RTS Northern Ireland members were given a tour of the BBC’s Studio B in Belfast – home to BBC Newsline, the Corporation’s regional TV news programme – in early September.
BBC engineers Gerry Allen, Gordon Bannister and Ward Vaughan were on hand to guide the 40 visitors around Studio B, which opened in 1984 and was upgraded for high-definition (HD) broadcasts in 2015. The studio is flexible, with interchangeable background screens and colours, and is used daily to produce BBC Newsline, Final Score from NI on a Saturday and political shows.
The studio floor has an area reserved for BBC Newsline and a green-screen area for weather forecasts. Most of the studio is lit using LED technology, but the odd tungsten lamp remains.
The HD gallery is equipped with flat-screen technology, with monitors for cameras, preview and transmission, as well as for feeds from external sources. Next door, the digital sound gallery allows sound operators to quickly configure the desk for their particular programme.
Following the studio and gallery tour, RTS NI committee member, UTV newsreader and Belfast Metropolitan College lecturer Aidan Browne, who also chairs the RTS NI Student Awards, offered a vote of thanks to the three BBC engineers and BBC NI for facilitating the visit.