The Associated Press laid out the timetable for its high-definition rollout strategy at the IBC in Amsterdam, with the announcement that entertainment news will be the first area to go HD on Nov. 11 and its main breaking news service will be upgraded to HD by June of 2012 in time for the 2012 London Olympics in July and the U.S. presidential elections in November.
Sports news will go to HD via its joint venture with Sports News Television (SNTV) in January 2012.
As part of a multimillion-dollar upgrade, first announced last year, the AP is switching its entire newsgathering, production and distribution systems to HD, an effort that the company is billing as the largest rollout of HD capabilities by an any news agency globally.
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. As previously reported, 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.
"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," noted AP director of global video technology David Hoad. "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."