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Strictly takes advantage of tapeless system at BBC Studioworks

New set up at Elstree Studios matches that of Television Centre

BBC Studioworks has invested in tapeless capture to cover its Elstree studio operations, including two 12 channel EVS XS3 Servers.

The new tapeless system will be employed by all shows at BBC Studioworks’ Elstree production hub this autumn, starting with the 16th series of Strictly Come Dancing, which will air on BBC One in early September.

The new tapeless set-up, which Studioworks said was increasingly being requested by clients, matches BBC Studioworks’ system at its Television Centre facility, creating consistency across its sites.

Produced by BBC Studios, Strictly will benefit from a more effective workflow, a reduction in tape stock costs and the consequential environmental dividend. As the show also post produces with BBC Studioworks, material from the studio will be instantly available in the edit.

The EVS XS3 Servers will be based in proximity of the relevant studio, along with a 10 GbE switch and an IP Director. The core system consists of three Ultra High Performance XT Access Servers, a mirrored database solution and a management IP Director. All media streams onto BBC Studioworks’ 180 TB Avid Nexis storage, either to be edited or held as a backup.

BBC Studioworks has also created Record Operators Rooms that service its studios across the Elstree sites and is able to rapidly install pop-up rooms when additional facilities are required. Rooms consist of video/audio monitoring, talkback, EVS control, an Avid for checking recorded material and a general-purpose PC.

“Our investment in tapeless capture at Elstree is in response to requests from client productions and provides them with an even neater and more effective workflow,” said Meryl McLaren, commercial manager, BBC Studioworks. “We have been operating tapeless recording at Television Centre since we re-opened the facility in September 2017, so it’s advantageous to have a mirrored offering in Elstree too.”

BBC Studioworks’ Elstree post production village, with 11 dedicated Avid Symphony suites, will meet Strictly’s fast turnaround and varied editing requirements, handling up to 100 hours of training material each week. Rushes will be ingested, logged, edited, reviewed, and incorporated into the shows which air on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

BBC Studioworks is also providing post production services to the 60-episode series of the Strictly Come Dancing companion show, It Takes Two, from Elstree.