Alibaba, Intel to provide cloud solutions for Olympics broadcast

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Alibaba Cloud, the Chinese e-commerce giants’ cloud computing division, and Intel have joined hands to provide Olympic Broadcasting Services, an innovative Cloud service platform for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and beyond.

The OBS Cloud system, to be launched for Tokyo 2020 Olympics, will offer all the necessary cloud components in specialised configurations that can support the extremely demanding content production, and handle volumetric content delivery at the Olympic Games in 2020 at Tokyo and beyond.

The platform, specifically designed and implemented with Olympic Broadcasters in mind, was announced at the recently-conclude Alibaba Cloud 2018 Computing Conference.

The OBS Cloud will become fully available in time for use during the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and will include a specific selection of cloud services, in optimised configurations, for the Olympic Broadcasters to use as the building blocks for their sports production workflows, before and during the Games.

The OBS Cloud, which will run on the Intel Xeon scalable processors, offers a suite of tools including super computing capabilities; high-speed connectivity directly from the International Broadcast Centre (IBC); easily accessible cloud storage considering the demanding Olympic requirements; real-time monitoring; live video and audio broadcasting services and media processing.

OBS has also announced a partnership to deliver volumetric content over the OBS Cloud for the first time at Tokyo 2020. Intel, also an International Olympic Committee (IOC) TOP Partner along with Alibaba, will be collaborating with Alibaba Cloud and OBS to explore a more efficient and reliable delivery pipeline of immersive media to rights holders.

OBS CEO Yiannis Exarchos said, “We started thinking of ways to address the issue, and this is where our paths crossed with Alibaba to explore how we can leverage cloud technology to make the work of Broadcasters easier and more efficient.”

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OBS Chief Technology Officer Sotiris Salamouris said, “One of the main benefits of the OBS and Alibaba Cloud initiative is the selection and further development of services that will enable the implementation of the very demanding workflows, common to sports production.”

“Our overriding aim is to give the Broadcasters the opportunity to retain any part of their production infrastructure, or access to content, even after the Games and for as long as they wish without any interruption or the need for re-installations, re-ingesting, etc.”

OBS is a company which was established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2001 in order to serve as the Host Broadcaster organisation for all Olympic Games, Olympic Winter Games and Youth Olympic Games, maintaining the standards of Olympic broadcasting between one edition and the next one.

As Host Broadcaster for the Olympic Games, OBS is responsible for delivering the pictures and sounds of the Olympic Games to billions of viewers around the world. It produces and transmits unbiased live radio and television coverage of every sport from every venue. This feed is called the International Signal or the World Feed and is distributed as a service to all broadcast organisations who have purchased the television and radio rights to the Games (known as Rights Holding Broadcasters or RHBs).

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