It will be the smallest city to host the Winter Olympics since 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway. However, South Korea has big hopes and even bigger technology to ensure the 23rd Winter Olympic Games will offer a viewing experience as never before. The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang will feature 102 events in 15 sports. From Thursday, February 8th to closing ceremonies on Sunday, February 25, the world will be watching athletes from some 90 countries as new Ethernet technology enables viewers to experience, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, as never before.
Technology is nothing new to the Olympics, which has provided a venue and opportunity for broadcast innovation every two years. This Winter Olympics will be the first immersive viewing experience where viewers will be able to experience first-person 360-degree views from athletes via virtual reality from high-definition videos.
Many are familiar with Mellanox for our high-performance connectivity use-cases for High Performance Computing (HPC), but few may know about our involvement with video transportation.
IP based- networks are being used in the 2018 Winter Olympics to help streamline content distribution and management as video will be captured by new methods.
The technological advancements of broadcasting the Games as they have changed throughout the years require considerable networking prowess. Mellanox Ethernet-based networks are proliferating across the entire broadcast and television ecosystems. Higher quality content such as that which will be broadcast at the Olympics (HD, UHD, 4K and beyond) requires a network with more horsepower and bandwidth. Companies such as BBC, FOX and NBC are actively converting to IP infrastructure. This includes live sports, production studios, data transport, content distribution, and even applications for storage. All with the proven and scalable solution comprised of Mellanox Spectrum switches, ConnectX adapters and LinkX cables, while delivering extremely reliable HDR video to viewers.
Mellanox’s leading IP-based technologies allow broadcasters the ability to alter the economics while enriching the video experience by bringing the audience and content closer together. In addition, with the SMTPE standard 2110 established which defines professional media over managed IP networks, broadcasters now have a technology path that accelerate the migration to IP-based networks, which will save time and money. The move from HD to 4K/UHD, 8K and HDR not only illustrates the necessity for absolute bandwidth, but also shows the inability of the current proprietary technology (SDI) & traditional Fibre Channel storage to deliver what customers crave, a more realistic entertainment experience. Driven by their need to have the underlying hardware innovate at their speed, the media & entertainment industry is now transitioning to a converged Ethernet fabric for both their applications and the storage, with an open standard that has been powering datacenters for decades while allowing innovation at a level that has never before been able to be realized.
Mellanox Spectrum switches allow broadcasters to save time and money, and become more innovative. Most operators will continue to separate traffic by priority; however, Mellanox switches have the intelligence to prioritize real-time media streams, critical during the Olympics and other live broadcasts where the action is happening on multiple fronts.