What's behind the Olympic Journey

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Written by
Chad Kunimoto

Manager Global Business Development

What's behind the Olympic Journey

An Olympic Journey powering innovation.

The Olympic Games need no introduction: they are the international showcase of peak athletic performance competitions. Audiences around the world tune in to see their favorite athletes performing and to witness the ever more spectacular Opening and Closing Ceremonies unfolding. As technology evolves so does the audience demand, not only do they want to see the performances they want to feel as though they are part of it even from the comfort of their living rooms on the other side of the world.

Panasonic is proud to have a long-standing partnership with the Olympic Games, our Olympic journey began 33 years ago with the Olympic Winter Games Calgary 1988 and has continued from their supporting operations as one of ʼThe Olympic Partnersʼ (TOP). 
Research and development and innovation has always been at the heart of Panasonic's mission. Rising to the challenge of the ever-moving goals posts of the Olympics are one of the many driving forces behind our advances which are applied to all areas of the themed entertainment sector to deliver never-seen-before immersive experiences to audiences around the world. 

Meeting the challenge

Using technology to bring a story together within the constraints of the venue is always a key consideration. There is no second take of a race and no room to miss a critical moment, the equipment has to be 100% reliable and capable of meeting the challenges of the environment whilst not interfering with the event itself.
To get a better understanding of how we rise to the occasion to overcome difficulties, let's take a look at PyeongChang 2018 and the evolution of technology and operations for that event. 

Solutions supplied through high-brightness laser projectors

At PyeongChang 2018, Panasonic supplied projectors with newly enhanced technology setting a new standard at the time for high-brightness laser projectors, the WUXGA 31,000-lumen PT-RZ31K and the 4K+ 27,000-lumen PT-RQ32K.
Prior to these laser projectors, Panasonics projectors were 20,000 lumen, lamp-based, and required frequent lamp replacement and a large maintenance. The change to laser-based projectors signalled a great advance in technology with higher brightness and no need to replace bulbs, the projector units also became smaller making it possible to project brighter than ever images with fewer units and the smaller size facilitated installation making them more adaptable to the venueʼs constraints. 

Centralised asset management of multiple projectors

PyeongChang 2018 required 154 projectors to be installed. Keeping track of the function of so many units is a challenge. To ensure smooth running without the need for a large team Panasonic developed a multi-unit surveillance system to watch and control each device from a single central location throughout PyeongChang 2018 ensuring effective trouble-free operation.

High durability strictly required under harsh conditions

PyeongChang 2018 were considered particularly cold in comparison to other previous host venues, the extreme temperatures created another technology challenge. Panasonic supplied over 1000 professional displays for PyeongChang 2018 and the TH-47LFX60 outdoor signage systems were used at outdoor competition venues. These robust displays operated stably despite the harsh conditions providing footage and information without compromising on image quality. The IPS panels with high brightness and a wide viewing angle provide a clear image even in an outdoor setting.

NHK 8K theatre at the IBC

Media is a huge part of any international sporting event and of course the Olympics is no exception.
As part of the media support inside the IBC, the NHK 8K theatre was set up, using four Panasonic PT-RQ32K laser projectors with 4K+ resolution to create blended 8K video, showcasing key moments and highlights to the media in ultra-high definition which was praised by NHK representations as the best quality 8K available at the time.

Keep inspiring the people around the world through our state-of-the-art technology 

The successes with these video technologies at PyeongChang 2018 mark just another step on the continuous journey, even while one event is still ongoing the planning and development initiatives of the next Olympic and Paralympic Games are already underway. While the athletes were still competing in 2018 behind the scenes planning and tech development was already well underway for the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Look out for the next episode where we will continue the Panasonic's Olympic journey taking us to the Tokyo 2020 Games with further technological breakthroughs and a look forward to Paris 2024 which of course is already under development. 

Read more about the technology used at the Olympic Games

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