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An Olympic Effort by Will Strauss a gate, asked the broadcaster CBS if they could review a tape of the event. Some bright spark figured that seeing the action again might also be useful to television viewers. And the rest is history. 1964 Tokyo Olympic television outside broadcast operation it also heralded a new era in OB. Amongst the innovations were the first outing anywhere of the valve- based CPS Emitron cameras – with their iconic revolving lens turret - and the inaugural use of a new 3-camera EMI broadcasting truck that famously allowed the crew operating it to sit down inside an OB unit for the first time. Japan’s Olympics of 1964 produced one of the biggest leap forwards in Olympics coverage: the introduction of experimental colour, a development that was available on eight different sports. But it was far from the only debut. NHK also developed new kit to aid coverage of the Games including an image pickup tube, a close-pickup microphone and a slow-motion VTR. Perhaps most significantly of all it also used satellites to relay coverage, in turn becoming probably the first sports ever to be transmitted that way (although the Cassius Clay vs Sonny 2012 London 1956 Cortina d’Ampezza Up until 1956 TV coverage of the Olympics was limited to the country in which it was hosted. The Winter Games at Cortina d’Ampezza in Italy changed all that. For the first time television pictures were relayed to other countries around the world by the Italian broadcaster RAI. 1960 Squaw Valley The 1960 Winter Olympics were notable for two televisual reasons. One, the Americans got to see coverage for the first time. And two, it is said to have spawned the concept of the instant replay. As legend has it, during the men’s slalom event race, officials, unsure if a skier had missed So, what of our own Olympian efforts? London 2012 coverage will encompass stereoscopic 3D coverage, will include use of NHK’s new dual lens ‘Twinscam’ system for capturing footage of synchronized swimmers both above and below the water and, perhaps most significantly of all, will see Super Hi-Vision presented publicly for the first time. For those of you that have been to IBC or NAB since 2006, Super Hi-Vision (SHV) will be a known quantity. For the rest of the population it won’t. Featuring a 7680x4320 resolution that is 16 times HD and 22.2 Liston fight in the same year may have preceded it). 1968 Mexico In 1968 the Olympics were broadcast in full colour for the first time and some 600 million people got to see it. Back home, to help make sure that we could too, the BBC pioneered the first use of an advanced electronic standards converter that would change the NTSC signal from Mexico City into PAL pictures for British TV sets. 1984 Los Angeles Not only was the notion of a host broadcaster operation initiated in 1984, the LA Games also featured the first high definition trials. It would take another 24 years though before Beijing became the first Olympics to be broadcast totally in HD. “360-degree” surround sound, SHV is remarkable leap forward in quality. Still at least ten years away from being commercially viable, the NHK/BBC led innovation will be presented in special screening venues in London, Glasgow and Bradford - as well as in the US and Japan - throughout the Games. BBC project executive for digital services Tim Plyming says Super Hi-Vision has the potential to make viewers feel “as if they are actually watching the event in real life.” He’s not wrong. And the Olympics, a pioneering sporting extravaganza on a huge scale, is the ideal venue to trial it. Thanks Uncle Adolf. * Additional information from “The Olympics on Film” by Taylor Downing (History Today Volume: 62 Issue: 8) 50 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE