BBC installs new fiber products at Television Center studio

The first phase of the BBC Resources’ HD upgrade project at the BBC’s 10,250sq-ft TC1 studio at Television Center has been completed in time for the live production of its “Sports Relief” program.

The new infrastructure features fiber-optic cables and connectors from Stratos Optical Technologies. After a number of tests and trials, the BBC selected Stratos' HX-1080 series of expanded beam connectors for the SMPTE 311M hybrid fiber-optic camera cable links. All the connectors were terminated and installed on site, including 62 bulkheads and 18 in-line plugs for patch panel connections. There are 20 SMPTE 311M-compatible camera cable connections on the studio floor, four on the studio framework that support equipment and four more in an adjacent production area. Two additional connections are outside the studio so cameras can be rigged for use around the horseshoe at the entrance of the Television Center.

The installation required adapting cameras to HX-1080 connectivity including 18 Sony HDC1500s and four Sony HDTX-100 Triax adaptors. In addition, supplying Lemo 3K.93c to HX-1080 adapter cables enables the use of Lemo-configured camera inventory in the new infrastructure.

To ensure cables would conform to studio operation, two sizes of cable were used. Twenty-six of the 31 floor cables supplied use “fat” 16mm SMPTE cable from Furukawa, matching the diameter of traditional studio triax and allowing moving camera pedestal skirts to push cables out of the way. The remaining cables use the more typical 9.5mm SMPTE 311M cable.

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