sneals has great insight in to all of this, and brings us the perspective from the other side of the pond.

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post #146 of 235 Old 02-12-2014, 05:23 AM
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(You aren't over at Sochi, doing some free-lance, are you?)

Jim, no. Me, yes.

Alfonso
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post #147 of 235 Old 02-12-2014, 10:50 AM
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Sneals:
The rears sound fine leaving here. There is some audio compression across all 5 channels, so when the curlers yell, the rears are sucked down a little, but it is marginal. The BBC might be doing something odd.

Alf

Thanks for that. The main BBC show is balanced/mixed in Salford in the UK (think Manchester) where BBC Sport are now based, with OBS multis and BBC unis backhauled there. Will do some digging...
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post #148 of 235 Old 02-12-2014, 12:43 PM
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That's an interesting point. The fronts dragging down the rears. I understand that having all 6 channels compressed the same makes general sense. I wonder what Sky or US football do when the ref whistle or makes a  call and the rears come down. Seperate compression or do most people not notice?

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Jim, no. Me, yes.

Alfonso

Hi all.
Jim is sitting at home watching in my home theater. Unfortunately I am on the west coast so I can see the live events starting at midnight, but the prime time show is delayed here so I can only comment on the overnight stuff if I hear a problem at home. (I have!)

Jim Hilson
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post #150 of 235 Old 02-12-2014, 09:33 PM
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Whatever you do don't think NBC is typical of the way other countries cover the Olympics. Quite the opposite. It's the odd-one-out.

I most certainly don't. When the Olympics were in Vancouver, I searched for CTV feeds as I did not want to watch the stuff that NBC provided. Unfortunately this time around, CBC has the Olympics and they are encrypted, which has pissed off many Canadians because their tax $$$ pay for CBC, yet can't watch the feeds on their BUDs.

Unfortunately, I'm stuck with what NBC provides during primetime. The NBCSN feed is encrypted (not a surprise).

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