According to reports in industry trade journal Broadcast, the BBC is looking seriously at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as a potential milestone, both in the rollout of its IP-based production system Stagebox, and in 4K.
The Corporation of course is keen to build on its notable successes with the London Olympics last year and used Stagebox in anger to cover last month’s Glastonbury Festival, piping 18 feeds back from Somerset back to a London base which was used as a virtual control room. And while the technology is very much still in the beta stage, it estimates that the IP camera links that form the heart of this sort of remote production set-up will be the norm in the next three to five year period.
Broadcast says that BBC R&D is now working on a 4K version of the camera-mounted device that powers Stagebox. “There is every chance 4K could be an IP-oriented service, and I can see [4K] tracking the rollout of super-fast broadband,” BBC R&D controller Matthew Postgate told the magazine.
Of course, the Corporation has experience in this field, helping pioneer the workflows that saw Super Hi-Vision 8K trialled in a limited sense at London 2012 (and watch for some stunning developments from NHK in that format at this year’s IBC). But having rather firmly punted stereo 3D into touch recently, it looks like it’s lining its R&D efforts up behind 4K. And, as is usual with these stories, somewhat faster than anyone predicted.