Aug 03, 2021

Corporate News / Feature Story


TOKYO 2020 Update - Part 1

The Olympic Games are under way and athletes from around the globe are dazzling the world with their performances and passion. Behind the scenes, Panasonic is helping to share this passion with a global audience and to demonstrate how new technologies have the potential to create better lives and a better world for all.

Panasonic and the Olympic Games

For more than a century, Panasonic's corporate principles have championed the creation of a better world. Sharing the Olympic Games' vision of promoting world peace through sports, Panasonic became a Worldwide Olympic Partner during the Olympic Winter Games Calgary 1988, where it offered technical support to a number of broadcasting stations. A decade later, in 1998, Panasonic also began supporting the Paralympic Games. The company later worked to ensure the success of Rio 2016, the first Olympic Games to be held in South America, during which it became the first Japanese company to be named an official Worldwide Paralympic Partner. More than 30 years have passed since Panasonic launched its collaboration with the Olympic Games in Calgary, but the company continues to provide support through sponsorship and cutting-edge AV equipment.

Photo: Panasonic and the Olympic Games
Photo: Panasonic and the Olympic Games

Panasonic's support for the Olympic and Paralympic Games is reflected in its slogan: "Sharing the Passion." Working toward their dreams, the passion displayed by the athletes and supporters of the Olympic and Paralympic Games demonstrate courage and hope and inspire the world toward a better society. Panasonic's mission is to utilize its technologies to move and inspire the world by sharing the passion of sports with everyone.

After being delayed for one year because of COVID-19, the first Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo in 57 years have finally begun. Read on to find out how we've been working to take the aquatic event viewing experience to a new level.

Next-Generation Viewing Experience for Aquatic Events

After almost six years of planning and construction, the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tatsumi, Tokyo was officially completed in February 2020. It is the stage for the Tokyo 2020 Games' aquatic events taking place in Tokyo. As the decades-long official audio-visual and broadcasting equipment sponsor of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Panasonic was put in charge of the facility's AV and display system. Let's take a closer look.

Photo: Next-Generation Viewing Experience for Aquatic Events
Photo: Next-Generation Viewing Experience for Aquatic Events

Panasonic's comprehensive array of cameras means that all angles are covered. During every race, four integrated cameras mounted on the ceiling will fully immerse viewers with crisp, 4K footage in real-time. Meanwhile, Panasonic's portable studio camera will capture close-ups in full HD. All footage will be managed from the control room, which has been outfitted with top-of-the-line live video switchers with portable control panels that allow for maximum functionality and a dynamic viewing experience.

Taking inspiration from the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai, three large-scale LED screens, each 10 meters in length, are installed in the main arena while a fourth can be found in the sub-arena. The screens meet global standards for waterproofing (IP65)--a must considering the environment--and also offer stunning contrast, owing to Panasonic innovations that allow for an immersive, high-quality viewing experience even in sun-bathed environments.

Construction of the Tokyo Aquatics Centre began in 2017 under the aegis of the Japan Swimming Federation. For the Panasonic team managing the installations, the learning curve was steep. The enormous stakes, tight deadlines, and tendency for new installations to run into trouble initially meant there was a steady list of challenges every day. Easily the most formidable was the installation of the 20-ton screens in the main arena under a very tight schedule.

The arduous construction phase ended with the official opening of the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in February 2020, but Panasonic is not letting its guard down quite yet. All the equipment will first have to prove itself and run smoothly throughout the aquatic events. Only then, at last, will it be time for congratulations.

With sincere gratitude to everyone who makes the Games possible, Panasonic will continue Sharing the Passion.

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