The video arm of newswire Associated Press (AP) plans to spend up to £30m equipping its news teams around the world with HD cameras and upgrading its production infrastructure to a fully digital workflow.

London-based Associated Press Television News (APTN) will renew its core production infrastructure and provide new delivery platforms for its digital customers as it gears up for the introduction of HD from next year, with the initial focus on entertainment, followed by sport and live news coverage by 2012.

Daisy Veerasingham, senior vice-president of business development and partner relations at APTN, told Broadcast the investment would result in an acceleration to full HD for the newswire from its current “minimal” HD capability.

“Many customers have already moved to HD and, equally, other customers are just beginning that journey or are part-way through it,” she said. “We believe that events such as the 2012 US presidential elections and the London 2012 Olympics will provide the tipping point.”

Veerasingham said AP is looking to spend between £18m and £30m over a period of 18 months. The tender process - which is taking place at the moment - is expected to conclude within six weeks.

“This investment will give our customers a wide range of options about the technology they use to receive video, both in the traditional broadcast market and on digital platforms,” Veerasingham said.

It is the single biggest investment in the newswire’s video business since it acquired Worldwide Television News in 1998. Veerasingham said that while there is still “good growth” in broadcast, the digital video space is expected to grow “exponentially”.

“The number of video screens is multiplying and this will ensure that we can play a part in that multiplication of screens - that’s the biggest reason we are making this investment,” she explained.

APTN supplies live news video and edited clips of entertainment, sport and lifestyle coverage to around 1,000 national and international broadcasters.