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World Wrestling Entertainment on Friday announced it will spend $12 million to upgrade its production facilities in Stanford, Conn. with a file-based system provided by Thomson to produce content in high definition.


WWE, which recently completed a $20 million HD makeover of its television studio late last year, plans to move to a server-based HD production and distribution workflow using Thomson’s Grass Valley K2 media servers, an Aurora high-definition production editing system, Kalypso HD production switchers, a Trinix HD router and Kameleon and GeckoFlex signal conversion modules.


Mike Grossman, WWE’s senior vice president of television operations, said once the system is installed it will be able to produce all of its wrestling programs–including USA Network’s Monday Night Raw and The CW’s Friday Night Smackdown and its slew of pay-per-view events–in HD faster and more efficiently than the standard definition (SD) tape-based system its used for years.


WWE’s HD digital production system includes 16 HD ingest channels and will have a minimum capacity of 2,000 usable hours of HD with 15,000 hours or online disk base proxy storage. When completed, the system will support 200 named users and 50 simultaneous users, 20 full-resolution viewing seats and 36 full-featured multistream editing systems.