Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Latest from Tata Sky - to launch DTH in June

February 27

Datelined CHENNAI, India, The Hindu newspaper carried a report quoting Vikram Kaushik, CEO, Tata Sky as saying: "Our DTH service will completely redefine the television viewing experience in India." The service is due to be launched in June using NDS Systems encryption using smart card technology while the set top boxes will be built in India by Thomson Group. Thomson will provide after-sales service and support network.

The newspaper said the scene is currently dominated by Dish TV, which crossed a viewership of two million last year.


ABS-CBN President and CEO Resigns

February 27

Troubled ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp the Philippines largest broadcast network said Luis Alejandro, its President and CEO of just 2 years in the chair had resigned to take effect from March 16.

ABS-CBN Chairman and Chief Executive Eugenio Lopez III will take over the reigns at the network.

Mr Alejandro will return to NutriAsia, a Philippine food company.

He is recognised for his time at ABS-CBN at trimming the network and reorganising it, but during his tenure lost the number one ratings position to rival GMA 7 Network which now charges more for advertising spots than ABS-CBN.

During Alejandro's tenure, ABS-CBN trimmed its staff and redesigned the network's organization.


Monday, February 27, 2006

TVRI Indonesia suspended from Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union until debts paid!

February 27

Noted from the ABU Robocon official web site: http://www.abu.org.my/public/compiled/p488.htm -

quote: "TVRI-Indonesia is suspended its membership in the ABU since 1st January 2006 because of outstanding debt and they will not be eligible to participate in ABU Robocon unless the payment is settled. We will be waiting for your comeback next year." end quote

(For an international organisation to publicly state such an admission is an unusual departure from standard diplomatic protocol - Gerald Brown, Ed)

It could only happen to radio and TV India

For most countries, state run Radio and TV is of strategic importance especially in border areas. With this in mind I was curious to come a cross an article published in the India Telegraph newspaper on January 29.

The site set out a lengthy report on how Indian villagers in Assam along the Indo-Bangla border are more likely to be better informed about events on their side of the border from Bangladesh state Radio and TV than by Doordarshan or All India Radio.

The article set out to explain how three Doordarshan (TV) relay centres in the Dhubri district in Dhubri, Hatsinghimari and Satrasal have been "defunct" for two years. It is an even a more sorry story for All India Radio.

Even the Indian military has voiced concerns about security as Indians were relying on Bangladesh broadcasts to be informed. Even worse the villagers are hooked on a number of Bangladeshi soap operas!

What a to do! Seriously though, how embarrassing this must be for the powers-that-be in New Delhi. On the other hand perhaps not? This is just one of many potential broadcast related stories to have been exposed beyond India's borders.

Full story: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060130/asp/northeast/story_5776320.asp

CRA says Australia Digital Radio just "two to three years away"

February 27

Australia Digital radio roll out commences

Commercial Radio Australia reports comprehensive coverage surveys on the first 11 commercial digital radio licence areas are now complete. These are for the key cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, as well as the key population centres of Canberra, Hobart, Darwin, Newcastle, Geelong and Wollongong. The Gold Coast licence area and will be completed by April.

The coverage reports, undertaken by consultants Gibson Quai-AAS, identify the planning and transmitter requirements for achieving at least 95 per cent population coverage for digital radio in these areas leading to detailed project costing.

Joan Warner, Commercial Radio Australia CEO said that since the Federal Government's October 2005 framework announcement for digital radio, the industry has begun the planning for the massive and expensive business of a roll out.

Ms Warner further said that the focus over the next 12 to 18 months will be on four key areas – technical and resource planning for the digital network; investigating a more spectrum efficient audio coding for Australia; cooperating with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on spectrum planning; and working with the Federal Government on the development of legislation.

The industry is keen to “future proof” the technology platform and at the request of Federal Communications Minister Helen Coonan has taken a lead role in investigating Advanced Audio Coding (AAC/AAC+), a new compression technology for use with Eureka 147 that will allow more efficient use of public spectrum. If adopted, the new standards would enable the industry to broadcast more and better quality services, such as multilayering and images, using less bandwidth. However, digital radio receivers currently in the market will not be compatible with the new standards.

