BBC Sport taps Vizrt to bring XR for Beijing Winter Olympics | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our privacy policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. [Close]
With the games all set to begin in a matter of days, and aiming to provider an amplified experience for fans, BBC Sport has announced that it is using a virtual graphics set ecosystem from Vizrt in its Salford studio to cover the Beijing Winter Games.
VizrtBBC 31Jan2022
BBC Sport’s integrated system is designed to bring sports fans what Vizrt says will be “unprecedented” access to the sports action happening in China. By using its Viz Engine 4 coupled with Unreal Engine 4 render pipeline and Fusion Keyer, all driven by its virtual set controller, Vizrt claims that BBC Sport can create a “seamless” studio environment with easy operator control.

In April 2021, BBC Sport launched a Vizrt ecosystem to broadcast some programmes from several key sporting tournaments and productions including, Match of The Day, Euro 2020 as well as the 2021 Summer and 2022 Winter Games.

One of the challenges the BBC needed to solve in the latter project was enabling an operator-friendly workflow and streamlining content changes to provide viewers with meaningful information throughout broadcasts. The Viz Engine is designed to offer native integration of the Unreal Engine and Vizrt stressed that its Viz Arc control application is the only one on the market where users can “seamlessly” control aspects of both render pipelines allowing the producer to focus on the story being told, not the specifics of how the graphics are rendered.

“Prior to the summer, we converted a small studio space at Media City [Salford] into a green screen area with a virtual design (by Jim Mann and Toby Kalitowski) and enhanced rendering technology to deliver an immersive, enhanced experience for audience,” explained BBC creative director and head of graphics for sport John Murphy.

“The studio, with five different presenting positions that can house a variety of sports output, will be a key presentation location for BBC Sport this year, including the Winter Games for which we have added more design and development…with many audiences tuning in from home, it’s essential to the success of the broadcast to provide viewers with dynamic graphics alongside an innovative visual experience which means they are absorbed into the story, despite the distance. Hopefully, we can deliver this visual story-telling for sports fans with the additions to our studios and broadcasts.”