Sky New Zealand grows HD capabilities with an Enterprise sQ server-based production system

Leading New Zealand broadcaster chooses Quantel for sports, news and promos work

Sky Network Television Limited, the New Zealand broadcaster, has purchased an extensive Quantel Enterprise sQ server-based production system as part of a major investment which will make Sky the pre-eminent source of HD content in New Zealand. Live and close-to-air production of sports, sports highlights and news, as well as highly post-produced promotions for sports events, movies and general entertainment output will all be handled by the Quantel system. Headquartered in Auckland, Sky is watched in nearly 50% of New Zealand's households.

As the sole broadcast rights holder for the Winter Olympics in New Zealand, Sky wanted the new system to provide the backbone of its extensive coverage of the games. The Enterprise sQ system was commissioned and on-air in time for Sky to benefit in full from its integrated, file-based production workflow.

The Enterprise sQ system replaces an amalgam of legacy systems with a single, integrated production centre where every journalist, producer and editor has instant access to all stored material for viewing, shot selection and editing. The system is capable of handling HD and SD media alongside each other, and has a total of 1200 hours of HD workspace. This supports 48 sQ View applications, 18 sQ Cut fast-turnaround desktop editors, 17 sQ Edits and two sQ Edit Plus workstations for heavy-duty compositing work.

"This new sQ system will revolutionise the way we produce television here at Sky," said the project's sponsor, Brian Himsley, Head of Production Services. "We expect significant efficiency gains from a fully file based, non-linear workflow, with the bonus of greater creativity."

"We are delighted to be working with Sky New Zealand during this critical stage of the company's development," said Trevor Francis, Quantel Worldwide Marketing Manager. "The new solution will simultaneously add full HD production capability and will join the many production teams with shared access to raw materials and edited projects, breaking down the workflow barriers inherent in their current hybrid tape/server technology. Sky's viewers will enjoy a fully-HD experience, along with higher production values and the fastest possible reaction to developing sports events."