Crystal Vision was selected by UK systems integrator Dega Broadcast Systems, to supply 421 interface boards for use at BBC Millbank in London, for its parliamentary broadcasts. The order was made up of distribution amplifiers, up and down converters, synchronisers, fibre optic receivers and transmitters, linear and chroma keyers, video delays, embedders/de-embedders and routing switches.
The project began at the beginning of 2014 and will be completed at the end of the year. Once upgraded, Millbank will provide coverage of Parliament for BBC News and BBC Parliament, and will also broadcast The Politics Show.
Within the order, 25 Up-Down-ATS 3G and 38 Q-Down-AG 3G up and down converters, as well as two ADDEC 210 and 15 EMDEC-200 decoders were being installed to help with the conversion of legacy external lines. One Safire 3 real-time chroma keyer was also ordered so that a virtual backdrop could be used in a self-operated camera studio. The order also included: 49 SYN-A 3G and nine SYNNER 310 video synchronisers; 39 TANDEM 310 and three TANDEM 320 embedders/de-embedders; and one ViViD HD-40 video delay, which will be used to correct the timing of the feeds into the main Westminster studio. All the boards were set up using Crystal Vision’s PC control software, Statesman Lite, and will be controlled via the BBC’s BNCS (Broadcast Network Control System) using SNMP.
The interface is being stored in 4 Millbank, which is part of BBC Westminster and is based opposite the Houses of Parliament. It has its own television and radio studios providing political news for the full range of BBC News outlets. It is also the home of a number of regular programmes for TV and radio.