In January, Commercial Radio Australia, Austereo and the ABC joined an international working party investigating the development of AAC+.

Ms Warner emphasizes the need in getting the technology platform right to deliver value added services to listeners. Citing Australia as a relatively small market, she is looking for international support for the new coding to ensure there is a large enough market to support the development of a wide range of attractively priced receivers.

Ms Warner says she remains extremely optimistic about the potential of digital radio and on track with the rollout of metropolitan digital radio networks in "two to three years".

She notes the growing popularity of mp3 players, radio podcasts and digital music downloads to personal computers and mobile phones that shows that listeners are ready to embrace change in the way they experience entertainment.

"We’re at the start of this new era, and digital radio will position radio as a key player in the future media environment,“ Ms Warner stated.

The Australian radio industry continues to work with the ABC, SBS and ACMA as development progresses and will continue its trial broadcasts in Sydney, the CMA re-affirms.

Commercial Radio Australia is the radio industry's main trade body. http://www.commercialradio.com.au

PRC and Singapore to sign collaboration deal on Digital Movie Content

February 27

Singapore's MediaCorp Technologies said that on March 2, officials from Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, MediaCorp Technologies, and China Film Digital will sign a Memorandum of Intent to formalize their collaboration in the commercial distribution of digital movie content.

IABM Survey shows Broadcast Industry Suppliers looking to positive year ahead

February 24

The latest IABM Industry Trends Survey, reveals that member confidence is high with just over half stating increased confidence in the next quarter compared to only eight per cent reporting it had diminished: a 7:1 confidence ratio. This is even higher than 46 per cent who said the same in the previous quarter’s results.

For the coming 12 months, confidence has also increased over the previous quarter with 68 per cent stating a rise compared to 60 per cent previously. As with the last survey, confidence is predicated on the rollout of HD, impending live events and new product launches.

The IABM Industry Trends Survey, produced in association with Ernst & Young, provides an accurate assessment of current industry sales facts and wider trends from those on the front line: IABM members. It has been carefully designed to allow member companies to provide up-to-date information anonymously via the internet. The full results are available only to participants.

Order books: the overall outlook remains positive with 45 per cent saying that order volumes were either better than expected or much better than expected compared to only two per cent reporting a deterioration.

This is a significant rise from the 34 per cent who said the same in the last quarter. No respondents indicated an order book much worse than expected in either volume or value terms. In terms of factors limiting order growth, selling capacity, prices and order/project deferral were the lead issues.

An 11.6 per cent rise from 57.4 to 69 per cent cited that stocks of finished goods either exceeded or were in line with requirements. As with the last quarter, skills and staff, manufacturing capacity and supply chain issues are the key factors limiting members’ ability to fulfil orders. However, in this quarter it is manufacturing capacity that takes precedence over skills and staff issues.

While 40 per cent of respondents said that they now have more employees than they did in the previous quarter, the majority stated that the number of employees remained the same. No respondents expect staffing levels to decline over the next quarter. In terms of R&D, 95 per cent said that expenditure remained either constant or was higher than 12 months ago.

80 per cent stated that selling prices had remained the same, compared to 60 per cent in the previous quarter’s survey. “There is an overall level of confidence in the supply side of the broadcast industry that is pleasing to see. However, it also has to be noted that there are challenges ahead with new content distribution models appearing that represent significant technological and strategic shifts. Already high levels of R&D activity are expected to rise still further as a reflection of these business model changes,” concludes Roger Crumpton, CEO, IABM.

For information on how to join the IABM and take part in the survey as well as receiving a host of other benefits, visit www.theiabm.org

Sunday, February 26, 2006

TVB's Supersun moves onto PCCW

On February 21, TVB announced that it chosen to put its 20 PAY channels onto PCCW Now Broadband TV platform to extend its distribution to Hong Kong households.

