Advanced Television

Grass Valley wraps biggest IP routing for BBC Wales

October 12, 2020

By Chris Forrester

Grass Valley has been working at the BBC’s all-new BBC Wales broadcast centre in the middle of Cardiff and has now confirmed that it is the world’s largest SMTPE 2110 IP routing system for broadcast.

Grass Valley’s IP orchestration and routing system forms the bedrock of the broadcaster’s enhanced media traffic network and multi-channel playout operation, supported by IP enabled Sirius routers and a Morpheus and ICE Panoplay system.

The broadcaster’s new purpose-built national headquarters, which replaces the old Llandaff complex in the North of the city, and home to the broadcaster for over 50 years – is the first BBC facility built completely around IP technology

“With Grass Valley’s leading solutions portfolio, BBC Cymru Wales will meet rapidly-evolving needs for scalability and agility, and set a benchmark for the future of UK broadcasting,” said Grass Valley.

Featuring one of the largest newsrooms outside London, the new 150,000 square foot site – in which BBC Wales is co-locating with Welsh-language broadcaster S4C – will support content production in English and Welsh and playout across all platforms, from linear to mobile and social media. The facility is going live in stages, starting with a Grass Valley playout platform.

Roger Crothers, Head of Technology at BBC Cymru Wales, commented: “The world of broadcasting and media are changing at an unprecedented rate; our audience wants more content than ever before across an increasingly diverse range of devices. We need a facility that can remain up-to-date for many years to come, allowing us to easily adapt to new formats and services. IP is the only logical choice; it is format agnostic and meets our need for scalability and agility.”

Selected after a rigorous testing and evaluation process, Grass Valley’s IP orchestration and routing system, lies at the heart of a network capable of carrying around 6Tbps of live media traffic around the building. Grass Valley systems are also central to the broadcaster’s new playout operation, supporting BBC1 Wales, BBC2 Wales and Welsh language channel S4C.  IP enabled Sirius routers have been installed alongside a fully redundant Morpheus and ICE Panoplay system, with Morpheus deployed as a completely virtualised system. Systems integrator dB Broadcast worked with Grass Valley throughout the project.

“Broadcasters of all sizes are facing a spike in demand for rich, captivating viewing experiences across all screens. Audiences also want to engage with new forms of content services that are more personalized and interactive. IP paves the way to these new business models, delivering the scale and agility needed to efficiently create greater volumes of first-class content and allowing content creators to work in new and innovative ways,” added Tim Banks, Grass Valley’s VP/sales, EMEA. “This project with BBC Wales demonstrates Grass Valley’s commitment to working in close cooperation with customers to ensure they get the best solution for their current and future business and operational needs. We’re extremely proud that our solutions lie at the heart of this flagship facility and are helping BBC Wales create a blueprint for the future of broadcasting in the UK.”

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