Rest assured, NBC isn't taking this year's Olympics broadcast lightly. After announcing that some 3,600 hours of the games
would be shot (with many in HD), we've now learned that the network will be broadcasting the 5.1 surround mix and stereo mix simultaneously. According to Bob Dixon, NBC Olympics' director of sound design, 2008 marks "the first time the games will be produced totally in high-definition with 5.1 discrete channels of audio," and the plan is to send six discrete channels to those capable of receiving it and carefully downmix for those with stereo capabilities. Needless to say, there's going to be extensive work happening behind the scenes in order to pull off such a feat, and if you're the technical type, feel free to tap the read link to get a sense of just how elaborate the setup will be.