In the 10 year deal Supersun, 51 per cent owned by Charles Chan Kwok-keung and his listed firm See Corp, and the rest held by Television Broadcasts is to sell its 20 channels on Now.

Content migration to Now includes eight exclusive Cantonese channels such as TVB News, TVB Drama Classic channel and TVB Music channel.

Last year, Supersun linked up with Hutchison Global Communications to access to a million broadband households but Supersun to date can only garner approximately 60,000 subscribers.

Supersun is an outgrowth of Galaxy (in which TVB had majority holding) that originally won a pay license from the Hong Kong Government.

Hunan TV enters the era of Shopping TV

February 21

Hunan TV the provincial TV network on March 17 is due to launch the first live shopping channel where the station acts as the retailer and broadcaster. This is quite different to current shopping programs that are mostly via brokered airtime. With Hunan TV having national coverage its investment is said to be 100 million Yuan (US1=8.04 CNY) for the first phase.

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has given its blessing to the digital TV shopping channel.

The new channel will focus on the female consumers aged at between 25 and 45 and with monthly income to be between CNY 1,000 and CNY 3,000. These consumers may account for 70 percent of the total.

(USD 1 = CNY 8.0493)

Full story http://dycj.ynet.com Page 1, Monday, February 20, 2006 info@SinoCast.com

Indonesia DVB-H trials to launch 2H 2006

Indonesian terrestrial TV network based in Surabaya, PT Surya Citra Televisi (SCTV) and Nokia mobile technologies are to trial mobile TV trial for digital video broadcasting-for handheld devices (DVB-H) 2H/2006.

The trial will be conducted by Nokia and SCTV's owner, Elang Mahkota Teknologi (EMTEK) to test the viability of in Indonesia in the second half of 2006.

The pilot project with SCTV and sister company PT MECA will last for six months.

Philippine Networks RPN9 and IBC13 up for grabs

Sequestered government stations RPN 9 and IBC 13 is generating interest from the likes of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, veteran media executives Frederico M. Garcia and Arlene de Castro and programmers like Solar Entertainment and even GMA Network Inc., according to the media sources in Manila.

The sale of assets of RPN 9 and IBC 13 was previously estimated to yield a combined P4.5 billion (US1 = 51 pesos) for the government.

Sources said that Pangilinan, popularly known as MVP, and Garcia, former president of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp., were planning to bid jointly for Radio Philippines Network or RPN 9.

Talks about their tie-up have been going around the industry for at least three months now. Employees of RPN 9, according to another source, were already excited with the thought that MVP would be coming in.

Some analysts suggest the two stations could not fetch very attractive bids because most of their equipment were old and that much of the airtime, especially in IBC 13, have been sold to block-timers like El Shaddai.

Full story http://money.inq7.net/topstories/ view_topstories.php?yyyy=2006&mon=02&dd=20&file=2

CBA elects President and Vice President at New Delhi Meet

February 18

On the closing day of the Commonwealth Broadcasters Association meeting in New Delhi, Abu Bakar Jijiwa, DG, Voice of Nigeria has been elected president, and Brijeshwar Singh, DG of All-India Radio.

The elections for the various posts were held as part of CBA's 26th General Conference from February 15-17.

Shortwave Broadcasters Seek More Spectrum Space


Shortwave radio is alive and kicking. In fact there are not enough frequencies to go around. Current allocation is densely utilised. To resolve the matter some 130 frequency managers from 60 shortwave broadcasters met in Haikou, Hainan, PRC February 14-17 to discuss exactly how to open up the spectrum further at the 4th Global Shortwave Co-ordination Conference in preparation for the upcoming ITU World Radiocommunication Conference 2007 (WRC-07).

The co-ordination conference was hosted by the Radio and Television of the People’s Republic of China (RTPRC).

