Set in the diverse landscape of the west coast of Canada, Vancouver hosts the Olympic Winter Games in 2010. The Olympic Games have been a successful global sporting event since 1896 when the first ever Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece. The Olympic Winter Games were not far behind as the Games started in Chamonix in 1924 covering sports from speed skating to ice hockey.
Panasonic's relationship started with the 1984 Olympic Games when the company provided the professional sound system and large screen video displays for the Los Angeles main stadium. This relationship has progressed extensively and Panasonic became a member of The Olympic Partners (TOP) program in 1987. TOP is a group of worldwide marketing partners who provide financial support as well as products and services which are vital to the staging of the Olympic Games. Panasonic's exclusive product category is audio and video equipment, AV recording media, AV security equipment and car multimedia. Panasonic has marketing rights to digital cameras as well.
During the run up to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, Panasonic has provided equipment such as 86 WS – LA3 RAMSA speakers for the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, a 42 square meters Astrovision large-screen display during the Richmond Winter festival and a 79 square meters Astrovision display screen for the IBU world cup biathlon at Whistler Olympic Park. These products were used for test events and count down events demonstrating Panasonic's support to the celebrated event.
Home to such sports as figure skating, short track speed skating and speed skating, the Pacific Coliseum located in Hastings Park is one of the largest venues for Vancouver 2010. With a capacity of 14,200 people, this venue will attract huge crowds of spectators to some of the most popular events. Located 840 meters above sea level in stunning snow-capped surroundings, the Whistler Olympic Park has a capacity of 12,000 in each of the three stadiums. It is the first time that the biathlon, cross-country skiing, Nordic Combined and ski jumping has ever been played at the same venue in Olympic Games history. The Richmond Olympic Oval can hold up to 7,600 spectators and is the venue for the speed skating competition for next years Winter Games. This specifically built stadium was completed December 2008 and after the Winter Games has taken place will become an International Centre of Excellence for Sports and Wellness.
Panasonic will supply the Vancouver 2010 venues with Astrovision and Professional Plasma Display equipment, AV security equipment, IR wireless systems and RAMSA sound systems. Research for Advanced Music Sound and Acoustics is a range of revolutionary products aimed to enhance audio spaces. One of the main benefits of RAMSA is the ability to make the sound system to the venue which allows for the best sound quality possible. The IR wireless microphone incorporates the progressive IR technology eliminating interception, so when the wireless microphones are used individually they do not conflict with each other and causes of interference, therefore enhancing the quality of sound. A total of 12 systems are being used to enhance communication between workforces.
Astrovision is a fully integrated LED large screen solution intended to provide easily viewable displays at large events and attractions. Panasonic's Astrovision is recognized as reproducing one of the highest color images with 1 billion colors, full 10-bit color gradation and its proprietary image-enhancing technology, the LED's can withstand wide variations in temperature which guarantees uninterrupted coverage, even in the freezing conditions. Approximately 2500 plasma televisions will be supplied to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games including the famous 103” Professional Plasma Display. Panasonic's plasma technology produces quality images and the equipment supports the essential transmission to millions of viewers around the world. Panasonic Professional Plasmas are versatile and flexible which is essential for such a world renowned event on such a large scale. The display combines high-quality color performance with a variety of connection options, resulting in a tailored ‘all-in-one' solution.
Panasonic have also provided i-Pro network cameras throughout the Olympic venues. The i-Pro series is a range professional IP security products providing high-quality across the complete system enhancing efficiency and reliability. The WV–NW484S model, used mostly throughout, is a vandal resistant static network dome camera featuring super dynamic technology which delivers 128x dynamic range natural contrast image correction. The vandal resistant property of the camera is achieved through a toughened polycarbonate hemisphere and heavy duty steel casing. The camera is IP66-rated which allows it to be used under extreme weather conditions such as those exposed in the Winter Games. The camera also features auto back focus for easy set up, MPEG-4 and JPEG dual streaming output for simultaneous live monitoring and high resolution recording. The day and night function allows the camera to automatically adjust to the light conditions.
The images captured by the WV-NW484S are recorded onto a WJ–ND400 network disk recorder. This NDR is able to record up to 64 cameras in real time and includes a large storage capacity allowing images to be retained for longer. It is a stable platform with embedded hardware which increases the reliability and performance of the system. The software helps support the viewing and recording of the images by enhancing the user experience by incorporating site maps, joystick control and multiscreen viewing. Other features include alarm pop-up notification alerting the operator of any intruders or activity that wouldn't have otherwise been noticed and also control of the NDR. These products together create an all round AV security systems solution for one of the world's most prestigious sporting competitions.
The eco-friendly theme of the event is supported by Panasonic's products. Panasonic's world wide Eco Ideas strategies main ideas are; prevention of global warming, effective utilization of resources and management of chemical substances. The environmental performance of Panasonic's AV security equipment, including the i-Pro series is steadily improving. Network cameras, compared to analogue cameras have reduced C02 emissions by 42 percent, likewise NDRs have a reduced C02 emissions by 33 percent compared with the DVRs. Panasonic have also eliminated both lead and mercury from plasma displays and are releasing a new plasma display panel which for the same level of luminance, consumes up to less than half the power of models manufactured only two years ago.