The Newsroom

BBC News - more technical problems (21/11/18)

Split from BBC News Channel Presentation - 21/03/16 onwards (November 2018)

NG
noggin Founding member

Yes - though if you're used to operating kit 'not via BNCS' not that complicated. That's the downside of BNCS - people don't actually know how the kit they are operating is really operated in anger without BNCS.

It's more that if you're using BNCS to control it then sources and destinations probably aren't named on the device itself. Routing server 4.1a to OS 3 is easier than src 137 to dear 344. It's also sometimes the case that one route on BNCS is actually several simultaneous routes on different routers, or one thing to more than one destination... But none of that is obvious as BNCS handles it all seamlessly


Out of curiosity I know each studio has their own router. But I assume there’s a master router taking the outputs of the studio and the various OS (how many OS can NBH handle at one moment - galleries seem to be 12) to the individual galleries. Could BNCS be over ruled if they had a router patch panel control to individually put them into the local router?


Yes - there are local routers in each studio, and then a large building-wide redundant router (I suspect actually building-wide routerS with highways between for resilience) BNCS is just a control system for the local and station-wide routers, but the routers can still also have their own control panels running in parallel (and you'd expect an XY panel to be available). However if the router hasn't been configured helpfully with clear source and destination labels (as they were planned never to be seen by the end user) then this might be quite time consuming... Most hard panels in use in BBC control rooms with BNCS are actually BNCS hard panels (usually configured as dumb panels, not smart ones though...)

On resilient installs you will often 'salt and pepper' install - splitting sources and destinations between router cards, or even routers, in a manner that means your input and output eggs aren't all in one basket (say splitting all the OS destinations for a studio between two routers, or at least two different router output cards for example)

However BNCS adds a whole extra level of functionality over basic routing (such as CleanFeed/MixMinus/IFB-queueing and routing, 4-wire routing etc. that would be trickier to implement from basic router controls) In some situations BNCS will also control multiple smaller routers as if they were one big virtual router, handling intermediate routes invisibly. This functionality may also be lost in 'manual' mode.
IS
Inspector Sands

BNCS was designed in-house by the BBC (in Manchester originally I believe), and then when BBC Technology was sold to Siemens-now-ATOS I think BNCS was part of that sale.


I thought it came back 'in house', and is administered by a team at BBC Belfast ?

The product itself was sold to Atos, and they still own it: https://atos.net/en/industries/media/broadcast-network-control-system
NG
noggin Founding member

BNCS was designed in-house by the BBC (in Manchester originally I believe), and then when BBC Technology was sold to Siemens-now-ATOS I think BNCS was part of that sale.


I thought it came back 'in house', and is administered by a team at BBC Belfast ?

The product itself was sold to Atos, and they still own it: https://atos.net/en/industries/media/broadcast-network-control-system


Yes - the confusion may come from the fact that you can buy the product from ATOS but can also have In-house developers for it.

The BBC may have a blanket, site-wide licence, or some other sensible way of handling this situation.
CO
commseng London London
Which went spectacularly wrong just before Mark and Lard departed!

That's a classic, but there's an even better version available (where the same thing also happened the next day) and some extra bants from the listeners about what went wrong.


Ah yes I couldn't find that one - love the idea that "Hey Ya" is behind a pane of glass...
It did seem like that during 2004, that emergency tape was used a few times on Radio 1 in that period so you knew when something was going on. You'd get the silence and then the "Radio" "1 2 3" at the start of Hey Ya and know something was a foot.

There were seperate DAT tapes for each of the networks, and they were down in a basement apps room, which when they had fired off you had to go down 3 flights of stairs and rewind them, ready for the next time they fired off.
Hey Ya must have been the R1 first record for years. Islands in the Stream was R2, Mozart on R3, and I think both R4 and R5 were speech. I don't envy anyone working in BH Control Room when the BNCS failed, must have been horrendous.
At least when I was there it was mostly seperate systems, and you could always insert a few double enders to get around most problems!
IS
Inspector Sands
At least when I was there it was mostly seperate systems, and you could always insert a few double enders to get around most problems!

What you used to do in your private life is your business.... Laughing
London Lite, commseng and Joe gave kudos
IS
Inspector Sands
Ah yes I couldn't find that one - love the idea that "Hey Ya" is behind a pane of glass...
It did seem like that during 2004, that emergency tape was used a few times on Radio 1 in that period so you knew when something was going on. You'd get the silence and then the "Radio" "1 2 3" at the start of Hey Ya and know something was a foot.

There was one morning where it came on twice during the Chris Moyles Show, though the first time they managed top get away without anyone noticing. Here's the second occasion and explanation:
https://chrismoyles.net/soundvault/soundvault.php?fileid=1088
HC
Hatton Cross Central (West) Midlands Today


It did seem like that during 2004, that emergency tape was used a few times on Radio 1 in that period so you knew when something was going on. You'd get the silence and then the "Radio" "1 2 3" at the start of Hey Ya and know something was a foot.

Was that the time Radio 1 were moving from cd's to the VCS Dira playout system?
Moyles (him again) mentioned it on air that the implementation went so badly, during the first day it played out more silence than music.
Readers are warned that this post contains some flash photography
HA
harshy Founding member
I wonder what Newsday would have looked like in Studio E I presume if the problems persisted they would have used Studio B
HB
HarryB Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
I wonder what Newsday would have looked like in Studio E I presume if the problems persisted they would have used Studio B

Wouldn’t have been able to use Studio B because it would still be in use by Newsnight at 2300 & the NC is in Studio E
SP
Steve in Pudsey Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)


It did seem like that during 2004, that emergency tape was used a few times on Radio 1 in that period so you knew when something was going on. You'd get the silence and then the "Radio" "1 2 3" at the start of Hey Ya and know something was a foot.

Was that the time Radio 1 were moving from cd's to the VCS Dira playout system?
Moyles (him again) mentioned it on air that the implementation went so badly, during the first day it played out more silence than music.

Funny that, Radio 2's (very well executed) emergency tape made a lot of appearances when they moved from the Continuity Announcer playing out pre recorded show to VCS doing it under automation.
Write that down in your copybook now.
SP
Steve in Pudsey Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
I wonder what Newsday would have looked like in Studio E I presume if the problems persisted they would have used Studio B

Wouldn’t have been able to use Studio B because it would still be in use by Newsnight at 2300 & the NC is in Studio E


Newsnight was decamped to Studio A on the night in question with World in Studio B from 10, so it could have happened.
Write that down in your copybook now.

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