Germany’s WDR Moves to HD Transmission

German regional broadcaster WDR began HD sports transmissions this month, including coverage of national premier-league football. Sportschau Bundesliga, broadcast across the ARD public broadcast network, is produced at WDR’s headquarters in Cologne on a Quantel Enterprise sQ server-based production chain.

WDR has been making Sportschau Bundesliga for ARD since 2003, using an SD Enterprise system. This was converted to HD last summer, while broadcasts continued in SD. Everything from ingest to playout is now in HD, although WDR is able to supply the individual broadcasters that make up the ARD network with material in any format they require.

Enterprise sQ servers have also been chosen by Australian multicultural/multilingual broadcaster SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) for HD operation. SBS’s broadcast centres in Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne will each have an sQ installed, with all three scheduled to go live by the middle of this year.

The biggest installation will be in Sydney, which will have a server accommodating 800 hours of HD/SD storage, working with sQ View, sQ Cut journalists’ desktop editing systems, and sQ Edit and sQ Edit Plus craft editing workstations. Four Apple Final Cut Pros will also be connected to the system, working on the same workflow as the Quantel editors. The installations in Melbourne and Canberra will feature a smaller sQ server, with one sQ Cut, a single sQ Edit, and one Final Cut Pro.

“SBS has spent the last five years working towards reinventing its workflows and refreshing its technology for the move to a fully file-based SD/HD facility that integrates into the multi-platform world,” says SBS Director of Technology and Distribution Paul Broderick. “The Quantel systems fits perfectly with our aims, and we are particularly impressed with its integration to Final Cut Pro.”

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