Sharad Sadhu, Head of Technology Transmission and Spectrum in the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU )said that shortwave broadcasters had clearly demonstrated the need for additional spectrum to meet requirements of their ongoing services that currently stand at 7350 daily transmissions and overcome current congestion in the allocated spectrum in the 4–10 MHz band.

Interference was eliminated in 19 percent of services that were deemed to be affected. When these channels are put to use for transmissions in the last week of March onwards, reception quality is expected to improve significantly.   

On the sidelines of the conference, meetings of the ABU-HFC and HFCC/ASBU Steering Committees took place where several significant decisions on the future development of the frequency coordination were taken. Emphasis was placed on monitoring of quality of transmissions and elimination of ‘wooden transmissions’ – frequencies assigned but not used. Technical experts of all the Coordination Groups also finalised procedures for a more enhanced interference detection system.

The Global Coordination Conferences have evolved over the years after the three coordination groups, the ABU-HFC, HFCC and ASBU decided to work together on a worldwide scale where the objective of the annual conferences is to produce methods and tools to resolve interference and improve the quality of shortwave radio service. The ABU-HFC group, set up by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union in 1996 includes 38 broadcasters in Asia-Pacific and in Europe, Africa and North America. The next meeting of the group will take place in Kuala Lumpur in January 2007.

Powerful Industry Group push for "Open Skies" Satellite policy in India

February 16

Satcom industry promotes competition in India. Public-private forum debates sector reform.

India’s satellite broadcasting and telecommunications industries gave renewed support to optimising regulations for satellite services within India. The VSAT Services Association of India (VSAI), the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) and the Global VSAT Forum (GVF) engaged the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on the expansion of India’s access to competitively priced satellite communications services.

The private sector was unanimous in its support for the TRAI-based recommendation that an “Open Skies” satellite services policy should be implemented without delay.

VSAI pointed out that satellite services underpin India’s communications infrastructure and have the potential to revolutionise the public’s access to new and exciting interactive media and telecommunications.

CASBAA said that underlying the meeting recommendations was one incontestable fact, that there is a huge pent-up demand within India for satellite services which cannot be met in the current regulatory environment.

For its part the GVF said that Broadcast channels supported by bandwidth-hungry high definition TV and interactive telecommunications services cannot be deployed unless there is significant additional satellite inventory made available within India.

An “Open Skies” policy should be adopted for DTH and VSAT operators similar to that available to ISPs. According to TRAI: DTH and VSAT providers “should be allowed to work directly with any international satellite.”

According to a joint CASBAA-GVF paper released during the meeting, with new supply of DTH and VSAT capacity limited to a best-case total of 36 new government-sanctioned transponders for India over the next three years, the ability of any company wishing to use Indian uplinked DTH or VSAT services will be severely limited.

Powerful industry lobbying indeed.

What happens next and when?  

GMA Network Manila opts for Ross Video Switchers

February 16

GMA Network Inc. has bought a two Ross Video Synergy 2, a Synergy 1 and Synergy 100 digital production switchers via Media Convergence Inc, the Ross business partner in the Philippines.

The deal was arranged through Felipe S. Yalong, Senior Vice President Finance and Virgilio Muzones, Engineering at GMA and Darren Budrow, Ross Video Manager of Asia Pacific Sales.

Since its establishment on June 14, 1950, privately-owned GMA Network, Inc has continually kept in touch with the preferences of its viewers, which it considers as Kapuso. It is driven to enrich the lives of Filipinos everywhere with superior entertainment and responsible delivery of news and information. GMA has overtaken ABS-CBN in the ratings war this year to be the country's number one network. The company is planning an IPO in 2006/7.

Annual Commonwealth Broadcasters meet in Delhi

Prasar Bharati and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry played host to the 26th Commonwealth Broadcasters Association get together in New Delhi, February 15-18. The main theme was `Making A Difference in the Multi-Platform World'.

