In an age where consumers have become used to watching their chosen content — sport, movies or drama — in HD, it is reasonable that they expect that high quality to be replicated across all programming. As such, there is increased demand for HD news and current affairs coverage; con-sumers want to see breaking stories in the highest picture quality possible.
As a global provider of news, Associated Press (AP) supplies content to half the world’s population every day. With the migration of all its news operations to HD, AP is meeting the market demands of its viewers and maintaining the competitive edge by delivering news content as quickly as possible. By creating the best experience possible for its viewers, AP is ensuring that it remains one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering for the foreseeable future, and has set a benchmark for others in the industry.
AP worked with a carefully selected set of vendors to facilitate this experi-ence; one vendor highlighted here is Ericsson, who supplied AP with cutting-edge video MPEG-4 compression equipment. The AVP 3000 Voyager DSNG (digital satellite newsgathering) and RX8200 IRD solution have enabled AP to deliver the highest picture quality with efficient use of satellite bandwidth, for its newsgathering and live video services, as well as providing high-quality video links for AP customers. This deployment has allowed AP to compress the HD content, resulting in a greatly improved picture quality with a low data rate, even for those customers still using SD.
Building on 15-plus years technology leadership in mobile television, Ericsson’s AVP 3000 Voyager represents the new generation of video acquisi-tion and delivery solutions. It is one of the most advanced DSNG units on the market, offering unprecedented flexibility and usability.
Crucially, as well as enabling HD newsgathering, it offers AP the potential to upgrade to a 1080p50/60 resolution, JPEG2000 format and even extends integration into a 4K (UHDTV) contribution system.
Along with other selected vendors, Ericsson’s video compression solutions have enabled AP to be one of the first newsgathering organizations to make the ground-breaking move toward all-HD operation. This migration represents the latest success in the longstanding relationship between Ericsson and AP, who have been working together closely to ensure the infrastructure upgrade runs smoothly. With Ericsson having provided the first generation of MPEG video technology to AP 17 years ago, AP and Ericsson have a firm relationship and long-standing working commitment.
AP’s migration to HD was unique, and one of the largest challenges lay in the fact that it was the first in the news industry to go all-HD on a global scale. AP delivers sports, news and entertainment to broadcasters; the final test was to ensure a timely global technology roll-out. This required spending time with its strategic vendors to ensure a global solution was delivered on time and within budget while maintaining year-round, round-the-clock news operation to AP customers.