Graphics Automation for BBC 2005 Election Coverage

The BBC election night programme spanned a marathon fifteen hours, drew in results from 646 constituencies across the UK, and relied on Idonix graphics automation to tell the story of the night.

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In addition to driving the broadcast graphics rendering engines, the system would need to provide information displays for the programme’s presenters.The BBC needed a system that would streamline the process of creating and transmitting results graphics. The system would need to handle graphics created by the editorial team as well as those automatically generated by the real-time results stream.


Idonix supplied a scripted IGO system to drive the four render heads required by David Dimbleby’s graphics operation. The system incorporated seven concurrent users inputting graphics and driving them to air, and integrated into a real-time XML results feed from Keepwatch Systems.


  • Straight-to-air generation of results tally and headline flashes.
  • IGO’s output device interlocking allowed three workstations to concurrently drive a single render head.
  • Speedy input of “type-in” graphics.
  • PAL video monitoring feeds to information displays hidden in David Dimbleby’s desk, and combined monitoring and mixTV targets rendered via WIFI to tablet pcs.
  • Automation of tog3D render heads using the industry standard MOS protocol.
  • Distributed script architecture allowed changes in functionality to be made during rehearsal, and even whilst on air.
  • IGO’s flexible transmission stack allocation allowed the operation to be governed by editorial demands, and not by limitations in technology

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