The company's entire encoding kit, which includes a Sony 1100 encoder, a Spruce encoder and Dolby ancillary kit, will be provisionally moved into Uncle's west London site, where it is expected to continue operating as Squash.
The Farm's joint managing director Vikki Dunn said that 14 of the facility's 17 staff, headed by technical director Paddy Morrison, would be relocated to Uncle next month and three graphic designers have been made redundant.
Dunn admitted that the move was partly in response to the hostile conditions in the DVD market that have claimed VTR Group's DVD authoring specialist, TMR, which was -dismantled last month ( Broadcast, 15.6.06).
The Farm's head of operations, Dave Klafkowski, insisted the move did not mirror TMR's consolidation into the VTR Group and said Squash was simply changing location and being integrated into Uncle.
Squash will now focus on encoding and compression work, although Dunn said that the company would undertake DVD work as and when it is required.
'The DVD market has changed,' said Dunn. 'A lot of titles have gone back to the US and it left a gap in the market for everybody. Budgets have dropped - it's tough out there.' She added that merging Squash's facilities with Uncle would be a 'natural fit' with Uncle's existing encoding facilities.
Squash was set up in 2000 as a DVD facility for clients such as Paramount and Lion Television, also providing encoding, -transcoding and compression. Recent projects include doing the multiple language repurposing for Mel Gibson film The Passion of the Christ on DVD.