Avid to Provide Production Solutions and Support for NBC's Coverage of the Beijing Summer Games


Tewksbury, Mass, 2008-07-29 Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) today announced that it  has been selected to implement an end-to-end editing workflow for NBC during the network's coverage of the 2008 Summer Games from Beijing, China August 8-24. This marks NBC and Avid's fifth consecutive Summer or Winter Games working together.

NBC was looking for a vendor that understood the rigorous demands of a high-scale production and could offer a solution that would enable the network to deliver more than 3,600 hours of HD programming over a 17-day period. In order to fulfill this task, NBC opted for 224TB of Avid Unity™ ISIS® shared storage to be dispersed across four systems, including an Avid® Interplay® system, which will enable scalability, vast client connectivity, resiliency, and a facility-wide workflow. NBC will also deploy approximately 34 Avid systems for editing, ingest, capture, and playout, and will use Avid DNxHD® codec to significantly reduce storage and bandwidth requirements, while providing mastering-quality HD media.

In Beijing we are surpassing the combined total for every televised Summer Games in U.S. history. In order to handle this around-the-clock coverage, we need solutions that are resilient, scalable, and able to handle rapid turnaround. Avid was able to once again deliver a workflow to help us meet these rigorous demands, said Dave Mazza, senior vice president, NBC Olympics Engineering. With these games, we have installed the largest and most integrated Avid environment to date for NBC Olympics – particularly with the addition of the Avid Unity ISIS and Interplay systems. Being able to integrate all of the Avid solutions, on a combination of shared-storage networks over Gigabit Ethernet, plays an integral role in helping NBC succeed in delivering the most hours of Summer Games programming ever.

The 75,000-square-foot International Broadcast Center (IBC) in Beijing, China has a number of HD nonlinear edit suites outfitted with both Avid Symphony™ Nitris® and Media Composer® systems, connected to Avid Unity ISIS and Avid Interplay systems. Avid DNxchange® systems will integrate with an EVS XT[2] system for a seamless workflow that will enable the real-time conversion of EVS HD media to the Avid DNxHD 120 format – to facilitate HD production at 1080i/50 resolutions within the Avid shared storage environment. Because Avid DNxHD files support full raster 8- and 10-bit media, they deliver the pristine quality of 10-bit uncompressed HD images – at dramatically reduced file sizes. When fully operational, the NBC IBC will be equipped to handle more than 160TB of HD media in a shared-storage environment – or 1,250 hours of HD footage. 

Kirk Arnold, Avid's executive vice president of Customer Operations said, We are thrilled to be a part of one of the most ambitious media projects in broadcasting history and very proud to be working together with NBC on our fifth consecutive Summer or Winter Games. Our customers are constantly telling us that quality, value and performance are really important to them, and The Summer Games are a perfect example of an environment that will push our products to just about every limit, around the clock, for several weeks. NBC's choice to use Avid solutions further demonstrates our commitment to delivering proven solutions that broadcasters can count on to get the job done, day in and day out.

About NBC Olympics

NBC, America's Olympic Network, owns the exclusive U.S. media rights to the Olympic Games, television's most powerful property, through 2012, which includes Beijing in 2008, Vancouver in 2010 and London in 2012. From August 8-24, 2008 NBC Universal will present an unprecedented 3,600 hours of coverage, highlighted by NBC in primetime with live swimming, gymnastics and beach volleyball. In August 2004, 203 million viewers watched as the networks of NBC Universal—NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, USA, Bravo, Telemundo, and NBC's HD affiliates—offered a then record 1,210 hours of Olympic coverage from Athens. For additional information, go to NBCOlympics.com, a year-round destination for fans of Olympic sports, featuring news, Beijing previews, athlete features, expert blogs, photos, Olympic video from the NBC archives and social tools enabling users to build communities around their favorite sports, post comments and blogs.

About Avid Technology, Inc.

Avid is a worldwide leader in tools for film, video, audio, 3D animation, gaming and broadcast professionals – as well as for home audio and video enthusiasts. Avid professional and consumer brands include Avid, Digidesign, M-Audio, Pinnacle Systems, Sibelius, Softimage and Sundance Digital. The vast majority of primetime television shows, feature films, commercials and chart-topping music hits are made using one or more Avid products. Whether used by seasoned professionals or beginning students, Avid's products and services enable customers to work more efficiently, productively and creatively. Avid received an Oscar® statuette representing the 1998 Scientific and Technical Award for the concept, design, and engineering of the Avid® Film Composer® system for motion picture editing. For more information about the company's Oscar, Grammy® and Emmy® award-winning products and services, visitwww.avid.com, del.icio.us, Flickr, technorati and twitter; or connect with Avid on Facebook.

# # #

© 2008 Avid Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Avid, Avid DNxHD, Avid Unity, Digidesign, DNxchange, Interplay, ISIS, M-Audio, Media Composer, Nitris, Pinnacle Systems, Sibelius, Softimage, Sundance Digital and Symphony are trademarks or registered trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries. Emmy is a registered trademark of ATAS/NATAS. Oscar is a trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Grammy is a trademark of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.