BBC R&D

Posted by J. Boyer on , last updated

The project is buzzing with excitement this week as the BBC launches its Christmas schedule today and as part of that The One Show is showing a Christmas Spectacular at Television Centre (TVC) and we are going to provide a 'halfRF' MIMO HD Radiocamera to help present the event.

We have been itching to try out the 'halfRF' MIMO HD Radiocamera outdoors for a while , but bad weather and other commitments had so far been in the way. It is one thing to know that your system ought to work well outdoors, but it's much better to have tried it and imminent programme use really concentrates the mind, so last Thursday several of us braved the cold and did some outdoor tests at TVC.

R&D has a rather elderly transit van which was previously used by our Spectrum Planning Group to check coverage of transmitters. The van is equipped with useful things like benches and mains power making it an ideal base for outdoor radiocamera tests.

We initially set up just behind security at the front of the car park. The antennas were mounted on lighting stands about 8 feet off the ground and 20 feet apart. We walked the camera through the covered walkway next to Studio 1 and around the doughnut (the open circular area in the middle of TVC). We didn't expect this arrangement to work brilliantly as there were number of obstructions that we thought might cause problems. We were in fact very pleasantly surprised, as there was only one small break up with this arrangement. We then rearranged the receive antennas so that one was much higher up and had a clearer view of the area to be covered. We repeated the walk and this time the coverage was absolutely perfect with no breakups at all.

In the spectacular there will be a stage in the upper car park and we thought we might be able to mount our antennas on some of the lighting rigs, so we moved the van to the upper car park and set our antennas up there. The performance again was perfect around the car parks and in the doughnut.

UPDATE: Ant here- I've just been over to see the team setting up as the last of the daylight fades- all going well- the radio camera tech is generating lot's of interest among the SiS-Live OB team. Signal strength is excellent in all the filming locations- this should be good!