Lime Pictures is upgrading its in-house post facilities to accommodate the HD production of Hollyoaks later this year.

The Channel 4 series, which runs five episodes a week, is currently being simulcast on C4 HD.

The Liverpool producer's new HD facilities, which will be operational by June, centre on a 102TB storage area network (SAN) supplied by Data Direct Networks.

This will accommodate the 650GB of material per episode that an HD production requires. All post will be in HD, although the choice of editing system has not been finalised. Currently, Lightworks systems are used.

“We'll be acquiring four times more data than SD,” said PSC manager John Robertson. “It's a major investment and overhaul of our facilities but we'll be maintaining the same tapeless workflow.

“Moving data around won't be a problem once it's on the SAN. What's more of an issue is having enough time in the day to perform back-up and archiving of the sheer volume of data.”

Lime Pictures is something of a tapeless production pioneer. Since 2001 the producer has been recording the bulk of its studio footage direct to hard disk although location material is still captured on tape.

The new production set-up will see location-based material recorded to the optical disk-based Sony XDCAM HD to speed up the transfer of rushes into the SAN. The Hollyoaks studio cameras will be Sony HDC1500s.

Data management software is provided by Quantum StorNext with a Quantum i2000 tape library used to back up and retrieve content.