File transfers fast enough for Usain Bolt?

File transfers fast enough for Usain Bolt?

FileCatalyst to showcase Olympics-tested technology at IBC

For Usain Bolt, the speed required to bring home the Gold is 9.83 seconds per 100 metres. For FileCatalyst, the Emmy® award winning pioneer in managed file transfers and world-leading accelerated file transfer solution, success is achieved at 10Gbps.  

When 29-year-old Usain Bolt breezed across the finish line, securing the gold medal for Team Jamaica and cementing his title as the world’s fastest man, an estimated 35 million viewers  watched with bated breath, tuning into NBC Olympics live coverage from Rio.   

With Rio being only one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time, watching sports history unfold in near real time was one of the highlights for NBC’s viewers. To make the magic happen, FileCatalyst – a Canadian company with a large international footprint -  was employed to accelerate NBC’s digital file delivery from various locations in Rio to their headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.

So how did FileCatalyst do it? NBC Olympics filmed an average of 6,755 hours of coverage across 11 NBC Universal platforms from six event venues in Rio, using 250 HD Sony cameras. These massive uncompressed videos were transferred as growing proxy files using FileCatalyst technology over a 5 Gbps line to Stanford, CT. The low resolution proxy files were edited in real-time and the required hi-resolution files were then moved across the link from Rio as needed. This timely delivery of content was critical to NBC’s production workflow, enabling editing in near real time and delivering the most memorable moments of the Games faster than viewers could tweet #PhelpsFace.

phelps face
Footage from NBC's voyeuristic "ready room" cameras was transferred in near real-time using FileCatalyst. As a result, moments like #PhelpsFace minutes were broadcast minutes after they happened.


To monitor the thousands of file transfers from multiple NBC locations in Rio, FileCatalyst made extensive updates to FileCatalyst Central – a web application used to monitor an organization’s entire FileCatalyst deployment. The updated v3.7 gave NBC an unprecedented level of control over their transfers with an advanced real time statistics engine, and an updated interface with an intuitive global map view of all interconnected FileCatalyst server and client applications.

end-to-end
The Emmy® award winning FileCatalyst platform has been used as the file transfer technology in several high profile sporting events, including: Sochi winter games, Super Bowl XLIX, Men’s and Women’s World Cup, several car racing and tennis events around the world.

With Rio being celebrated as the biggest Games in history, with over 10,500 athletes competing in 306 medal events, FileCatalyst and NBC’s broadcasting prowess was pushed to the limits.  When FileCatalyst first supported NBC during their coverage of the Sochi Winter Games in 2014, they moved an estimated 3 TB per day. When the closing ceremonies aired on August 22, FileCatalyst estimated their daily delivery  at 10 -15 TB a day, using 4 FileCatalyst Direct servers and 12 FileCatalyst HotFolders.

Multiply that by 15 days of official coverage and that’s about  200 TB of high resolution video - a personal best for the FileCatalyst team.

FileCatalyst will exhibit at Booth 7.H37 at IBC. Stop by and get a demonstration of the technology used by NBC Olympics in Rio and to learn more about the FileCatalyst suite of products.     

Chat with FileCatalyst at IBC