Major supply of digital broadcast technology for Games
The 2004 Olympic Games in Athens was the 20th anniversary of Panasonic’s involvement as a key supplier of digital broadcast technology to the Games and host broadcaster.
Joachim Reinhart, President and Chief Operating Officer of Matsushita Europe said, “It is a great association for Panasonic with an important movement which brings the people of the world together in the spirit of competition and fellowship. We are honoured to have contributed equipment and technology which has helped bring the excitement, passion and colour of the Games into homes round the world, over many years.”

In Athens, DVCPRO50 was the official video recording format of the Games, the third time for the standard. Panasonic supplied 100 DVCPRO50 VTRs with variable slow motion playback to the International Broadcast Centre. 200 camcorders and cameras were also supplied. 100 of these were the AJ-SDX900 camcorder capable of shooting progressive scan as well as interlaced and switchable 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios. Panasonic also supplied 100 convertible cameras for remote acquisition and unmanned camera positions. For the first time Panasonic supplied the IBC with DVD-RAM video recorders.

The Games also saw a technology first with tests by the host broadcaster, AOB and Beijing TV of Panasonic’s new P2 memory card acquisition system. The first time in the history of the Games that a non-tape based camera system has been used for acquisition.

The Games were a major demonstration of Panasonic display technology. Two giant Astrovision screens, in the main stadium, figured prominently in global TV coverage and played an important part in the opening and closing ceremonies. In total, Panasonic supplied 12 Astrovisions, two of these were on mobile units deployed at a number of locations. In addition to giant screens, Panasonic supplied 15,000 display devices including plasmas, TFT, LCD panels and receivers.

Panasonic’s new DLP™ projectors were used for the first time at the Games. Eleven were used in indoor venues, both in single and dual stacking mode. The high resolution DLP™ is particularly suited to sports, such as fencing, where detail is all-important. The Panasonic DLP™ has an industry-wide reputation for its quiet performance an additional benefit for spectators and athletes.

High definition production has formed an increasingly important role at the Games. Alfacam, one of Europe’s leading production companies with a fleet of 14 outside broadcast trucks in Greece, including four HD mobiles, was responsible to AOB for a major part of the HD coverage at the Games. Panasonic DVCPROHD VTRs and HDD5 VTRs played a key role in the HD coverage as well as Varicam cameras.

As a major TOP VI sponsor, Panasonic will also be closely involved with the broadcast coverage in Turin in 2006 and Beijing in 2008.