Key speakers included, Prasar Bharati CEO KS Sarma, I&B secretary SK Arora, Zee Telefilms director Punit Goenka, Doordarshan DG Navin Kumar, BBC World Service and Global News director Richard Sambrook and South African Broadcasting Corporation group CEO Dali Mpofu. Not forgetting Commonwealth secretary-general Rt Hon Don McKinnon, Irene Khan, secretary-general of Amnesty International, AIR's director-general B. Singh and UNESCO additional director-general (communication & information) Abdul Waheed Khan.

True to this year's technology theme, the CBA is making available for one month a 30-minute compilation of items about the Commonwealth and about Commonwealth countries and peoples, titled `Pick of the Commonwealth' will be made available as a podcast from http://www.cba.org.uk/pick . It is presented by Robin White, formerly with the BBC World Service.

Conference sponsors included: NDTV, ABC, Bharat Sanchar Nigam, BBC World Service, Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), ONGC and the British Council in India.

Exhibitors included SHAF Broadcast, BBC World Service Trust, ABC Asia Pacific, VT Communications, Inscriber, Red Bee, Teko Telecom and Prasar Bharati.

India Government going for Phase 3 of FM station bidding


Manufacturers Alert

India's Economic Times carried a Press Trust of India report that the government is so enthused over the success of the second phase of bidding for private FM radio, that it has decided to go for a third phase to sell frequencies in up to 70 more cities. PTI quoted Information and Broadcasting Secretary, S K Arora.

In phase 2, the government sold around 280 radio station licenses in 90 cities bringing in revenues of about Rupees 1,100 crore. (crore= 10 million)

Arora said that to provide co-location facilities for private players on Prasar Bharati's infrastructure, the government was in the process of erecting new towers as well as enhancing capacity on existing ones.

As per a notification before the second phase, the government had approved the co-location of Common Transmission Infrastructure (CTI), consisting of antenna, cable, combiners, buildings, power supply, water supply etc., in each city using Prasar Bharati's infrastructure for setting up of FM transmission facilities for private FM broadcasters.

"We will be erecting new towers in the cities being targeted for third phase while enhancing capacity to host more transmitters on existing ones," Arora said.


Cambodia's CamGSM chooses 3G/UMTS from Alcatel

Cambodia's mobile operator CamGSM hopes to have its 3G service up and running by mid year following the award of the equipment contract with Alcatel. The service will enable high-bandwidth wireless services including live mobile TV streaming.

Alcatel will provide CamGSM with radio access and core network equipment, plus video telephony and streaming applications. Alcatel will integrate these elements into CamGSM's existing GSM/EDGE network, which was also provided by Alcatel.


Nippon Television to webcast its TV programs for Free

February 15

Nippon TV, one of the big 5 national commercial networks in Japan is reported to be starting free access to see its programs on its web site from April 1. One of the rationals is that Internet TV is becoming increasingly popular. So much so, that NTV is reported to be hoping to have several million subscribers to its Internet TV service within 12 months. Funding of the service will come from hoped for increased ad revenues.

India - Prasar Bharati under pressure to upgrade facilities in Mizoram

February 14

Manufacturers' Alert

Reports from Mizoram state capital, Aizawl - Prasar Bharati, India's broadcasting authority has come under pressure from the Mizoram government to provide all necessary assistance to upgrade state-owned All India Radio (AIR) and Doordharshan in this, the most easterly of Indian states.

The officials want modern facilities at the new "capital complex" in Aizawl.

FM tests on AIR Aizawl are completed but progress of implementation was dragging along. Stated officials also want to see a regional upgrade to AIR Lunglei which is currently just a relay station.

TBM (Thales now under Thomson) in Russia JV to digitalise RTRN

February 14

Thomson France unit, TBM and AAT (Almaz Antey Telecommunications) are together in a JV to upgrade Russian state-owned RTRN corporation's transmitter network to carry digital Radio and TV.

Thomson (Euronext 18453; NYSE: TMS) said that under the agreement, RTRN will use equipment manufactured by the joint venture formed by the former Thales Broadcast & Multimedia business (TBM) and the Russian company AAT (Almaz Antey Telecommunications).

