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Discovery: Adding to the Olympic mix

Gerry O’Sullivan, who again moderated IBC’s now regular CTO session of industry experts, said that back in 2014 the key debating points concerned 4K or 8K, the threat of Netflix and OTT in general.

“Last year we agreed it was no longer just about the pixels but the importance of HDR, WCG and HFR. We also discussed the cloud and IP.”

Discovery’s CTO, John Honeycutt, said he was reluctant to play technology bingo, but that what’s important to Discovery is the supply chain and the eco-system.

“The cloud, and data of course, and virtualisation, are all important,” he said. “We are continually asking ourselves how we can use technology in a different way.

We ask ourselves to re-imagine how the future could be and how we can use this piece of code in a different way.

Could we tap into it for ad sales, or marketing? A year ago we would not have been discussing Snapchat. It is now important to us.”

Honeycutt said Discovery was already preparing for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang.

“We are looking at the Games, including the 2020 Tokyo event, as to how different it might be. Might it use remote production, for example, which is already capable of handling the tasks.

We also believe that the next few years will see some revolutionary developments affecting event production. Some of us were at Rio and it is quite incredible
to see what happens for the three weeks of the Games.

“We see real opportunities for us because we are starting fresh and don’t have to drag things from the past.

We’ll bring our knowledge, add that into our OBS partners and continue to improve and we’ll include VR and see how these new technologies will boost coverage of the overall Games.”