EPIC, the Norwich-based production facility, will upgrade its three studios to HD using a£1.5m grant from the East of England Development Agency.

The three studios comprise a large drama/light entertainment studio of more than 6,000 sq ft feet and two smaller studios of 1,000 sq ft.

EPIC centre director Mark Wells said the new kit will help to expand the studios' remit. “The growing importance of HD was clear to us. We also engaged an independent consultant who came to the same conclusions,” he said.

“The upgrade means we can look at new platforms and activities such as digital cinema. We are also looking at streaming live HD events and surround sound from the studios.”

Six fibre-optic linked Sony HDC-1500 cameras with Canon HD box and handheld lenses have been installed in the larger studio. The production gallery will be re-equipped with a new HD monitor stack and a Grass Valley Kayak 3 M/E HD mixer. It will also get a Grass Valley K2 media server for video/audio in and out, instant replays and slo-mos.

The sound gallery will be re-equipped for live surround sound production with a new Calrec Omega desk.

The two other studios will get smaller Kayak mixers to compliment the HD/SD cameras from JVC that are already there. Installation is expected to be completed by September 2008.

The studios will be linked to a 48 terabyte Apple XSan storage area network.

EPIC (East of England Production Innovation Centre) is based in what was Anglia TV studios and is run by Norfolk County Council.

Programme made there have included Trisha, Graham Norton and cult childrens show Knightmare.