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noggin13,611 posts since 26 Jun 2001
I've heard about the BBC Raven for a while and realize it's purpose as a way to ingest files and play them out. However I read that they've been installed in their ENG/SNG trucks for use. How exactly are the Ravens used in these instances - do they just ingest footage into the hard drive and then connect it to the BBC archive or is the device used to edit and perhaps playback a package on air?


Ravens were installed to replace/augment the DVCam VTRs that were in SNG trucks for local recording and also for playout of rushes down-the-line.

Ravens allow trucks to record content locally and replay it in both SD and HD (or make it available to an edit also connected to the Raven in the truck) and can also playout SD or HD content from SxS, CF, SD cards etc directly to line - allowing cards to be taken from a camera and line-fed without needing the camera to be present. The Raven will also do an HD to SD down convert if required to feed HD rushes over an SD link.
Steve in Pudsey9,269 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Define "awkward feeds" - not sure what you mean and why the would need UKI-1 specifically. Can you elaborate?

I think they've used UKI-1 to receive feeds which wouldn't be possible on a smaller dish without an extra satellite hop.

It's also useful in dubious weather, less susceptible to rain issues.
Last edited by Steve in Pudsey on 6 June 2016 8:21am
Write that down in your copybook now.
noggin13,611 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Define "awkward feeds" - not sure what you mean and why the would need UKI-1 specifically. Can you elaborate?

The larger your dish, the higher your gain (assuming a decent quality) so UKI-1 will deliver reception of signals that smaller dishes will not receive as reliably, giving you more protection against heavy rain, allow more marginal paths to be used more reliably etc. The same is also true of uplinks. (UKI-1 is often used for both requirements)

UKI-1 is larger than the dishes mounted on top of SNG trucks - it's a separate large dish on a trailer. It can allow you to use paths that would otherwise need a large fixed downlink/uplink dish or a double-hop (adding cost and delay)
Rkolsen2,177 posts since 20 Jan 2014
BBC World
Thanks everyone, I kinda imagined that would be the case, but nice to have it explicitly stated.

There was a video from the old BBC Monitoring website that basically was "the bigger the dish the easier it is to receive distant signals". They showed how they were able to receive satellite signals from the Africa and the Middle East. They have a few 11 meter satellite dishes.

I wish I could find that video.
Last edited by Rkolsen on 10 June 2016 6:27am
UKnews657 posts since 26 Apr 2011
The BBC's main national trucks were the 'triples' - UKI-777, UKI-888 and UKI-999 - you may have occasionally seen their colour bars slip out on air - though I'm not sure if they've been replaced with recent upgrades.

777 is no more, 888 has gone to Leeds but 999 is still going. As is 1091- somehow! 888 and 1091 have had HD refreshes. Two new trucks haved replaced 777 & 888 but with less memorable numbers.

I've a feeling VSAT designation is determined by dish size and power. They don't have to be talked up in the way an SNG would, are often self seeking and auto negotiate with a hub at the downlink site. This makes them ideal for use by shoot / edits (one person operation) or those who aren't fully trained satellite engineers.
Last edited by UKnews on 12 June 2016 1:19pm
Steve in Pudsey gave kudos
UKnews657 posts since 26 Apr 2011

I've seen 1884, 1903 and 1904 from BBC News in HD maybe last two are the new trucks you speak of.

No maybe required Wink

Not sure who owns 1884, don't think it's a BBC truck- not a London one anyway. You may see 613 - the (SD only, left hand drive) Brussels based truck which back fills in the UK.