Relocation of BBC Television Facilities to Broadcasting House

dB completed a long-term contract and the largest project ever undertaken by the BBC: the relocation of BBC London TV Centre facilities – a project described by the BBC as: ‘on-schedule, on-budget and on-air’.

The enhanced Broadcasting House and the movement of over 5,500 staff and broadcast services, to bring the BBC’s national and international news operations together, entailed the single biggest migration of BBC facilities ever undertaken. The development, for the first time, brought the BBC World Service, BBC News, BBC Weather and several other BBC business units together under one roof in Portland Place in London’s West End.

dB’s role was the design, build and commissioning of all HD television studios, galleries, edit suites and associated technical areas at Broadcasting House for all the Corporation’s television news services.

The sheer scale of the project meant the team faced challenges in technology, project management and ensuring the needs of all different BBC stakeholders were met.

The BBC site now hosts one of the world’s largest news rooms – designed, built and commissioned by dB Broadcast.

The contract covers the design, procurement, installation and commissioning of all equipment for video production located within the studios, galleries, edit suites, graphic areas, newsroom and local apparatus rooms.
It also involves all the inter-connections to the central routing and distribution systems which will mean close collaboration with the BBC and other companies.

The specification was for a 1.5G (1080i) HD-SDI video system with a clear upgrade path to 3G HD-SDI. Where technically feasible and cost effective, dB Broadcast also installed elements capable of supporting 3G HD-SDI from the outset.

There are more than 10 television studios of different types. The largest 334m2 double-height studio is fitted with eight cameras and is intended to be a flexible studio for a varied range of programmes, equipped with motorised hoists for changing sets. Fixed studios are single height with one incorporated into the open plan newsroom; one of the largest live newsrooms in the world.

The World Service studios will be used for recording inserts into World Service video outlets. The clip studios are designed to be primarily self-operated but will also form a vital part of the daily news output.

The main galleries will use play-out and automation procured by the BBC and supplied to the systems integrator for installation. As part of the project, dB also installed approximately 30 edit suites.

As part of the BBC W1 Phase 2 Video Production installation, dB was asked to install 27 craft edit suites. These were over several floors at New Broadcasting House and are based around a Quantel Ingest, Production and Playout system.