ITV’s Northern Resources has completed the upgrade of Coronation Street from an SD tape based set-up to an HD filed-based system ahead of the 50th anniversary of the flagship soap.

The new production environment is the culmination of more than two years work and is based around an integrated Avid ISIS solution with up to 12 HD video steams being ingested via ISOsync to Avid Airspeeds.

Crucial development work was undertaken with Avid to write the ISOsync application that allows linked multi channel ingest and instant synchronised playback to studio of the video streams.

Director of Northern Resources Paul Bennett said: “Coronation Street’s transmission schedule doesn’t allow for breaks in filming, everything had to work first time and be installed while the show was recording. We’re really pleased as the pictures are stunning and the workflow so much more efficient, we’re able to spend more time concentrating on creative elements.”

  • The Airspeeds hold roughly a weeks worth of multi-camera rushes and, as they ingest, a ‘watch folder’ duplicates the material into the ISIS storage.
  • Recorded footage is available for editing or viewing by any authorised PC on the entire ITV network within seconds of the shot being completed.
  • Two new production vehicles have been built for location work and both are two-camera units, fibre linked back to Panasonic P2 solid-state recorders.
  • Footage is archived to an offsite store with media management provided by the post-production team.

Canon lenses and Ikegami 79EX cameras were chosen for the show, matching sister production Emmerdale which invested in its new cameras in the spring of 2008.

The HD upgrade has also included the integration of the Coronation Street facilities into the main studio and post-production facilities within 3sixtymedia.

ISIS storage is directly linked to the FCP Xsan farm so productions can use either system.

Currently there are about 50 client seats on the system that utilises ITV’s 1 gigabit corporate network to allow material to be viewed via desktop.

For remote working third party software is used to allow basic edit functions from any worldwide location with broadband access.

Coronation Street will launch in HD on 31 May.