Link speeds London-L.A. post

WASHINGTON — London-based production houses will soon have a high-speed digital link to Los Angeles that will allow Soho-based media companies to play a bigger role in the special effects and post-production marketplace, BT Broadcast Services will announce today.

BT’s transatlantic fiber-optic link — dubbed MediaVision — will allow the instantaneous transfer of video and audio files in real time, according to John Swingewood, general manager, BT Broadcast Services. He predicted the link will help London effects and post-production houses to get more involved in Los Angeles-based productions.

But while BT was the first to announce such a service, it won’t be alone. SohoNet, a high-speed digital link already in operation in London, will be extended to L.A. within 60 days, according to Sharon Reed, one of the co-heads of Megalomedia.

SohoNet was created by a consortium of 11 London-based digital and audio effects companies, including CFC, FrameStore, the Moving Picture Co. and Cinesite.

BT’s new service is expected to launch early in the fourth quarter. The link is just one of several services that BT Broadcast Services plans to provide in the U.S. The company is a division of British Telecommunications, which currently is jumping through regulatory hurdles in its effort to merge with MCI.

In addition to MediaVision, BT is already increasing its satellite sales efforts for domestic and transatlantic satellite transmissions, while selling time on its transatlantic fiber-optic cable.

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