New TV Studios for Berkeley Studios International

February 2019

dB has completed new TV Studios for Berkeley Studios International comprising a 12G-SDI capable broadcast facility at Park Royal in London.

When Berkeley Studios International (BSI) wanted to build an interactive news and current affairs facility in London, they turned to dB Broadcast to design and implement the technical facilities, and to Maris Interiors, a design and fit out company, to undertake the building work. One of the new studios will be used for live production by pan-Arab news channel Alghad TV, and the other is available for hire to other broadcasters.

The project started in spring 2018, and in less than a year, four industrial units were successfully converted into two brand new studio facilities. To achieve this, dB Broadcast worked in close partnership with both the BSI project team and the builder on a daily basis.

As well as two large multi-camera studios (144m2 and 125m2), the facility includes two small news inject studios, three post production edit suites, MCR and transmission control rooms and a further three edit suites to be fitted out when required.

The newsroom, along with the production and sound galleries, were designed to be an attractive and functional backdrop for the studio to be seen by viewers of the news channel. The studio includes an impressive 8m video wall.

The apparatus room comprises 18 equipment racks containing all the central broadcast and core IT hardware. New equipment and infrastructure were supplied and installed by dB Broadcast, but graphics and edit were supplied by the customer from their existing facilities. Managing the transfer of that equipment, PAT and asset tagging, and installation into the new location were all managed by the dB project team.

dB agreed with the client that the core of the new system would use proven broadcast technologies, i.e. the core video and audio systems content would be produced using HD-SDI, AES and MADI. This decision was motivated by the wish to utilise existing HD equipment, and also avoided the need for extensive retraining in new techniques. The news environment needs speed and operational reliability in difficult conditions, and often requires freelance operators with skills in traditional workflow.

However, the opportunity to achieve 4K video was also important, so the latest iteration of SDI was deployed, capable of handling 12Gbps data on a single coaxial cable. This was possible as the system is self-contained and designed with the shortest distances between the core equipment, studios and control rooms. Ross was chosen as the primary equipment supplier of the broadcast and automation systems, using openGear hardware with their Ultrix router and Carbonite vision mixer products, all capable of supporting 12G-SDI.
A satellite up/down link station was installed with a roof mounted three metre dish and ten receive channels.

“Our guiding philosophy is to build trust through establishing strong relationships between our project team, the client teams and other contractors such as builders, striving to achieve seamless integration”, said Tom Swan, Sales and Marketing Director at dB Broadcast. “For this project, dB’s team included two Project Managers: Paul Telco, Technical Lead and Phil Snuggs, Third party Contract Management and Implementation.”

A significant challenge on the project was the major building work that needed to be carried out at the site concurrent with the installation of the highly complex broadcast equipment. Essential to the success of the project was the forging of excellent relations between the two dB Broadcast project managers, their team, the customer and the building contractor.
As the project progressed, unforeseen construction delays meant that the dB Broadcast team had to be flexible. For example, it was found necessary to construct a new mezzanine floor for the second news room, and this could have significantly delayed the project. To avoid delay, the construction of the apparatus area and control rooms was completed earlier than planned, enabling dB Broadcast to start the technical fit out in these “clean” areas, while the construction company continued their work in the other three units. During this period, dB Broadcast worked closely with BSI and the builder to define the AC, electrical and cable routes.

dB Broadcast sub-contracted the satellite works to Sat-Tech Communication; this required work on an existing satellite gantry on the roof. Liaison with the builder and structural engineers to address issues with the existing steel framework of the units would prove challenging.

The collaboration continued for the next two months to make sure that dust was kept to a minimum, and health and safety measures were maintained for all staff during the ambitious timescale.
The racks room was ready by December 2018, and the studio control rooms were then fitted out and cross-site cabling completed to the mezzanine and other areas of the complex. Practical completion was finally achieved by the builder in mid December 2018. dB Broadcast then had a challenge to meet the delivery date of the end of January.

By mid-January 2019, dB Broadcast had delivered all technical areas, and the main areas had been tested ready for User Acceptance Testing by the client.

“This was a complex project that pushed SDI to its limit”, said Yasser Youssef, Project Manager and CTO at BSI. “dB Broadcast worked with us to create a high performance system capable of taking us into 4K broadcasting, yet building on our existing expertise and resource profile.”

“Our off-site pre-build was a key issue in achieving a quality result and coping with the constraints of the building work”, said Paul Telco, Technical Project Manager for dB Broadcast.

RECENT NEWS

Exhibition Schedule 2024

Exhibition Schedule 2024

It’s exhibition season again, and dB will be at several major shows, eager to meet as many visitors as possible.

At The Media Production & Technology Show at Olympia, London, our team will be on hand to discuss latest industry trends and technologies, as well as catch up on current broadcast projects. We’ll also be debuting dB FLEX, a versatile power solution designed to power Starlink data terminals in the field. This was used in our award winning project for ITV Studios teams on location from Australia to Alaska.

See us there at Stand no. E27 on 15-16 May 2024.

https://www.mediaproductionshow.com/

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Then we’re off to CABSAT at the Sheikh Saeed Halls 1, 2, 3 and Trade Centre Arena, Dubai World Trade Centre. We’ll be looking to show off the new dB FLEX solution to delegates from the Media and Satcomms industry, and we expect lots of interest in our S3 Satsio antenna tracking and positioning systems.

