Leyard LED video wall in the NBC Olympic studio set

LED video technologies behind the scenes at Rio 2016

The importance of broadcasting for the sports industry is hard to overestimate. With the recent technologies ensuring highest image and sound quality television is the most common way of viewing sports worldwide. However, whatever tech-savvy, broadcasting is unable to deliver the ambiance that controls the venue at the time of big sporting events, and especially the Olympic Games.

The Rio 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games officially came to the end on the 21st of August with a pompous Closing Ceremony. The Olympiad featured 10500 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees, who competed in 42 Olympic sports throughout numerous sports venues.

The event of this scale was largely supported by Panasonic Corporation that has been in partnership with the Olympic Committee for over 25 years. As an Official Sponsor of the Games, the company provided professional sound and video systems, broadcasting equipment, cameras, monitors, and LED large screen display systems to deliver the Olympic spirit throughout the globe.

The Rio 2016 Games saw the biggest scale of LED screens and video systems that have been installed at Olympic competition venues since Panasonic started providing equipment in 1988. Moreover, it was no surprise since LED visual technologies have become more affordable with the recent developments and steady cost reduction. Used mostly for the same purpose of informing, televising, and brand promotion, these displays vary in application, sizes, and specifications.  

On-venues displays

Large full-color LED displays that are an integral part of any modern arena, let alone the Olympic venues. Essential for viewing games-related data as well as sponsorship videos, these displays can turn any sports event into a vibrant and memorable show. The Maracanã stadium, the Rio 2016 central facility, received four big LED screens from LianTronics that were installed over the arena’s circumference. Each video solution measured 100 square meters and featured 20mm pixel pitch. Moreover, Panasonic as the official sponsor of the Rio 2016 Games fitted out all the sports venues with its LED screens. There were over 70 screens deployed with a total area of 1,886 square meters, the company said.

LianTronics LED screens at the Maracanã stadium

Broadcasting displays

Installed in the TV studios to deliver the sights, sounds, and excitement of the Olympic Games to the worldwide audience. The transmitting of Olympic footage was done from the Rio’s International Broadcast Centre (IBC) that hosted 12 studios. NBC Olympics, the U.S. broadcast rights holder to the Games, provided its coverage against the backdrop of three Leyard TVH LED displays of 1.9 and 2.5mm pixel pitch. Installed within the NBC Olympics’ IBC set, this media was capable of displaying ultra-high resolution graphics and video playback. The NEP Studios who conducted the Olympic coverage to Australia went even further having deployed 4K curved LED screen for their studio set. Measuring almost 7.5m long and 2.3m high the VuePix LED display featured tight 1mm pixel pitch for precise image quality. The content was run and fed to the screen via Avid Media Servers.

VuePix S1mm in Olympic Studio

DOOH displays

Often referred to as an integral platform that connects audiences with advertisers, the category includes digital billboards, ad displays, banners, information touch screens, self-service boards, and way-finding kiosks. With the high efficiency of ads shown in times of sports events, the Olympiad provided an excellent opportunity for brands to promote themselves while sharing breaking news and excitement of the Games. One such example is a campaign by London-based media company Ocean Outdoor and the team of Great Britain that ran in the UK during the Games. The project used the company’s network of city and roadside screens to display the achievements of Great Britain in six-minute slots, 11 hours every day.

The Two Towers East featuring the Olympic achievements of team Great Britain

With their ages-old history, Olympic Games remain a major sporting festivity celebrating the harmony of human strength, will-to-win spirit, and cross-national fellowship. A wide range of technical solutions that AV industry relies upon once again brought to the world the best of this biggest sports event.

Tags: Panasonic, Digital Signage, LianTronics, Leyard, Sports Facilities, Broadcasting, Ocean Outdoor