CCTV Live Broadcast of Beijing Olympic Games 2008

China Central Television (CCTV), China’s national television service, was named the sole provider of the 2008 Olympicsin Beijing to mainland China. With a network of 18 channels broadcasting different programming, CCTV reaches more than a billion viewers on the Chinese mainland.

CCTV had been using the EVS XT[2] production server and related software for field production in its OB Vans for several years already, but the 2008 Olympic Games marked the first time the company used EVS equipment in a studio setting as well as in the field.

"It was a large scale system, used by China’s topbroadcaster, to cover one of the biggest worldwide eventsof all time. This installation allowed EVS to demonstratethe power of our instant tapeless technology in HD,plus our excellent interoperability with Avid in the bestpossible way."Raymond Chen,General Manager, EVS China


CCTV required a fully integrated production solution from ingest to playout for live and near-live production of the Olympics from 6-24 August 2008, including highlights, fast turnaround edits, replays, delays, graphics and video inserts, plus background on its various channels, CCTV1, CCTV2, CCTV5, and CCTVHD. The solution needed to include integration with Avid post production tools, and be able to record 32 feeds and handle over 3400 hours of programming over the three week period of the Olympic games.

Altogether, the EVS solution included 21 HD XT[2] servers, seven XF[2] archive servers, and 10 IPDirector workstations, which were deployed throughout the CCTV set-up. Among these, seven 6CH HD XT[2] servers were set up in two HD OB vans in order to provide service to the Beijing Olympic Broadcaster (BOB). Seven 6CH HD XT[2]s and fi ve XF[2]s were deployed in the TV compound production system to broadcast swimming, table tennis, gymnastics, basketball, badminton, and volleyball competitions. Seven 6CH HD XT[2] servers and 10 IPDirector workstations plus two XF[2]s were deployed throughout other CCTV systems.


Seven HD XT[2] servers were combined in two production networks in OB vans to handle completely live, multiple camera recording, instant playback of slow motion, and highlights production. In CCTV’s production and playout system, there were two network frameworks. The fi rst was the EVS XNet[2] network, which combined seven XT[2] servers and two XF[2] archive servers. The second was the gigabit Ethernet network, which combined seven XT[2] servers, two XF[2] archive servers, and all 10 IPDirector workstations. Of the latter, fi ve were used to realize fi le transmissions and copy and provide content to an Avid post production system. The remaining fi ve workstations were used to perform playout control for studios.

"The EVS system played an important multi-functionrole during the CCTV Olympics Broadcast. It recordedthe live feeds for replay; it allowed highlights creationduring live, making the overall program more attractiveto viewers. The EVS system features such as delayand turnaround applications are powerful and fl exiblefor broadcast, a key to guarantee playout safety andimprove the fl exibility." ZHANG Xing of CCTV

In total, the EVS system recorded 3,200 hours of media in loop recording mode, broken up into 27,000 total minutesof backup playout, 3,400 minutes of highlights and replays, and 4,400 minutes of ads, background, delay, turnaround, and insert footage to CCTV1, CCTV2, CCTV5, and CCTVHD.

EVS solution at CCTV presents the following benefits:
• Full control of all video and audio content
• Strong functionalities integrated in one control terminal
• Support of Avid DNxHD® means content is instantlyavailable on Avid post production equipment
• Distributed storage
• Connected live production ability
• Outstanding reliability