Catch us at Stand No- S2-F20, Shk Saeed Hall 2 on 21 – 23 May 2024.

https://cabsat.com/

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Then in September it’s all back to The Netherlands with our annual attendance at IBC in the RAI, Amsterdam. Once again we’ll be in two places at once, in Hall 1 with our focus on Satcoms showcasing S3 Satsio and dB FLEX, simultaneously also exhibiting in Hall 10 with a focus on broadcast projects and our new APIS Hive software developments.

We’ll be at Stand nos. 1.A07 and 10.A30, 13-16 September 2024.

https://show.ibc.org/%20

Andy Appleyard joins dB Broadcast Board

Andy Appleyard joins dB Broadcast Board

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Andy Appleyard as Director of Projects and key shareholder of the Company.

Andy brings over two decades of industry experience to dB, having been a respected colleague and friend of the company for more than 20 years. His appointment is a strategic move aligned with our broader objectives to diversify our activities and fortify our long-term succession plan.

Andy started his Broadcast and Media career at the BBC, and trained alongside Mike Bryan back in 2000. Progressing through the organisation, Andy played a pivotal role as a Senior Project Manager in the success of the BBC Scotland Pacific Quay project in 2004. In 2008, Andy joined the systems integrator, TSL, as a Senior Project Manager, successfully delivering projects such as Sky News Arabia, QVC Italy, and Channel 4 HD Playout.

Returning to the BBC in 2014 as a Portfolio Manager, Andy led the delivery of BBC Cardiff Central Square, the Corporation’s first venture into AVoIP (ST-2110). Following this success, as an independent consultant, he collaborated with dB Broadcast on the Warner Bros. Discovery AVoIP project for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Since 2022, Andy has been leading a dB team responsible for delivering the strategic advisory role at NRK in Norway, as well as supporting wider business opportunities. His extensive contributions and expertise make him an invaluable addition to the company.

“We are thrilled to welcome Andy to dB Broadcast, and are confident that his wealth of experience and strategic vision will play a key role in propelling the company to new heights”, said David Bird, Managing Director & Founder. “This appointment is a significant milestone in building the perfect team for our continued and long-term success.”

This appointment comes at a pivotal moment for the Broadcast and Media industry as it undergoes significant transformations by embracing new technologies and workflows. The addition of Andy to the dB team is a crucial step towards realising the company’s long-term ambitions and ensuring continued success in a dynamic and evolving industry. Pic shows Andy Appleyard (foreground)

dB Broadcast Supports Expedition and Implements Sustainability Measures

dB Broadcast Supports Expedition and Implements Sustainability Measures

dB Broadcast actively seeks to invest in sustainable technologies, and to promote sustainable business practices. This spans both our own facilities and is a core concern during the design and implementation of systems for our clients.

Over the past year we have worked with an external consultant to review our sustainability approach. This work has delivered an updated company policy, targets, measures and actions to recognise and reduce our environmental impact, and provide transparency through our engagement in the global Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). This builds upon our wider sustainability initiatives which have seen a 100kW solar PV array installed, producing around a quarter of our annual facilities’ energy consumption. Furthermore, our Data Centre utilises an ‘evaporative’ cooling system to reduce our energy use and our carbon footprint.

On top of these initiatives, we are also thrilled to announce that we are sponsoring Mark Wood on his epic Solo 100 expedition in March 2024. Solo 100 begins when Mark will head out into the Arctic for 100 days on a 2000km science-based expedition. His mission is to document climate change in real time, to inspire people to re-connect with the environment and to educate us all on the need for modern day exploration. Expedition Solo 100 is a test of human endurance like no other. No human has ever been alone in the Arctic for so long.

Mark recently wrote to dB’s Founder David Bird to say…

“Hi David, I am just a few weeks away from heading north to a small Inuit settlement along the northwest passage called Resolute Bay – home to Inuit people who are thousands of miles away from the human race in a location that is set in snow and ice. Here I will prepare and train for my 100 days solo expedition across the last remaining sea – an area half the size of Europe with a total population of 300 people and over 25,000 polar bears.
 

The reason is to collate pure ice samples for leading climate research scientists to understand possible contamination. The expedition is being filmed by myself for a major documentary we have been developing over the past six years. Each day I will communicate through a podcast from the edge of the world (flat earth believers don’t get too excited when I write edge!!!) 


This will be my toughest journey over a 20 year career in a freezer, and each day leading to this all I can think about is stepping off the small plane in the Arctic Ocean to be alone for the 100 days. I’m in fear of the journey but this will keep me sharp and focused. 


My thanks go to people who believe in me and my journey – so thank you David and all of you for allowing me to pursue my passion in the name of science. 


 Onwards…”

Each month we plan to post an update on Mark’s expedition, and we hope you will be as excited as we are to follow his courageous journey, and spread the word about his progress and achievements, giving him as much exposure and support as we possibly can.

If you’re eager to know more about Solo 100, please check the website: www.expeditionsolo100.com