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Sony win contract to construct and equip BSkyB HDTV studio

Sony recently announced winning a major contract to construct and equip new High Definition Television (HDTV) studio facilities for British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), which plans to launch a premium package of HDTV services in 2006.
The deal will see Sony act as prime contractor for the creation of a new studios at the broadcaster’s Isleworth headquarters in west London and supply equipment for edit and dubbing suites at the same site. Also included in the agreement is a significant professional services component, including training provided by Sony for BSkyB operations staff to streamline transition to High Definition production.
The contract has been awarded to Sony after a competitive tender process. Sony HD equipment in the new studios will include latest HDC-1500 studio cameras and over 60 HDCAM and HDCAM SR format VTRs, complemented by MVS-8000A series multiformat production switchers and DVS 8000 digital effects plus Sony HD LCD monitors.
Ian Collis, Vice President Product Marketing, Professional Solutions, Sony Europe, said: “This is a landmark contract for Sony, we are immensely gratified to have been appointed as the turnkey contractor for Sky’s High Definition studio operations – the first dedicated facility of its kind for a major commercial broadcaster in Europe.”
BSkyB’s Group Director of Engineering and Platform Technology, Alun Webber, said: “The launch of HDTV is the most significant development for BSkyB’s broadcast infrastructure since the launch of Sky digital in 1998. This contract with Sony keeps us on track to launch HDTV in 2006 and ensure that Sky customers continue to receive the highest-quality viewing experience available.”
Under the terms of a supplementary 12-month contract won after competitive tender, Sony will also support BSkyB operations staff with an innovative High Definition training package.
Three ‘tiered’ levels of training resources will offer BSkyB operations employees a product-independent grounding in High Definition, while a general introduction will provide staff across the business with an overview of HD.
Further ‘workshop’ modules will explore technical aspects of High Definition in more depth, while a complementary series of specialised modules has been created to complement specific craft skills – from camera work and set design to make-up and quality control.
A web-based interface developed by Sony will allow hundreds of BSkyB staff at Isleworth and other sites to log on and access HD training materials simultaneously.
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