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Japan, Netherlands Latest to Add More HD

International broadcasters continue to advance HD delivery infrastructures with recent deals in Japan and the Netherlands topping the list of recent initiatives.

In Japan terrestrial broadcaster Kita Nihon Broadcast (KNB) has launched HDTV news broadcasts to Japan’s ToyamaPrefecture. The system relies on an Omneon Spectrum server system for content storage and four Avid NewsCutter Adrenaline HD editing systems that are networked with an Avid Unity production server to edit and playout content. The Japrs News Support system from Nishi Nihon Computer helps build news segments.

NHK, Japan’s sole public broadcaster, is also getting into HD news. Next month it will receive about 200 HD cameras and VTRs from Panasonic, including 124 sets of AJ-HDX900 DVCPRO HD camcorders and 77 AJ-HD1400 compact DVCPRO HD recorders.

For news departments finding enough bandwidth to allow a digital newsroom to move content around easily is always a challenge. But that’s beginning to change, according to Toru Teranishi, KNB senior director of the news production bureau, He says technology like the Omneon ProBrowse system gives KNB the bandwidth and flexibility to build high-quality HD news programs through a fast, efficient production workflow. ProBrowse automatically generates low-resolution versions of material that can easily be transported across existing networks. “Content is readily available for editing and playout,” he says.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands,Chellomedia, an international distributor of channels and content is building a new HD sports studio. Broadcast Networks, based in the UK, will design and build the three-camera studio, primarily used for sports coverage including the UEFA Champions League and the FA Premier League. Major new equipment includes a Grass Valley Kayak HD production switcher, Sony HDCAM High Definition decks and Quantel editing gear.

“A complete move to HD will take some time, but every new installation will now have to be made futureproof and infrastructure will have to be built to ensure a quick and easy upgrade path to HD,” says Tom Haye, Director of Broadcast Networks. “The next two-to-three years will see a huge push inthis direction, and the majority of production and transmission facilitieswill find themselves having to provide HD functionality in a large part of their systems and infrastructure in order to stay in the race and to remain compatible with the rest of the world.”