As part of a BBC-wide strategy to migrate towards IP contribution methods, BBC North has expanded the ability to land IP circuits directly into the MediaCity campus. A number of modular devices from Crystal Vision have been used as part of this expansion in order to interface with existing HD/SDI infrastructure.
"We need to address the balance of baseband and IP across our incoming and outgoing video and audio circuits to the site,” said Philip Boocock, BBC North project engineer responsible for the upgrades. “The aim is to increase flexibility and response to operational needs. This expanded IP contribution capability has been partly achieved using a range of Crystal Vision boards."
Included in the new installation are eight Crystal Vision FRX 3G fiber optic receivers and 10 FTX-L 3G fiber transmitters. They are supported with 44 3GDA105N distribution amplifiers, 21 SYN-A 3G synchronizers and seven VDA110M HD analog video distribution amplifiers. The synchronizers provide an important function in handling signals coming from remote locations: Salford is the home of BBC Sport, and therefore the broadcast hub for many prestigious, extremely popular events.
To ensure the installation is protected for future technical developments, all the digital modules are ready for 3Gb/s signals. The boards are housed in a total of 15 Crystal Vision Indigo 2SE frames, each occupying just 2U of rack space. The Indigo 2SE frames are capable of holding up to 12 boards, but the Salford installation calls for a distributed system in machine rooms in three different buildings. Control and monitoring of the equipment is via SNMP, linking seamlessly into the existing management layer. In practice, the installation is designed to be set and forget.
"Having provided all the modular infrastructure for the new BBC Broadcasting House in London, we are excited to supply our technology for this extension in Salford," said Philip Scofield, Managing Director of Crystal Vision. "In the original MediaCityUK we provided a large number of up and down converters, but this represents an important increase in the functionality we provide to make this major broadcasting centre run smoothly."
The new boards were ordered in January 2016. The installation went live in February 2017.
Based at Whittlesford near Cambridge in the UK and with an office in the USA, Crystal Vision provides a full range of interface and keyers and helps people transition through a range of technologies – from SD to HD and from HD to IP.