NBC has continued its partnership with Merging Technologies after the American broadcaster acquired three Ovation media server and sequencers alongside three Horus mic preamps for its Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics coverage.
NBC dealings with Merging date back to when the broadcaster ordered four each of Ovation and Horus solutions for its new NBCSN sports centre in Stanford, Connecticut, US.
Merging resellers for Russia, Avallon, supplied the audio installation for the main Fischt Arena which was where the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games opening ceremony took place. Horus units were deployed to handle additional input signals and routing between the different systems. For this, Horus was connected to the Stagetec Nexus via MADI and the audio was controlled by the Stagetec Auratus-24 located high up in the stadium to give the operators an excellent view of the arena.
The Ovation/Horus setup is connected to the Calrec Artemis consoles via AES/EBU, with the dedicated keyboard controller located next to the console surface. The Primetime show’s theme music is cued on Ovation with a live voice over channel and “bumpers” in and out of the commercial breaks. Any stings or highlight music cues are also pre-configured in Ovation and fired from the keypad when needed. This controller is one of many different user interfaces for Ovation, as users can also deploy touch screen, web browsers or conventional keyboard and mouse if preferred.
Dennis Gaines from Merging Technology’s US distributor, Independent Audio, formed part of the crew in the International Broadcast Centre. His role was to train the freelance operators on the programming and operation of Ovation as well as to check that the installation was all correct and fully operational. One problem that was encountered early was the inability of some other playout devices to accept a variety of audio file formats. Ovation can not only handle any incoming file format but it can also convert those files to alternatives with different sampling rates as needed.
Avallon has now specified Horus for several football stadiums for the 2018 World Cup which is taking place in our country.”
Claude Cellier, President of Merging Technologies remarked: “We have enjoyed a consistent presence at various recent Olympic Games with Pyramix for the big ceremonies and now Horus and Ovation being used in vital situations. It is a nice reward for the hard work of my engineering team to see our products being used at such high profile events.”