The transmission centre, which comprises 41 of DNE's 48 suites, is the culmination of DNE's plan to expand its technical centre and create a facility where playout, scheduling, programming and subtitling are all under one roof.
The playout centre will still be run and staffed by Ascent Media Network Services, which won a contract to handle the playout with Discovery. The contract is expected to continue for six years and goes live this Friday (18 November).
The network initially moved its offices to the Chiswick site from Great Portland Street in April and now around 50 Ascent staff will relocate to the new Discovery European headquarters from its Stephen Street site, where Discovery had taken up nine of its playout suites. The Stephen Street facility will still be used by the network for operational cover until the end of November.
DNE's vice-president for network operations, Paul Newman, said the aim was to create a "state of the art tapeless broadcast facility". The new facility will house a media management area, 10 ingest suites and a broadcast equipment room.
A new multichannel transmission suite will amalgamate nine playout suites run by eight transmission controllers, who monitor the channels as they are broadcast.
Newman believes the centre will allow DNE more flexibility with its content - repurposing it for different platforms and connecting to distributors through a file-based online environment.
He added that the network plans to focus on widescreen, high definition, surround sound, 3G, mobile phone and broadband content delivery.
Newman declined to reveal the cost of the move, but said it was a "very big operation. With 41 feeds, it is pretty significant".
All of DNE's 12 channel brands will play out from the facility to 104 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The network is also set to launch an HD channel in Germany next year, Discovery HD.