Now for some pics and descriptions on the inside of “our trucks,” the two tractor trailers we floated over here for NBC’s control room for the Opening Ceremonies.
This is a panoramic view of the Production Room. Where the Director called the shots, and the TD (Technical Director) operated the Switcher to execute the show. The show was recorded for network playback later. After the live show, many extra segments were recorded to possibly be edited into what was seen on prime time Friday night. We recorded everything, although the parade of nations was edited down.
Behind the Production room is Audio. A 72 fader, 144 input surround sound console that is the heart of the audio mix. It is to sound what the video Switcher is to Video.
Toward the front of the same truck is what is still called “The Tape Room,” although very little tape is actually used anymore. Everything is server based. All playback and recording. On live sports events this is where the “instant replay” is recorded and executed. For the Opening Ceremonies these machines were used to playback various pre recorded segments such as interviews, introductions, etc, as well as for the first editing of the broadcast for the prime time playback. A lot of video segments are fed back to NBC in Stanford, CT by digital files through a high speed fiber optic network.
The other part of the tape room, also showing Engineering, where Marc, or myself sit. The “guts” of much of the equipment is in Engineering. Every signal coming and going from the outside can be either patched around through patch bays behind the Engineer, or through routing systems. The layout of monitors, intercom programming, and other internal systems are done in Engineering.
On the other side of Engineering is the Video area. From here the operators color adjust all cameras they control to make for consistent images. On this show, they had to control and adjust 17 main cameras, plus 3 cameras for the talent in the booth, plus several external feeds from 2 aerial cameras and others.
Now a look into one of the compartments of our 2nd truck, known as the “B Unit”. This is a 53′ long trailer that does not have expandable space. The inside can be set up to house operators of additional equipment. It is also the storage unit for all of the camera equipment, cabling, audio gear, etc. For this show they used 3 machines to provide the graphics you saw…..titles, identifying the countries during a Parade of Nations, etc. Signaling to and from this truck is handled via Fiber optics to the main truck (the “A Unit”).