TBM became part of the Grass Valley business within Thomson in January 2006.

AAT is a Russian company with general skills in research and production in the professional electronics area and also has specialized expertise in the installation of low-power TV and radio transmitters.

The JV between TBM (49 per cent) and AAT (51 per cent) is to renovate and digitize television and radio networks throughout the Russian Federation, and to bring them into compliance with EBU standards for DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting)and DBM (Digital Radio Mondiale).

T-DMB takes off in Korea

The Korea Times on February 12 reported that terrestrial digital multimedia broadcasting (T-DMB) is becoming not only the industrial standard for mobile TV service but also part of daily life for South Koreans.

Kim Yong-jin, store manager of LK Electronics, a mobile phone retailer at Yongsan electronics market in Seoul said that about 50 percent of handsets sold in the area are DMB phones. Kim was also quoted as saying that T-DMB is much more popular than its competitor satellite DMB (S-DMB), because the former is free of charge while the latter is 13,000 won per month. Also, T-DMB provides live TV content from three major broadcasters - KBS, MBC and SBS - free of charge, which is not available on S-DMB.

So far, there are 20 channels available on T-DMB - 13 audio stations and 7 video channels including the three major TV stations KBS, MBC and SBS. The DMB channels are currently composed of live broadcasting and reruns of sports, soap operas, entertainment programs of the three existing terrestrial TV stations. But more DMB-tailored services are expected to be available this year as the content sellers rate this market highly.

T-DMB began its service last month in Seoul and the nearby Kyonggi Province, a world first, and it will become available in the subway from summer if all goes to plan.

Two mobile service operators LG Telecom and KTF also say that the TV-on-move phone sales are rising at an impressive rate. Daily sales of the T-DMB handsets have increased from around 300 per day in early January to around 700 in late January for both companies.

Full article - http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=38998

Queenstown Q92FM Acquired by CanWest MediaWorks

February 16

RadioWorks,part of the CanWest MediaWorks Company, is buying the Queenstown, South Island New Zealand radio station Q92FM which covers Queenstown city, the Wakatipu Basin and Central Otago using six frequencies.

RadioWorks COO, Sussan Turner said that Q92 is a popular station in a growing region, noting that tourism, particularly in Queenstown and Wanaka, is an attractive market to target for advertising revenue.

RadioWorks is acquiring the station from its founders Chas and Stephanie Drader, who launched the station 20 years ago.

The purchase will be effective 1 March 2006 and is for an undisclosed sum.

Podcast Revolution Comes to New Zealand

Web site, c21media.net reported February 13 that more TV content is going out via iTunes, as New Zealand's South Pacific Pictures makes its TV3/BBC kids drama coproduction Maddigan's Quest available online and via video podcasting.

Claiming it to be New Zealand's first drama to go out in such a way, the producers of the show made the first episode available as a video podcast via the iTunes Australia music store, as well as online on TV3's web site http://www.tv3.co.nz .

"We are the first broadcaster in New Zealand to support our local content in this way, and the ability to download the first episode of this drama represents a significant opportunity for our viewers. We are confident that this progressive marketing device will benefit the series as a whole," said Beverley McGarvey, TV3's head of programming.

Maddigan's Quest is a 13-part high-definition SFX-filled fantasy drama, a coproduction between All3Media-backed South Pacific, producer of the Oscar-nominated film Whale Rider, and Bafta-winning Australian company Burberry Productions.


New Zealand PM to Regulate Broadband

February 14

New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark signalled broadband regulation to force open competition in the high speed internet industry in her speech to Parliament as part of her Government's programme for the year.

New Boss of Metro Radio Hong Kong

At Metro Broadcast, Hong Kong Bianca Ma Kin-san has moved into the MD seat previously occupied by Kam Kwok-leung, who left at the end of 2005 after an eight-year stint. Ms Ma said she is to push ahead to build on the broadcaster's strength in financial news and entertainment. Sung Man-hei continues as deputy managing director, and Daniel Chu Ming-yui, as chief operations director of Cantonese language Metro Showbiz and English-language Metro Plus.

