BBC R&D is today launching Stagebox Camera Back, a camera-mounted product it claims can make it possible to put the entire production process onto an IP network for the first time. BBC R&D Controller Matthew Postgate told TVBEurope: “This is not vapourware; it is ready for sale. It takes video, timecode, tally lights, talkback and genlock from the camera-back directly into IP. We have a long-term vision of a different broadcast system, based on end-to-end IP. We feel this is the missing piece of the jigsaw.”
The new product will allow professional quality footage to be streamed remotely to any gallery or post-production team with an internet connection, in real time, wherever they may be. In documentary making for example, post production wouldn’t need to wait for camera crews to finish filming on location shoots before editing material, as they can receive it the moment it’s captured. For outside broadcasts, it removes the need for a temporary broadcast centre as footage can be sent to a remote production base.
BBC R&D has developed the product and it is licensed internationally through official distributor L2Tek, rather than an established camera-based vendor. “By choosing a large manufacturer you close off the market to some extent,” said Postgate. “Instead, we have worked on the hardware with other industrial partners.” These include CorEL, Quadrus and Bluebell Opticom.
The technology was rigorously tested as part of the 8K, 22.2 Surround Super Hi-Vision trial during London 2012, where it linked the SHV control room at the Olympic Park with four sites in the UK and to Japan and Washington DC. “Stagebox enables us to take cameras and use public ad hoc IP networks to bring OB and multicamera soundstage productions together,” Postgate told TVBEurope. “We also hope that Stagebox will be a catalyst for future innovation in broadcast production, having designed it around open standards for others to build on, as only BBC R&D can do.”