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, near Manchester, England. 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.
Philip Boocock, the BBC North project engineer responsible for the upgrades, stated that, "We need to address the balance of baseband and IP across our incoming and outgoing video and audio circuits to the site. 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 fibre optic receivers and 10 FTX-L 3G fibre transmitters. They are supported with 44 3GDA105N distribution amplifiers, 21 SYN-A 3G synchronisers and seven VDA110M HD analogue video distribution amplifiers. The synchronisers 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.
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