Metro is jointly owned by Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong (Holdings).

55 New Exhibitors at CABSAT 2006 in Dubai March 7-9

Some 55 new exhibitors will be at CABSAT to be held March 7-9 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre according to DWTC General Manager Exhibitions, Trixee Loh. These include DMT (Italy), Hamayeh (Iran), Essel Shyam (India), Tower Master (Malaysia), PROTEHnology (UAE), On-Air System (UK), Harris (USA), EVI Audio (Germany) and Justedit (Spain).

Other major companies that will be participating at CABSAT2006 include Sony, Panasonic, Thomson, JVC, AVID, Snell & Wilcox, Autodesk, Sennheiser, Shure, Salam MediaCast, Tek Signal, Oasis, Glocom, and United Broadcast Manufacturers.

The vibrant economies of the region have fuelled an influx of channels with 45 new free-to-air satellite TV channels having emerged in the Arab World during the past four months, bringing the region's total to 200 stations.

CABSAT organisors said around 41 million multi-channel television homes are projected to exist in the Middle East and North Africa by the end of 2010, with 68% of homes connected to cable and satellite television according to industry analysts.

'As this region continues to develop, there will be a huge demand for the latest technological offerings from the broadcast and production sector. CABSAT provides the ideal platform to tap in to this vast and developing economy in the region and will offer both exhibitors and visitors with an ideal opportunity to meet and explore business opportunities.' David Lim, CABSAT International Project Manager, DWTC.

A free two-day CABSAT broadcasting conference, 'Digitalisation - The continuing challenge for broadcasters', will be organised on March 8-9, 2006 by ABU (Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union), in association with ASBU (Arab States Broadcasting Union) and the IABM (International Association Of Broadcasting Manufacturers). The broadcast conference will provide updates across a number of the many sectors of digital development status and implementation issues as broadcasters throughout the world embrace the significant benefits that may be attained through digitisation.

CABSAT 2006, is the Middle East's leading Electronic Media and Communications event will have three distinct segments: i) cable & satellite equipment and accessories, ii) broadcast & production and iii) communications.

http//www.dwtc.com http://www.cabsat.com

PESA provides router solutions at 2006 Winter Games

PESA, the routing solutions specialists provided a variety of broadcasters with international delivery of audio and video from the 2006 Winter Games in Torino this month.

Example 1, FRAME, based in Padua as an operator of a fleet of OB vans for hire in southern Europe. PESA said Chief Engineer Andrea Gianolli selected the PESA Cheetah SD-HD multirate router. The 128x128 router is capable of simultaneously handling SDI and HDTV signals from the International Broadcast Centre as well as the production group's own sources. The FRAME OB van was engineered and built by Professional Show of Milan under the guidance of Systems Engineer Paolo Artuso.

Example 2, European Broadcast Union (EBU) has been using a PESA Tiger router regularly for major sporting events, upgrading the system routinely so that this year's coverage was supported by a fully populated Tiger SDI router with a companion audio router and a large quantity of RCP-PVPG control panels, each of which was designed specifically for the EBU.

PESA said the customized PESA control panels allow an operator to select one of up to eight sources with a single key press and then take the source to air by pressing a single control panel key.

PESA, part of the Canadian QuStream group of companies is a leading provider of analog and digital video and audio equipment for broadcast applications.

http://www.pesa.com http://www.qustream.com

In India SET launches PIX, an all-movie channel in English

The Business Times of India reported on February 24 that Sony Entertainment Television will launch PIX, the network’s English movie channel as an addition to its current bouquet of offerings from April 1. The launch follows Sony’s acquisition of Hollywood production house MGM. Movies will be both from Columbia and MGM.

Sony has appointed Sunder Aaron as the channel’s business head, who would report to SET COO, N P Singh. Aaron has been associated with the network for recent initiatives like ‘The Man’s World Show’ on AXN.

