BBC Cymru Wales to Roll Out Next-Gen IP Technology

An artists impression of BBC Wales' new headquarters in Cardiff © BBC Cymru An artists impression of BBC Wales' new headquarters in Cardiff

The BBC is to become a leader in next generation IP technology when it moves into it's new Cardiff home at Central Square.

The new broadcast centre will be the first BBC facility in the UK to deploy the new technology across both its production and broadcast operation. IP revolutionises the way data and signals are carried, providing far greater flexibility and enabling BBC Wales to adapt quickly to future requirements.

The BBC announced today that it will work with the Canadian company Grass Valley and the US technology giant Cisco to introduce the new IP (Internet Protocol) technology across the facilities at Central Square. IP is expected to replace much of the traditional SDI technology (Serial Digital Interface) that is currently used extensively by the BBC and other major UK broadcasters.

Gareth Powell, BBC Wales’ Chief Operating Officer, says: “IP is an investment in BBC Wales’ creative future - and will put us at the vanguard of broadcast technology developments in Europe.

“The new technology is also very scalable which means we’ll be able to adapt quickly to future demands for higher bandwidth or better video resolution.”

The introduction of IP will also enable BBC Wales to use their facilities at Central Square more flexibly. Unlike SDI, data and signals can flow in every direction, which means different devices dotted around the building will be able to recognise and ‘talk’ to each other. This will mean, for example, an IP-enabled microphone can be controlled by any sound desk anywhere in the building, and any TV gallery could control any IP-enabled camera.

Gareth Powell says: “This will give us a level of creative freedom about how we produce our content that we’ve never had before.

“We want to harness the benefits of IP technology to provide the best possible tools to our content-makers and to free them from many of the historic constraints we’ve faced at our current HQ in Llandaff.

“I believe this investment will help make Central Square one of the most creative, collaborative and open broadcast centres anywhere in the UK.”