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Tales from Sochi: So Far, So Good for Tech Manufacturers

Bosch secures five-star luxury Sochi resort, Merging helps NBC deliver audio.

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The early story of the 2014 Winter Olympics focused on less-than-stellar accommodations for some of the athletes descending on Sochi, Russia for the festival of athletic prowess, but there were options outside the Olympic Village that rivaled some of the best hotels in the world.

The new five-star Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Centre is a luxury resort in Sochi that was completed just before the Olympics kicked off Feb. 6. and relies on Bosch when it comes to security. The resort is equipped with Bosch fire alarm systems, public address and evacuation technology, and a comprehensive video surveillance system all integrated and centrally managed by the Bosch Building Integration System (BIS).

The Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Centre, which is close to the Black Sea, features more than 500 guest rooms, three restaurants, a health club and spa and other amenities. With 11 conference rooms including the 1,500 m2 Premier Hall, the facility also features one of the largest hotel-attached convention centers in southern Russia.

Because different parts of the building also have different safety requirements, Krasnoda-based installer LLC Computer-svyaz designed a networked solution with 11 independent fire panels and more than 8,000 fire detectors, all being managed as one integrated system. The Bosch fire alarm system tightly interacts with the Bosch public address system Praesideo to ensure a fast evacuation in case of need. The Bosch video surveillance solution consists of almost 300 IP cameras managed by the Bosch Video Management System. Bosch Intelligent Video Analysis (IVA) is used to reliably detect critical situations and to reduce the expenditure of human labor.

“Safety and security are very obviously prime issues in Sochi these days,” says Christoph Hampe, head of country sales organization Russia at Bosch Security Systems. “However, Radisson Blu looked much further. They wanted a security solution for the long term and therefore decided to install an integrated and highly scalable security system based on open standards. This will enable them to easily expand and modify the existing solution whenever the need arises, protecting the initial investment even when requirements change.”

Behind The Broadcast
Closer to home, NBC Sports Network is giving its Merging Technologies Ovation-based broadcast system at its Sports Center in Stanford, Conn., a true workout during the Sochi Games. NBCSN started two years ago with four Ovation systems and four Horus units and added three more of each for its Olympics coverage.

The full suite of digital I/O and RAVENNA remote control of the routing and configuration of Horus allows for easy set up and high quality output.

The Ovation/Horus set is connected to the Calrec Artemis consoles via AES/EBU, according to a Merging Technologies announcement, with the dedicated keyboard controller located next to the console surface.

The primetime show’s theme music is cued on Ovation with a live voice over channel and “bumpers” in and out of the commercial breaks. Any stings or highlight music cues are also pre-configured in Ovation and fired from the keypad when needed. This controller is one of many different user interfaces for Ovation; touch screen, web browsers or conventional keyboard and mouse can also be deployed as the client prefers.

Unlike other playout devices that have trouble accepting a variety of audio file formats, Ovation can not only handle any incoming file format but it can also convert those files to alternatives with different sampling rates as needed.

Merging Technologies was also part of the Russia portion of the Games.

Avallon supplied the audio installation for the main Fischt Arena in Sochi, where the Opening Ceremony took place. Horus units were deployed to handle additional input signals and routing between the different systems. The units were connected to the Stagetec Nexus via MADI and the audio was controlled by the Stagetec Auratus-24 located high up in the stadium to give the operators an excellent view of the arena.

This was the first Horus installation by the Avallon engineers and they found it simple and intuitive to set up. They plan to use it again for the 2018 World Cup, which will also be in Russia, says Avallon president Sergey Vashchenko.

The worldwide exposure has been a positive for Merging Technologies, says president Claude Cellier.

“We have enjoyed a consistent presence at various recent Olympic Games with Pyramix for the big ceremonies and now Horus and Ovation being used in vital situations,” he says. “It is a nice reward for the hard work of my engineering team to see our products being used at such high-profile events.”

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