AP announces HD rollout timetable

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LONDON – The Associated Press today announced the timetable for its high definition (HD) rollout strategy at the IBC Conference in Amsterdam. In a multimillion-dollar upgrade, the AP is transforming its video business by switching its entire newsgathering, production and distribution systems to HD, forming the largest rollout of HD by any news agency globally. This investment will provide AP customers with a wider range of options in how they receive video content, both in the traditional broadcast market and on digital platforms.

The AP will be rolling out HD in phases, beginning with entertainment news Nov. 11, followed by sports news via its joint venture with Sports News Television (SNTV) in January 2012. The completion date for the main breaking news service will be June 2012 in time for the 2012 London Olympics in July and the U.S. presidential elections in November.

The move to HD will see the AP change the way it gathers, produces and distributes news to its customers, involving a series of upgrades, including the introduction of more than 200 HD cameras, upgraded mobile satellites and enhanced backhaul capabilities to handle the HD signal. Video news bureaus around the globe have also been upgraded to the latest generation of video editing, compression and transmission technologies and state-of-the-art HD Master Control Rooms (MCR) are being constructed in more than 20 locations including London, New York, and Washington. The AP’s extensive video archive will also be transformed to accommodate HD with customers able to download broadcast quality and HD footage from its website.

AP Director of Global Video Technology David Hoad said: "The magnitude of this project is such that we are upgrading all our infrastructure right from the camera lens to the distribution technologies and everything in between. We recognize in today’s information driven world it’s all about choice and getting the information you want, when, where and how you want it. As such, we’re upgrading our technology to make it simpler than ever for customers to receive and use our video footage.”

AP Senior Vice President Daisy Veerasingham, who heads the video business internationally, added: “HD delivery forms a key part of an 18-month transformation of AP's video business. We are completely reinventing how we deliver video to fit the needs of our customers. We’re also adapting our editorial techniques to provide more regionally relevant content and more content overall, from raw and unproduced footage to fully polished packages for broadcast or web. This enables customers to access content that is tailored to their needs.”

The new HD strategy builds on the success of AP’s Global Media Services (GMS), which has been providing HD transmission to international broadcasters from major news events for several years, most recently including the UK royal wedding.

About The AP
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world's population sees news from AP. www.ap.org

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