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BBC Outside Broadcasts to capture BBC Sport’s first HD project

BBC Outside Broadcasts is to capture top international women's tennis tournament, The Hastings Direct International Championships 2005, in High Definition (HD) for BBC Sport.
Staged by The Lawn Tennis Association at Devonshire Park in Eastbourne, the competition is one of the most prestigious women's tournaments on the international tennis calendar. It will be the first time BBC Sport has produced a sporting event in HD for broadcast.
The quarter finals, semi finals and final on June 16, 17and 18 will be captured in HD for future use and will be broadcast in Standard Definition (SD) on BBC Two and BBC One in the UK.
The global broadcast market is increasingly heading towards HD television production, with consumer demand rising and costs of HD equipment falling. Sports programmes are a key driver in the move to HD. The nature of the genre lends itself to the maximum benefits of enhanced picture quality, without implications for production costs, for example set and costume, which can affect other areas of programme making.
With plans to capture the Football World Cup in HD in 2006 and the Beijing Olympics in 2008, BBC Sport wants to remain ahead of the game and is working in partnership with BBC Outside Broadcasts to deliver in HD. They also have aspirations to capture the Wimbledon Centre Court action in HD in 2006.
BBC Outside Broadcasts will use its’ multi-format truck - Unit 2 to cover the centre court action at Eastbourne. Launched in 2004, Unit 2 has dual systems and can be used for HD or SD productions, or for simultaneous production in both standards. Four Sony HD cameras will be used to capture the championships, as well as a Thompson Super Slow-Mo HD camera.
The truck is equipped with an HD vision mixer and full HD monitoring throughout the broadcast chain. It is based on the successful type 8 chassis and can easily be parked at central London venues, where space has proved limited for expanding vehicles.
BBC Outside Broadcasts team has extensive experience of working in HD and has already acquired a number of high profile music events in this format, for example The Proms for Japanese Broadcaster NHK, Carols from Kings and Glastonbury for the BBC and The Princes Trust Concert for independent production company Clear Channel.

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