The BBC will boost its coverage of local and European parliament elections this month with the use of video-over-IP device Stagebox.

The BBC R&D-devised camera-mounted IP connectivity unit will be deployed at 15 councils in London as ballots are counted.

“It enables one production team in a studio to cover 15 locations remotely, which would not be feasible or economically possible if we had to send out 15 outside broadcast trucks,” explained Mark Scott-South, business development director for Stagebox sole licensee L2Tek.

Stagebox will convert the video, audio, genlock, timecode and other camera control information into IP packets for transmission to BBC Elstree over the Public Services Network, a government initiative connecting local authorities with a wide-bandwidth network and cloud.

“Local election counts can be very boring, but there is always a chance that a high-profile politician such as Nigel Farage might turn up. Now we can be there to capture the results,” said Scott-South.

Stagebox is a core part of the BBC’s plans to migrate live production to IP (internet protocol), which is considered less expensive and more flexible than conventional transmission by HD-SDI.

The technology was used for Red Button coverage of last year’s Glastonbury festival and will be used again at the Commonwealth Games in July.

US broadcasters are also testing the kit. In an upcoming lab demonstration, 4K Ultra HD content will be transported over IP using four genlocked Stageboxes, with the 1.5Gbps feeds stitched into a single image using special software.

This is seen as an intermediate step to 4K over IP, with HEVC encoders required to compress the stream for native 4K work.