The BBC is to consider centralising some of the equipment and infrastructure used by its regional TV stations following a similar move in radio.

John Griff

Last week, the broadcaster announced that BBC Radio Northampton will be the first of four stations to shift equipment for storing, streaming, mixing and processing audio files to remote data centres in London and Birmingham as part of its Virtual Local Radio (ViLoR) initiative.

Project director Geoff Woolf suggested that “ViLoR for TV” could be the next step. He said: “It is something we will look at later this year, but you have to bear in mind that it took four years to get radio to this point, so it is likely to be a similar time for proof of concept for regional TV. “Radio is always years ahead of the rest of the industry; network capacity, technology and products [for TV] are just not there yet,” he added.

It is hoped that ViLoR will substantially reduce the cost and time needed to upgrade the BBC’s 39 local radio stations, which are scattered around the country. Woolf estimates that for the cost of upgrading two conventional radio stations, four ViLoR stations could be built.