Last September marked the start of the 2023 Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China, and hosted by the Asian Olympic Council. Originally scheduled for 2022, the games were postponed until 2023 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The scale of the Asian Games is ever-growing; this edition featured a total of 35 venues, 40 sports, and 61 different disciplines, including esports. A total of about 12,000 athletes from the 45 NOCs belonging to the Asian Council participated in the games.
AEQ was chosen as the Commentary System Solutions provider for this, the 19th edition of the Asian Games. This was the second time AEQ technology has been relied upon for the Asian Games, the first time being the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.
The AEQ OLYMPIA 3 commentary unit can work as standalone or as part of an AoIP multichannel network. The AoIP connectivity is Dante/AES67 and allows for integration with AEQ’s Intercom Systems or connected to an AoIP Commentary System matrix for large, multi-venue, multi-sport events.
AEQ supplied a total of 150 Olympia 3 AoIP Network Commentary Units and 300 Headsets used for the fully equipped Commentary Units throughout the 35 competition venues and the Off-tube booths at the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Hangzhou. AEQ also supplied for these venues, a total of 58 Netbox 32AD/MX Network Interfaces that were used to channel all common signals for the commentators at each venue, such as International Sound, PA, Guide, etc. In addition, the Mixed Zone signals were also routed through the Netboxes. Additionally, and in the other direction, these units were the connection point for the Commentary Contribution Network between the Venues and the IBC. The contribution network was a high-speed redundant fibre network that allowed very low latency and almost negligible jitter.
The core of the commentary system was located in the IBC, where the commentary switching was installed. The commentary switching consisted of an AEQ X_Core matrix system with AoIP contribution and audio distribution on MADI links for all Rights Holder Broadcasters (RHBS) in the IBC. A total of 7 X_Core Frames were installed to handle and control all signals. But just as important was the software solution deployed. This allowed remote configuration of any Olympia 3 at any venue, including the correct audio routing of AoIP signals from the venue to the RHB zones at the IBC. The switching was driven by the RHB bookings.
For support operations, AEQ provided four engineers from Madrid to assist the Host Broadcaster in the setup of the commentary system and Games operations.