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BSkyB News Operations to deploy P2

19 April 2007

At NAB Panasonic has announced that The Sky News team at BSkyB has committed to a tapeless strategy for all future news with P2. Sky News will be using the all new AJ-HPX2100 shoulder mounted camcorder as well as the AJ-HPX2100 handheld camcorder from for worldwide electronic news gathering activity, writes Fergal Ringrose.

The first instalment of camcorders is currently being rolled out to Sky News foreign bureaus. With the move to using P2 systems as standard, Sky News is replacing its outdated recording and acquisition technology. The move will standardise the news gathering process as well as increase the efficiency, quality and timeliness of breaking news coverage from even the most remote locations.

“Working with George Davies, head of cameras at Sky News, we have invested the last two years in assessing the camera recording system that will work best for us,” commented Jackie Faulkner at Sky News, British Sky Broadcasting. “Tapeless and solid-state recording on to the P2 is more efficient as there are no moving parts and less maintenance is required. The camcorders produce outstanding images and are HD and SD switchable, which is a crucial feature in the transition to using P2 camera systems. In improving our current workflow, we feel that the P2 system is the best way forward.”

Sky News is also moving to using Apple’s Final Cut Pro HD in the field to directly edit footage recorded on the P2 system. This means that footage acquired on P2, from any location, can be seamlessly integrated into the newsgathering operation and transmitted using a broadband connection to Sky News Centre.

“The powerful workflow system gives our cameramen and newsgathering staff greater flexibility in gathering news from across the globe, even as events unfold, in the most efficient way possible. We have an excellent working relationship with Panasonic, who in the decision making process listened to our every need and actually tailored their P2 system to meet our requirements,” adds Jackie Faulkner.

On-air since 1989, Sky News is a 24-hour news service providing up-to-the-minute global news coverage. The organisation employs 600 staff around the world with bureaus in Delhi, Beijing, Moscow, South Africa and Washington and UK regional bureaus in Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh, Birmingham and the North East. The London-based head office employs 35 individual news teams alone.

“We’re delighted to confirm that Sky News is one of the first organisations to use our newly introduced AJ-HPX2100 HD/SD switchable P2 camcorder that brings the benefits of tapeless acquisition in HD. We’re seeing more and more news organisations choosing the P2 tapeless workflow solution for gathering up-to-the-minute news footage in a faster and more efficient way,” said Ian Lowe, general manager, UK Broadcast Sales at PBITS.

The fully-equipped HD shoulder mounted AJ-HPX2100 P2 camcorder is capable of recording in many resolutions from DVCPRO HD to DVCPRO 50, DVCPRO and even DV, so is fully flexible in its operational capability. Recording on standard P2 cards, it’s possible to record up to 80 minutes of DVCPRO HD on 5 x 16GB P2 Cards. From July 2007, Panasonic will offer the new AVC Intra codec for the AJ-HPX2100 doubling the HD recording time using this new compression.

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