The Move to HD News Video Pushed BSkyB to IP Delivery

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For some broadcasters, the decision to move to IP delivery for live news reporting rather than fiber is a matter of convenience versus quality. But as BSkyB discovered when it began reporting news in HD in 2010, IP offers better cost and higher video quality. At the recent Streaming Forum conference in London, Richard Westwood, head of links for BSkyB, explained the move.

"Strangely enough, for Sky News it was the transition from SD to HD, when the news channels were looking to go HD back in 2010. We then had to look at how we deliver content contribution-wise, and how we could make the transition and actually get HD instead of SD. Funny enough, it was that that started us to look at the IP delivery and from very early on it became obvious that streaming video over an IP network was actually a cheaper option than the traditional SD fiber," Westwood said.

Changing to fiber-based news delivery also offers video quality advantages.

"Because you're actually streaming video over an IP network, so you're leasing a data network rather than buying into a point-to-point dedicated fiber," Westwood explained. "You end up taking on far more of the management of the hardware you're using, but it means you can set the level of quality depending on the bandwidth. It was actually the transition from SD to HD that forced us to look at new ways of bringing content."

For more on live video acquisition, watch this discussion from Streaming Forum.

The Changing Landscape of Live Video Acquisition

Our Diamond Sponsor,, the multitool reference for those trying to get a video signal back to base on an ad-hoc basis, is delighted to host a special session as their 'launch event', which will also be broadcast live online. The panellists will include key technical experts working at the forefront of global broadcast news gathering workflows. It will focus on the disruption caused by the evolution of IP based technology and will discuss VSAT, SNG, ENG, and cellmux based video acquisition, and will take a look at how the technology is affecting the production and output of some of the world's most recognised broadcasters.

Presenters Marc Lapierre, Global Technical Lead, Thomson Reuters
Moderator Dom Robinson, Co-Founder, Director and Creative Firestarter, id3as
Colin Muir, Newsgathering Technology Lead, BBC Scotland
Guy Pelham, Consultant, Former Live Editor, BBC News, GUY PELHAM MEDIA
Richard Westwood, Head of Links, BSkyB

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