Imagine Communications is providing its Platinum™ IP3 technology for the core routing infrastructure for the new technology platform at BBC Studioworks’ Television Centre studios. The recently redeveloped Television Centre, the BBC’s long-term home, will include three large studios and post production facilities integrated into a mixed-use site. The new studios are part of a greenfield development, providing BBC Studioworks with the opportunity to supply the technology behind a state-of-the-art modern production facility essentially from scratch.
BBC Studioworks (formerly BBC Studios & Post Production) is working with systems integrator Dega Broadcast Systems on the new infrastructure. They have worked closely to select equipment and technologies that are capable of supporting both today’s and future production requirements. Recognising that television facilities will increasingly require complex signal management and support for multiple formats, BBC Studioworks selected the Platinum IP3 router from Imagine Communications as a flexible and agile hub for managing SDI video and AES audio signals in the complex.
In addition to its core signal distribution functionality, the Platinum IP3 supports audio multiplexing and de-multiplexing, flexible and integrated multiviewer, and discrete AES or MADI signals. It is designed to work in a hybrid SDI-IP environment, with transparent operations across the two signal formats, and seamless and synchronous switching between SDI and IP domains. It also supports a rich control layer through the Magellan™ SDN Orchestrator, a software control system for hybrid SDI-IP facilities that enables the IP3 to be integrated into a service-oriented architecture.
“From our technology reviews, we felt that the Platinum IP3 gave us important benefits in system design,’ said Elom Bell, who is leading the technology procurement for BBC Studioworks. “The hybrid routing functionality eliminates the need for a separate audio matrix, and the I/O processing capabilities simplify the system architecture and increase flexibility.
“The router’s integrated multiviewer also simplifies overall system architecture, and the Magellan controller integrates with the Sony Live Studio management layer we have selected,’ Bell added. “Studio TC1 will be capable of producing 4K content from day one, and we see high dynamic range (HDR) production as an early opportunity. The Platinum IP3 is ready for that, and for IP connectivity, which we are also working on.’
The Platinum IP3 can be fortified with IP input and output modules based on the AIMS (Alliance for IP Media Solutions) roadmap to seamlessly connect to IP networks. Its control layer can be software updated to support IP networks based on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Ethernet switches to provide a seamless and unified control and management experience.
The design of the new BBC Studioworks facility calls for two Platinum IP3 28RU router frames. One will be dedicated to Studio TC1. The other will handle signaling for Studio TC2 and Studio TC3. Both support a mixture of copper and fiber connectivity and have interface modules to link to the facility-wide MADI audio infrastructure. Platinum SX Pro multiviewer modules are included in each frame, supporting multiple displays with all the flexibility required for a fast-moving, live studio environment. In addition to supporting a broad spectrum of industry standards, the Platinum IP3 is suitable for multivendor environments and offers compatibility with a large selection of third-party IP network switch manufacturers.
“We are delighted to be involved in such a prestigious project,’ said Mathias Eckert, vice president of EMEA at Imagine Communications. “The Platinum IP3 was designed to be a single-point solution for powerful signal routing, distribution and monitoring for the video requirements of today and tomorrow. What BBC Studioworks is doing is exactly what we envisaged: choosing a powerful solution today, confident that as production and technology requirements develop it will continue to provide a solid foundation without the need for complex re-engineering.’
The new systems are currently being implemented on site at Television Centre in West London and at the workshops of Dega Broadcast. The studios and post production facilities will open its door on 1 September 2017.