BBC R&D Uses AJA Corvid Ultra in Test Pilot to Deliver UltraHD TV Over the Internet

September 11, 2014

BBC R&D is the research and development arm of the BBC that designs innovative broadcast solutions anticipating the future needs of television production and delivery. The outfit is currently developing tests and workflows for facilitating live broadcast needs working directly on IP networks. As part of this effort, BBC R&D was tasked with producing and delivering live UltraHD content over an IP network from the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland to several UltraHD television screens at the Science Centre in Glasgow, MediaCityUK in Salford and New Broadcasting House in London showing live coverage of the games to the public. 

The workflow involved live UltraHD capture at several sports venues across Glasgow, using the AJA Corvid Ultra to provide the interface from the camera to the video encoder and IP gateway, streaming across a fibre network to the local BBC site in Scotland, and onto the other viewing locations in Glasgow, Salford and London. In addition to the public viewing locations, the trial broadcast was also extended to a number of UltraHD set top boxes around the UK.

BBC R&D developed this workflow over several months prior to broadcasting from the events. “The AJA Corvid Ultra provided support for our required combination of UltraHD at 50p,” explained Peter Brightwell, Lead Research Engineer, BBC R&D. 

Visitors to the public viewing sites were excited by the high-quality live images on the 65-inch Ultra HD big screens. The success of this test effort allowed BBC R&D to review new possibilities for the future of live IP-based production for Ultra HD, and working insights into best practices for shooting sports content when viewers have access to a rich new level of picture detail and vivid color reproduction. 

About Corvid Ultra

Corvid Ultra delivers I/O, processing and scaling for complex, multi-format 4K/2K and HD/Dual-link/SD workflows. It features support for 2K and 4K DI workflows as well as high-quality scaling capabilities at a range of resolutions and frame rates, and supports 4K and stereoscopic workflows, onboard debayering, with two expandable card bays. Corvid Ultra works with a host computer via its 8-lane PCIe 2.0 interface card, which tethers to the 2RU Corvid Ultra chassis via a 3-meter high-speed PCIe cable. 

About AJA Video Systems, Inc.

Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of video interface and conversion solutions, bringing high-quality, cost-effective digital video products to the professional, broadcast and post-production markets. AJA products are designed and manufactured at our facilities in Grass Valley, California, and sold through an extensive sales channel of resellers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website at

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