A Worcestershire-based presentation and communication company has become one of the first of its kind to introduce the use of revolutionary High Definition (HD) technology.
DRP Group, which is located in Hartlebury, has just received its brand new Sony HDW 730 camera and kit which will be used for the production of corporate film and broadcast projects.
High Definition is a completely new form of transmission which has just been launched across Europe.
The format produces much higher quality visual images than has been possible with previous formats. HD is rapidly becoming a household term and this will increase dramatically during 2006 with more and more television programmes transmitting in HD, including the World Cup and Wimbledon sporting events. Sales of HD-ready TVs are rapidly increasing and HD DVD will be launched later this year.
The purchase of the new camera is phase two of DRP's HD investment. Last year saw the company refurbish its editing suites and studios, which included the installation of HD equipment. This latest phase enables HD to be taken on location and phase three will follow later this year.
Dale Parmenter, managing direction of DRP Group, said: "From our point of view the investment is huge and quite unique in the corporate market we operate in.
"High Definition production has been the format of choice for television commercial producers, pop music video producers, high end drama and natural history programmes for the last 18 months. However, the corporate production market has been slow on the uptake.
"We are therefore delighted to be the first company of our kind to introduce the format to our clients who will now be able to have their own internal films, videos and bulletins broadcast in the same high quality as we are starting to see on our TVs.
"We now have the kit in house and are looking to not only increase the quality of work we do for existing clients but also expand our client base into new markets. This will take us one step closer to achieving our aim of becoming a key corporate video production supplier in the UK."
HD pictures are superior to their predecessors as they producing an image approximately four times larger than the traditional Standard Definition images.
Meanwhile, the number of British households watching the Freeview digital TV service on their main set has surpassed those using an analogue signal for the first time, according to new figures from media watchdog Ofcom.
Despite the milestone, 60 per cent of all British TVs are still using the analogue signal, which is slated to be turned off in 2012, compared with 18 per cent using Freeview, a digital, multi-channel service with no obligatory monthly subscription fees.
The take-up of digital TV is far ahead of the regulator's forecasts. It expected that 1.7 million homes would switch in 2006. By the end of March, almost 800,000 had already done so.
"In the run-up to the switchover, this is good news because it's important that people move to digital," an Ofcom spokesman said.
Ofcom estimates that at the end of the first quarter, about 7.1 million homes had Freeview, which launched in October 2002, compared with 7.7 million subscribers to the more established satellite service BSkyB.
While Freeview offers about two dozen TV channels for the price of a set-top box, Sky boasts more than 100 with monthly packages that cost from £15 to £42.50. Using just a traditional TV antenna, British homes typically receive only five channels.
Cable operator NTL, which recently acquired its only cable peer Telewest, has about 2.8 million digital subscribers.
Ofcom said about 72.5 per cent of UK households now have digital TV service, up from 61.9 per cent a year ago.
The pace at which consumers are buying Freeview has been relentless, with 1.2 million set-top boxes and TV sets already equipped to receive the service sold in the first quarter. It is the third consecutive quarter of sales of more than 1 million, bringing the total to 11.7 million in less than four years.
Of the 1.2 million sold in the first quarter, Ofcom estimates that 38 per cent were for use on a household's second TV set.