BBC DEPLOYS CROSSNET INTERCOM SYSTEM FOR ITS COVERAGE OF THE US ELECTIONS 07/12/2016
BBC Radio “simul-casted" on BBC World Service, Radio 4, 5Live, BBC Local Radio and NPR partner stations for a continuous 12 hour “America Decides 2016” Election Special programme, with an estimated audience of 250 million listeners. Additional output on Radio 4 and World Service was also broadcast before and after the election special.
BBC Production Operations provided temporary broadcast facilities in Washington D.C for the broadcasts consisting of two fully featured broadcast studios on different floors and the ability to receive and route 30+ contribution circuits from around the USA. All audio was distributed and routed throughout the facility using the DanteTM AoIP network protocol using multiple vendors’ equipment, connected by readily available CAT5e cable, Ethernet switches and fibre optic links between floors.
Compared to traditional analogue methods used in previous years, using AoIP distribution with compact and integrated hardware allowed rig / test / de-rig time to be dramatically reduced plus a huge reduction in required kit to be freighted. This method delivered large savings in person-hours and transport costs, and increased the scope of the facilities we could provide.
Matthew Page of BBC Production Operations: “Engineering and Production staff needed to talk to presenters, contributors and each other quickly and easily. Using the AEQ CrossNet [intercom] matrix and AEQ TP8000 user panels we were able to create the 80+ IFBs and many 4-wire intercom circuits we required without having to plug in any extra copper audio cable, we just needed to connect the matrix and panels to the audio network with a few CAT5e cables.”
The main studio had 16 switchable outside sources - each with a mix-minus IFB return, plus 7 presenter and guest positions – each requiring "talkback” from production staff. The second studio had 10 switchable outside sources and 4 presenter / guest positions.