It has purchased 11 Final Cut Pro edit systems for editing, graphics, dubbing and online versioning linked to an Apple Xsan server capable of storing 1,000 hours.
The mobile production system, with Apple kit purchased through Finnish reseller Filmworks, was installed in time for coverage of the Swedish rally two weeks ago.
'When we won this contract we looked into various systems and found Final Cut Pro more cost effective,' said Jo Ormston, head of production at North One's WRCTV unit. 'It's proven itself on our production of Formula 1 for ITV. We thought it would be quite a change technically, but we put our Avid editors on a Final Cut course and moved over without a hitch.'
North One plans to swap the on-board mini-DV cameras for ones based on solid-state memory. A tapeless system would prevent material being lost because of the extreme shooting conditions. Main WRC footage is already shot on Sony's disk-based XDCam.
'One week the production is at minus 40 degrees the next it could be in Mexico at plus 40,' says Paul McNeil, head of BBC Resources special cameras team, which is engineering the cameras. 'Tapes can get damaged easily in those conditions.'
Technology already devised by the BBC division for 'covert' documentary coverage could be used.
'The issue is whether we can exchange recorded media with blank memory cards in the two minutes of rest the cars get at each race section,' said McNeil.