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BBC Uses Dante for US Election Coverage

Utilized technology for radio broadcasts out of its Washington, DC bureau

The BBC World Service utilized Dante networking from Audinate to manage and deliver live radio broadcasts of its special United States presidential election coverage.

According to Audinate, the choice to go with Dante networking by the BBC’s production staff signified a clear shift to digital for its Washington, DC bureau, as the contribution and distribution architecture for the live US presidential election coverage four years ago was very different.

“It’s a big difference when you remove the labor of running hundreds of copper analog audio circuits,” said Matthew Page, engineering manager, BBC. “Four years ago, we had three broadcast studios sharing contribution sources, all connected by copper multicores, analog talkbacks and analog audio routers to switch mix-minus feeds. That was a lot of equipment and heavy cable, all of which had to be connected on site.”

This year Page said most of the equipment was configured in London and setup on-site with readily available and inexpensive network cabling, saving shipping costs.

The completed system consisted of 17 Dante-enabled devices and broadcast mixing consoles. Dante was used to support connectivity between a temporary studio and main bureau studios as well for connecting more than 30 incoming contribution feeds from various IP and ISDN codecs.

Page said having the Dante network made communications across the bureau a lot easier. “We had Dante connectivity between our talkback panels in the temporary facility, and our intercom matrix in the main bureau. Dante’s connectivity allowed us to place the talkback panels wherever we wanted, which simplified communication between production staff and all contribution circuits, presenters and guests.”