XL Video On Screen with BBC Wales General Election Coverage

Working with BBC Election Project and Engineering Manager, Tony Cahalane and Production Designer, David Marson, XL Video supplied high resolution LED screens, plus scenic curved LED and Barco screen management systems for BBC Cymru Wales and S4C’s coverage of the 2015 General Election.

BBC Cymru Wales broadcast all-night election coverage on BBC1 Wales and the Welsh language channel, S4C, simultaneously from two studio sets at their studios in Llandaff, Cardiff.

XL Video LEDs appear on BBC duing UK's General Election in 2015. (All photos courtesy of XL Video)

Each set consisted of a wide, high-resolution curved LED screen, formed from XL Video’s Unilumin 3.9mm LED, and measuring 10m wide by 3m high.

This main screen displayed a combination of playback content, election graphics generated live as results came in, and PiP broadcast footage from reporters around the country.

Surrounding the screen and set, each studio featured nine curved LED banners formed from XL’s creative Barco NX6 product. These banners were used to extend the backgrounds from the main screen and give a cohesive look across each studio.

Despite each studio having matching set-ups, the use of LED allowed both broadcasts to have very different and distinct looks. LED screens across both studios were built and managed by Colin Barnes and Paul Phair.

XL Video’s new Barco E2 screen management systems were used to manage the complex switching of content from scenic playback graphics to live broadcast feeds and graphical images.

XL Video's high-resolution curved LED screens were showcased on stage. 

The E2s were programmed by Rob Scott and Daniel Harris and routed to Shot Boxes controlled by each of the respective programmes’ Vision Mixers, allowing them plenty of flexibility during the live show and the ability to switch straight to breaking news as it happened!

In addition, XL supplied more than 40 flatscreen monitors ranging in size from 23” to 65” which were used on set, in the Spin room, and for monitoring incoming feeds.

Ten of these screens were paired with Freeview+ PVRs, capturing incoming live feeds which could then be cut into the broadcast at suitable moments. Monitors and Freeview+ were engineered by Tony Barter.

Jeff Bailey, Head of TV & Film for XL Video, comments: “We were very pleased to supply the video for the BBC Cymru Wales’ General Election coverage. As with any live news event, preparation is key, and our team on site, Project Managed by Ian Jones, ensured everything was ready for the high-paced environment on Election Day. Our technicians worked closely with the production team and delivered a great-looking visual package for each broadcaster!”

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