The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are over and for the team at Panasonic Corporation, who delivered a wide range of equipment essential to the stadium’s operation, including large screen screens, audio systems, etc., it is time to reflect on the achievements and prepare for the Beijing Games in February 2022. Mr. Fumitaka Numata, Director of the Global Olympic and Paralympic Marketing Section, Panasonic company discussed efforts with SVG.
Panasonic has played a big role in various efforts around the Tokyo Games. Can you discuss some of the strengths of the Panasonic team?
Mr. Numata: One of the highlights is our support for the opening and closing ceremonies. This year, during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Tokyo 2020 Games at the Olympic Stadium, Panasonic used the latest AV technologies, including 60 state-of-the-art Panasonic projectors, to enhance the different performance. The incredibly well-received performance of the “50 Olympic Sports Pictograms” presented at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, for example, was filmed live using Panasonic’s LUMIX DC-S1 cameras and the S lens. -R24105 (24-105mm F4 lens).
What were the model numbers and types of Panasonic equipment that were used during the games?
We designed, built and supplied technical support and equipment (approximately 180 system cameras, 140 turntables, 50 mixers, 1,400 monitors and more) for the International Broadcasting Center’s (IBC) 4K / 8K broadcast system, as well as installing the large video display screen seen at the Tokyo Aquatic Center, which was completed in February 2020 and hosted the Olympic swimming competitions. As a result of these efforts, images showing the efforts of the athletes participating in Tokyo 2020 without spectators have been successfully shared with the world.
In addition to the audiovisual technologies used by Panasonic during the opening and closing ceremonies, map projection via Panasonic projectors was used to enhance the men’s 100m athletics final, the women’s 100m athletics final, 3 × 3 basketball, sport climbing, etc.
The Tokyo Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games organized the filming of the competitions using fisheye lens cameras (LUMIX DC-BGH1) installed at the Olympic venues and projected on “domed screens” installed at three venues. in Tokyo with the city of Iida. in Nagano Prefecture and Fukui City in Fukui Prefecture.
This technology, one of the many initiatives of the Tokyo 2020 Future Sports Viewing project, allowed viewers to experience the same realism and energy as if they were at the Olympic venue itself.
In addition, for the first time in these Games, our IT / IP KAIROS live video production platform was used as a mixer for large video display equipment, as well as our remote cameras (AW-UE-150 ), which made it possible to diversify the video expression.
Overall, we have provided around 180 system cameras including PTZ cameras, camcorders, studio cameras, 140 turntables and 50 switches to these Games.
What are the key trends from the Olympics that people in the industry should pay attention to?
The technology that powers the Olympic and Paralympic Games continues to evolve to immerse the global public in unforgettable experiences. There are many new and developing AV / display technologies and trends to watch out for.
Newly implemented for Tokyo 2020:
- A first at the Olympics, the official real-time stream was in Full HD and 4K; special 8K streams were available for national broadcasters
- Serial digital baseband interface (SDI) has been partially upgraded to Internet Protocol
- 4K and 8K were live and provided clearer images than HD
- 2020 Games Water Events Powered by Next Generation Panasonic AV / Display Technology (News)
It is an exciting achievement. And speaking of global audience, international broadcast signals also continue to increase: 76 Full HD signals and 45 4K signals were used for Tokyo 2020, compared to 55 (Full HD only) for Rio 2016. And then add the Games Paralympics, which with 540 events is an even bigger business.
Additionally, the increased use of PTZ cameras has made it possible to shoot videos from various angles that cameramen cannot easily access. It has also gained a lot of attention from a remote video shooting perspective, thus decreasing the number of personnel required in a location, which helps support Covid-19 countermeasures in the operation of a event.
Was there something that surprised you during the various efforts that were easier or more difficult than you expected?
While most of the world watched the Olympic and Paralympic Games from home, there was a lot of pressure to ensure that our technologies immerse fans in the action and create storytelling experiences that could inspire and amaze.
The pandemic has posed challenges, including rigid site restrictions and the need to find alternative solutions to the inability of foreign engineers to enter Japan. To solve these problems, we had to step in and play a vital role in many areas he had never ventured into before.
Regardless, our creative team remained motivated in these challenging conditions, striving to craft a performance that would erase the problems of the time. Being an event like no other, the honor of participating in the Olympic and Paralympic Games to spread joy and amaze the world was more than satisfying. We hope to stay at the forefront of the new digital era brought on by the pandemic, using the latest technology to create even more spectacular and inclusive events in the future.
Will Panasonic play a similar role for the Beijing games?
As TOP Sponsor of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Panasonic has provided competition venues and other facilities of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games not only with a range of audiovisual equipment, but also solutions to further support competitions, production video, and system operations. We will continue to support the Olympic Movement until Paris 2024.