German broadcaster WDR in Cologne will this month begin broadcasting major sports programming in HDTV.
Spearheaded by the flagship 'Sportsschau Bundesliga' German premier league soccer coverage, the whole production process, from ingest to playout, will be handled in HD using Quantel Enterprise sQ server-based production technology. WDR has been producing 'Sportsschau Bundesliga' for the whole ARD public broadcasting network in Germany since 2003 in SD using Quantel Enterprise sQ technology. The success of the system led WDR to look to Quantel to drive its new HDTV service. A key requirement for WDR was that the well-liked production workflow of the original SD Quantel system was not to be compromised in any way in the upgrade to HD. As the system was converted to HD throughout the course of the summer of 2009, production of WDR's normal standard definition programming continued uninterrupted. In fact, WDR continues to supply other ARD broadcasters with material from the sQ system in a variety of formats without a hitch. Now running fully HD, the production workflow for 'Sportsschau Bundesliga' has proved every bit as agile and fast as its SD predecessor. "Enterprise sQ provides an ideal platform to take WDR and everyone else into HD production," said Thomas Birner, Quantel Director of Sales, Central Europe and Middle East. "It is well proven in terms of its ability to grow and adapt to future requirements - as the WDR installation shows - and its ability to serve all formats gives broadcasters complete flexibility in their operations." (BMcC/GK)