The£2m deal will kit out the London venue permanently with five Sony HDC-950 cameras, HDCam and Digibeta VTRs, HD monitors and an HD switcher.
The new equipment will remove the need to have large outside broadcast trucks parked outside the venue, fulfilling a commitment to Westminster Council. The council said the Royal Opera House would have to reduce disruption to the flow of traffic caused by OB trucks following renovation in 1999. Broadcast consultant Christopher Bretnall, who is in charge of the project, said: 'We'll have reduced the need [for large trucks] by 95%.'
The installation will allow the new broadcast and sound department to capture HD content for archive and foreign sale purposes. Fibre connectivity is in place for broadcast projects. The installation could help broadcasters reduce production costs when broadcasting from or recording concerts at the venue.
The grade one listed building will be fully wired for 12 channels for larger productions. The installation has a completion date of 8 June, when a live relay will take coverage of a ballet triple bill to giant municipal screens around the UK.
Bretnall, who was chief engineering manager at the BBC for 20 years, is recruiting for three key positions: chief video engineer, chief audio engineer and a technical manager. The deal was signed on 21 December. Sony will have access to the site for HD training.