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Channel 4 And Bauer Expand HD Capability With Box TV Investment In HD Cam TV

CVP-Mitcorp Group, a leading supplier of broadcast technology, has announced that Box TV has placed an order for multiple units of Sony XDCAM kit including the brand-new PDW-700 4:2:2 camera, a PMW-EX1 camcorder and a PDW HD1500 deck - all as part of an upgrade to HD.
Box TV Senior Editor Max Burgess said: "There are obvious benefits to shooting in HD and it certainly makes our archive more valuable with a longer lifespan and increased resale potential. Down-rezed HD tends to look better than normal SD so we would hope that the level of our output would improve. Investing in SD equipment with a three-year life expectancy at this stage would not be a great business decision to make for us, in view of the opportunities to come out of our partnership with Channel 4."
Box TV, which is a joint venture between Bauer Media and Channel 4, broadcasts seven music TV channels: The Hits, The Box, Kiss, Q, Kerrang! TV, Smash Hits and Magic.
Burgess explained: "As music broadcasters, our core content is built around high-quality music videos from the UK Top 40 chart to videographies of global music talent to the ever-popular hosted link-and-clip formats."
The new cameras replace the broadcaster's current DigiBeta and MiniDV models, and follow in the wake of it upgrading its Avid DS suite to HD. Burgess said: "We are not yet broadcasting in HD, but it is important for us to be forward-thinking and consider the archive value of the footage. The workflow benefits of the tapeless XDCAMs was particularly appealing in our fast turnaround environment and the cameras will be used for all our programming and commercial acquisition, mostly as a two-camera shooting option."
Despite the purchase of the HD1500 deck as well (Burgess commented: "We liked its built in SD downconvert and the ability to use it as a regular VT with some slight speed benefits."), the cameras will be working in a wholly SD broadcast environment for the foreseeable future. But Box TV still sees the move to the new format as coming at the right time for the company over and above the core archival issue.
"The HD cameras open up exciting new creative avenues like using the oversized HD frames in an SD sequence for a promo where we can DVE (zoom) in and out without any loss of picture quality. The larger image sizes are also much more useful for print promotions and the creation of disaster recover archives should prove to be easier with this new format."
He concluded: "Mitcorp are excellent. Their brand knowledge is faultless and their after-sale support is comprehensive, both of which are essential when you are buying into new technology such as this - it gives you more confidence when you are purchasing it."
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