The Newsroom

New Meridian, BBC South & South East Thread

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NG
noggin Founding member
Bail posted:
I don't get why they've ditched the desk for the soft area with bulky laptop and gubbins on full display. Does anyone here know the the reasoning, I'm assuming covid/cleaning/distancing but I don't get why that would rule out the desk for the 6:30.

It's because Sally is more likely to guests during the evening bulletin so it's harder to maintain social distancing at the desk. Also, most of the cameras are currently in locked off positions. Therefore, moving from the desk to the sofa currently isn't achievable mid-show as it would mean moving lots of cameras (hence increasing staff input and creating possible risk for the sake of it). I think Southampton have some aspects of remote control so they can still do certain zooms etc remotely from the gallery but nothing too sophisticated (such as moving cameras across the floor and repositioning in different locations). So it's a case of either have the whole show from the desk or from the sofa. Guessing the sofa was seen to be the more suitable of the two but when things become more 'normal', they'll be able to transition between the two again as before.


Yes - most English regions have 'remote' cameras but not 'robotic' cameras. 'Remote' camera mountings allow for remote control of pan, tilt, zoom and focus, and in some cases elevation (i.e. height) - but only robotic cameras allow the camera ped to actually relocate within the studio. Robots are much more expensive and have a lot more safety restrictions. (Remote cameras on track like Furios - as used in many of the studios in NBH - are a kind of half-way house - they can only reposition themselves along the length of their tracks, and these tracks can be easily seen so reduce some of the safety issues involved)

When BBC News was based on the 6th floor at TV Centre, N2 had robotic cameras (used for the 'virtual' One, Six and Nine O'Clock News, and Business Breakfast/Breakfast News before they moved to TC7). N1, where BBC World was based, had remote cameras - as did TC7.

Repositioning remote cameras on the studio floor requires an additional person in the studio - which I guess Southampton are trying to avoid.
Last edited by noggin on 24 February 2021 9:22am
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IJ
IanJRedman
It's a rather niche question, but does anyone know if South Today is the only BBC region with 'static' graphics which don't animate, apart from a simple dissolve? I expect they're generated by a very old Aston. Also, their intro sequence is missing the animated headline text. It's always been a slight pet hate of mine, but to be fair, I'm sure it's a hardware limitation...
MA
Meridian AM
It was mentioned here a while ago. I think it was because of old equipment.
IJ
IanJRedman
It was mentioned here a while ago. I think it was because of old equipment.

Thanks, and apologies for the duplication Smile
MW
Mike W
It's a rather niche question, but does anyone know if South Today is the only BBC region with 'static' graphics which don't animate, apart from a simple dissolve? I expect they're generated by a very old Aston. Also, their intro sequence is missing the animated headline text. It's always been a slight pet hate of mine, but to be fair, I'm sure it's a hardware limitation...

There's a few that simply dissolve on and off; slowly regions without Viz (only London, Plymouth, Cambridge and Salford actually have Viz) were upgraded to have a CasparCG setup - Caspar is an open source, HTML driven character generator - it was trialed at the Mailbox after their Aston was finally giving up.

Those that don't probably use an Aston branded product, I remember reading that Oxford had to add Reith via floppy disk to get their aston to display the right style.

Those in the know, can CasparCG be driven by BigTED or has the bear finally retired?

EDIT: I think only Leeds and Birmingham use the CasparCG solution at present, presumably that's set to change.
DE
deejay
CasparCG can be driven by BigTed but the project was put on hold after its trial at the mailbox so there isn’t a “one solution fits all” template that can be rolled out unfortunately. Sites that have since chosen to install CasparCG have gone it alone slightly in how its set up and configured and most are using it as a graphics playout device for full frame items and screen images, rather than lower thirds.

You’re right that hardware limitations prevent most regions from implementing the fully animating style of Reith lower thirds, with Astons being still the main character generator used across the country. It wasn’t quite a floppy disk, but a Magneto-Optical disk (quite hard to get these days!) although for the most part it was possible to get the new data into the Aston directly via a bit of ancient file management software that still works!
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SP
Steve in Pudsey
Leeds have the network style animation on their lower thirds, fwiw.
DE
deejay
A reasonable job of replicating the network style of animation can be achieved by putting the text on as part of the edit using a template. That’s how Oxford do it.
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WM
WMD
A reasonable job of replicating the network style of animation can be achieved by putting the text on as part of the edit using a template. That’s how Oxford do it.


Why don’t Southampton do the same, out of interest? Even more archaic kit, or editorial preference?
BA
Ballyboy
Unrelated but I think the coffee desk should replace the desk for good
JO
Joe
Unrelated but I think the coffee desk should replace the desk for good

Well it has in my life
MA
Meridian AM
The current BBC South studio set up with the low table and sofas looks fine.

Just wish it was in HD - not going to start that discussion again though!

It is simple but it works fine.

*
Last edited by Meridian AM on 1 March 2021 9:21pm - 4 times in total

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