Skip to main content

Crystal Vision supports BBC HD studio upgrade

BBC Studios has invested in cameras, lenses, vision and monitoring equipment to support the HD upgrade of its Studio Four, which comprises 8000sq ft and is home to several local productions. The new Studio Four is designed to work in any of the current HD and SD formats, can produce HD and SD simultaneously and includes Dolby E encoding.

Up/downconversion is provided by 20 of Crystal Vision's Up-and-down combined up/down/crossconverters and 13 of the Q-Down123 short-delay downconverters. The Up-and-downs will be used to convert existing legacy SD equipment to HD, with 10 of them wrapped around the main matrix to provide additional feeds as required. The Q-Downs will provide the SD feeds when the studio is in HD mode.

Distribution of the HD signals will come from 17 of the HDDA105N and HDDA111N distribution amplifiers. Three SYN HD synchronizers will be used for synchronizing internal sources that either do not have locking feeds or are unstable. BBC Studios will also use five of the new SYNNER-E HD multifunctional synchronizers — which include an embedder, de-embedder, tracking audio delay, audio processor and special Dolby E processing — for synchronizing external sources to the studio and de-embedding the audio to AES. Two CoCo HD color correctors and legalizers will be used to feed in-vision monitors or color correct incoming pictures.

The boards are mainly housed in Indigo 4SE 4RU frames — selected because they offer the highest density of boards (holding up to 24) and BBC Studios has limited space for rack equipment. Control comes from the Statesman PC software, with BBC Studios using the Signal Path add-on, which provides a view of the system based on the way the boards are used rather than their rack location, to graphically monitor its signal paths, because it simplifies fault finding in a complex signal chain.

For more information, visit