What you see on TV when you're watching the Olympics can be traced all the way to a small, makeshift office in the International Broadcast Center in Rio. SportsMedia Technologies, based in Durham, works with NBC to make the events easier to watch.
"So we're kind of a middle ground between the scores and timing and the actual production event," said Stass Iordanov, a senior IT manager at SMT.
SMT melds mountains of information to display on TV. Their work is most apparent when NBC shows the results of an event. In the past, a graphics operator who would have to input information each time separately for each athlete. SMT technology makes it so the operator just has to type in a four-digit code and the information loads at once.
"Every Olympics, the amount of data is growing," Iordanov said. "So it's almost impossible to do it by hand. You need to have computers."
That provides instantaneous results on the screen for viewers at home. This is the ninth Olympics for Stass Iordanov, and he still gets chills when he sees it all work.
"All this excitement," he said. "This is special, and the Olympics doesn't compare to anything in the world."