Associated Press is introducing more than 200 HD cameras, upgrading its mobile satellites and enhancing its backhaul capabilities as part of a multi-million dollar upgrade.

Entertainment news will be the first to get the makeover, going live in HD no 11 November. Sports news, via joint venture Sports News Television, will follow in January and main news in June. AP said it was the largest roll out of HD by any news agency in the world, and would be complete in time to broadcast news from the London 2012 Olympics, as well as the US elections.

Video news bureaux have been upgraded and HD master control rooms are being constructed in more than 20 cities, including London, New York and Washington. AP’s archive is also being overhauled to accommodate HD footage, enabling customers to download higher quality content from its website.

The news was revealed today at the Amsterdam-based IBC.

Director of global video technology David Hoad said: “The magnitude of this project is such that we are upgrading all our infrastructure right from the camera lens to the distribution technologies and everything in between.

“We recognise in today’s information driven world it’s all about choice and getting the information you want, when, where and how you want it. As such, we’re upgrading our technology to make it simpler than ever for customers to receive and use our video footage.”

Senior vice president Daisy Veerasingham, who heads the video business internationally, added: “HD delivery forms a key part of an 18-month transformation of APs video business. We are completely reinventing how we deliver video to fit the needs of our customers.

“We’re also adapting our editorial techniques to provide more regionally relevant content and more content overall, from raw and unproduced footage to fully polished packages for broadcast or web. This enables customers to access content that is tailored to their needs.”