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BBC Spotlight (Plymouth) is the latest reigon to get a new studio. (January 2015)

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NE
newswatcher101
I have just learnt on Twitter that BBC Spotlight is getting a new studio fitted at the moment. To see this full conversation I had just go onto my Twitter @newsstephen.

I think that most local studios will not be up to date, apart from those studios which are more modern and in the latest style already (for example BBC London News).

Personally I think the only thing needed to help them all fit in together is new graphic systems for all local BBC News bases. I think this can really help local news.

After Plymouth's new studio refit- which studio is needing a refit next?
DO
dosxuk
I think that most local studios will not be up to date, apart from those studios which are more modern and in the latest style already (for example BBC London News).


We've already been here...

Personally I think the only thing needed to help them all fit in together is new graphic systems for all local BBC News bases. I think this can really help local news.


And here...
NG
noggin Founding member
The BBC operation at Plymouth had a very outdated analogue infrastructure (I believe the gallery was still using a GVG 200 analogue vision mixer - in use for more than 20 years, possibly 25? - until recently, and it may still be using it)

They were due to relocate to a new building (as Leeds and Birmingham did when they last upgraded), but these plans were shelved, so they are upgrading in their current location (no easy task). They will presumably be getting an HD installation (though not viewable in HD via a regional opt) - and it will be interesting to see if they get VizRT graphics and Viz Mosart automation (as Network News and BBC London News have in W1 and BBC North West have in Salford)

I think Plymouth was the last BBC English region that didn't have a fully digital gallery set-up. No idea which region will be next to get a studio upgrade. I think Nottingham was the first to go digital (a year or so after News 24 launched) so it may have the oldest infrastructure, and Tunbridge Wells may not be far behind.

Quite a lot of regions had the truly dreadful Thomson 1707 cameras inflicted on them - replacing them would improve things massively...

But this has been discussed at length elsewhere...
MW
Mike W

Quite a lot of regions had the truly dreadful Thomson 1707 cameras inflicted on them - replacing them would improve things massively...

But this has been discussed at length elsewhere...

Hear hear! The Thomson cameras really are awful, ISTR reading they weren't 'type approved' for BBC productions (regions or network!) when they were first introduced, and the BBC very quickly approved them as their procurement was somewhat of a cock up!

A few of the regions have broken free of them, but most still use them!
IS
Inspector Sands

I think Plymouth was the last BBC English region that didn't have a fully digital gallery set-up. No idea which region will be next to get a studio upgrade. I think Nottingham was the first to go digital (a year or so after News 24 launched) so it may have the oldest infrastructure, and Tunbridge Wells may not be far behind.

I'm not sure about their studio but Tunbridge Wells don't have the same system as they launched with in 2001 - they started with the same as BBC London (Omnibus) but were later were upgraded to Avid to match the rest of the regions.


When they did the big digital roll out project in the early 2000's I seem to remember that the first ones were those who had new buildings - Norwich then Birmingham then Leeds.
NE
newswatcher101
I have just seen that BBC Channel Island News have (Viz Mosart) graphics which look alright.

Which BBC Local News shows have the modern look graphics?

And, how much would it cost to update all of the graphics systems and make all the BBC Local News synchronized?
DT
DTV
And, how much would it cost to update all of the graphics systems and make all the BBC Local News synchronized?


For a start it is going to cost an awful lot to upgrade every studio to HD, W1 style set and Viz graphics which is why it'll be like the N6-style updates - be done over a period of several years.

As for synchornizing the BBC's local news output, it doesn't matter. Obviously it would be better if all output was of the same HD quality but other than people who work for the BBC and people on this forum people don't tend to watch regional news not from their region and compare them. So whether one region still has the old playout system and an N6 set and another is up to date it doesn't actually matter to the viewer.

Something like this takes time and a lot of money (as can be seen with Spotlight where it has taken almost a year) so the BBC is hardly likely to decide to upgrade every studio and set in one go, given that to have all your regions in temporary studios would cause nought but havoc.
NE
newswatcher101
What about just updating the Viz graphics, as obviously updating to HD is too much
NG
noggin Founding member
I have just seen that BBC Channel Island News have (Viz Mosart) graphics which look alright.

Which BBC Local News shows have the modern look graphics?

And, how much would it cost to update all of the graphics systems and make all the BBC Local News synchronized?


Think you are confused.

VizRT is the graphics box.
Mosart - now Viz Mosart - is the playout automation system. Don't think Channel Islands have Mosart.
NG
noggin Founding member
What about just updating the Viz graphics, as obviously updating to HD is too much


VIzRT is an expensive box of tricks. SD regions may still be using Astons - the money to upgrade to Viz is likely to be tied to a full (and HD) upgrade.
NG
noggin Founding member

I think Plymouth was the last BBC English region that didn't have a fully digital gallery set-up. No idea which region will be next to get a studio upgrade. I think Nottingham was the first to go digital (a year or so after News 24 launched) so it may have the oldest infrastructure, and Tunbridge Wells may not be far behind.

I'm not sure about their studio but Tunbridge Wells don't have the same system as they launched with in 2001 - they started with the same as BBC London (Omnibus) but were later were upgraded to Avid to match the rest of the regions.


When they did the big digital roll out project in the early 2000's I seem to remember that the first ones were those who had new buildings - Norwich then Birmingham then Leeds.


Beware confusing playout systems with infrastructure. The core infrastructure - router, vision mixer, cameras etc. are likely to be the same SDI gear - but the editing and playout system may well have changed.

I think most English regions (London excepted) use Quantel for editing and playout. Tunbridge Wells and London when they were in MHS used Omnibus playout automation (Columbus) but I'm not sure what editing platform they used (London used Sonet I think *** EDIT - Sienna? ***?). Nottingham moved to a new building with digital video infrastructure (vision mixer, router, cameras etc.) and Columbus, but that was before Quantel roll out and they used Profile playout (as News 24 and World did at the time)
Last edited by noggin on 24 January 2015 11:56am
NG
noggin Founding member

Quite a lot of regions had the truly dreadful Thomson 1707 cameras inflicted on them - replacing them would improve things massively...

But this has been discussed at length elsewhere...

Hear hear! The Thomson cameras really are awful, ISTR reading they weren't 'type approved' for BBC productions (regions or network!) when they were first introduced, and the BBC very quickly approved them as their procurement was somewhat of a cock up!

A few of the regions have broken free of them, but most still use them!


Suspect the 'type approval' was because nobody seriously considered them. AIUI they are a Thomson 1657 front-end with a digital, rather than analogue, triax back-end? The 1657 was the work horse of the 16:9 SD TVC studios for the first generation of 16:9 production, eventually replaced by BVP-E30 Sony SD cameras or HDC-1500 Sony HD cameras.

Camera procurements can go VERY wrong if engineers and operators aren't properly involved...

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