BBC Studios and Post Production’s Studio D at Elstree has been selected by BBC News as the national broadcast hub for its 2015 General Election coverage, supporting over 24 hours of live coverage and analysis.
Virtual reality and augmented reality technology will enable up-to-the-minute political broadcasts and analysis, and the BBC aims to give viewers an immersive and engaging election experience.
Airing on the evening of polling day, Thursday 7 May, through to the evening of Friday 8 May across BBC News and BBC World, up to 120 outside broadcast feeds tracking the live results from every local constituency across the country will be streaming into Elstree and ingested onto EVS servers.
Backed by a technical crew of 60, BBC S&PP’s Studio D has been segmented into different areas to accommodate each presenter’s remit of coverage. Presenter Jeremy Vine’s virtual reality set returns, this time utilising the latest in virtual reality technology provided by Vizrt.
Camera tracking systems, comprising of Mo-Sys StarTracker, encoder based moviebird crane and a Mo-Sys SpaceTracker, mounted to a wireless Steadicam, provides camera movement data for the graphics system. These target-based systems tracks the camera’s movements across the entire studio space, and informs the graphic engine of the camera position and orientation, which allows both augmented reality and virtual reality graphics to be accurately placed onto the camera’s visual feed. This enables Vine to move realistically round a green screen environment and become immersed in up-to-date graphics. The tracking systems allows this to happen accurately and without affecting the position of the virtual graphics.
The multi-camera set-up comprises 16 cameras, seven of which are virtual reality capable and five augmented reality capable.
Presenter Emily Maitlis’ interactive 5.3 metre wide touchscreen presents a new 2.5mm LED screen featuring fish-tank graphics powered by the camera tracking system, Vizrt graphics and its graphics rendering engine, Viz Engine.
John O’Callaghan, head of Studios and Post Production Services said: “Through the use of innovative technology, we’re helping to change the face of General Election TV coverage by making it an engaging and immersive experience for voters and viewers.”