PIX will become India’s fifth Hollywood movie channel after HBO, STAR Movies, Hallmark and ZEE Studio.

A Will Smith festival will kick off the launch of the channel, which will showcase movies such as, Independence Day, Hitch, Shark Tale, I, Robot and Wild, Wild West.

http://www.business-standard.com/iceworld/ storypage_link.php?chklogin=N&autono=216452&lselect=4&leftnm=lmnu9&lefti ndx=9

SARFT Approval for Shenzhen Digital CATV

Press reports in Shenzhen, the mushrooming city cross the border with Hong Kong said the state broadcasting authority, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television of China (SARFT) has cleared the pilot project in digital CATV in the Special Economic Zone. This follows an evaluation meeting on February 20 by SARFT of the 6 month long trial.

The press reports said that the digital CATV subscriber base now reaches 609,000 homes and businesses with decoder terminals numbering some 685,000.

The next step will be for Shenzhen to launch digital interactive TV offering video-on-demand, TV banking, TV games and more.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Secret Alliance between Homeland Security and Computer Manufacturers

<bold><bigger>Secret Alliance

February 22</bigger></bold>

<italic>United States Government and computer manufacturers caught installing hard-wired

keystroke loggers into all new laptop computers! BIG BROTHER KNOWS EVERYTHING YOU



Discovered by Hal Turner,

HalTurnerShow.com. Here’s what he found …

These devices capture everything you ever type, then can send it via your ethernet

card to the Dept. of Homeland Security without your knowledge, consent or a

search warrant each time you log onto the internet!

Freedom Of Information Act requests for explanation from DHS, refused.

Mr Turner was opening up his almost brand new laptop, to replace a broken PCMCIA slot riser on the motherboard. As soon as he got the keyboard off, he noticed a small cable running from the keyboard connection underneath a piece of metal protecting the motherboard.

He figured "No Big Deal", and continued with the disassembly. But when he got the

metal panels off, he saw a small white heatshink-wrapped package. Being ever-curious, he

sliced the heatshrink open. He found a little circuit board inside.

Being an EE by trade, this piqued his curiosity considerably. On one side of the

board, one Atmel AT45D041A four megabit Flash memory chip. On the other side, one

TMicrochip Technology PIC16F876 Programmable Interrupt Controller, along with a little Fairchild Semiconductor CD4066BCM quad bilateral switch.

Looking further, he saw that the other end of the cable was connected to the

integrated ethernet board.

What could this mean? He called the manufacturer's tech support about it, and they

said, quote, "The integrated service tag identifier is there for assisting customers in the event of lost or misplaced personal information." He then hung up.

A little more research, and he found that that board spliced in between the

keyboard and the ethernet chip is little more than a Keyghost hardware keylogger.

The reasons a computer manufacturer would put this in their laptops can only be

left up to your imagination. It would be very impractical to hand-analyse the logs, and

very CPU-intensive to do so on a computer for every person that purchased a laptop.

Why are these keyloggers here? Mr Turner recently almost found out.

He called the police, as having a keylogger unknown to me in his laptop is a serious

offence. They told him to call the Department of Homeland Security. At this point, he was in disbelief. Why would the DHS have a keylogger in his laptop? It was surreal.

So he called them, and they told him to submit a Freedom of Information Act


This is what he got back:

“We have reviewed your Freedom of Information Act request, and have found

that the requested records are exempt from being disclosed under FIOA. The decision to withhold this information may be appealed in writing to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Any appeal should include the reasons for reconsideration, a copy of this letter, and should be postmarked no later than 60 days from the date of this letter.”

Under the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) the only items exempt from

public disclosure are items relating to "law enforcement tools and techniques" and

"items relating to national security."

The real life implications of this are plain: <bold>Computer manufacturers appear to be

co-operating with the Department of Homeland Security to make every person who buys a new computer subject to immediate, unrestricted government recording of everything they do on those computers! Everything!</bold>

This information can be sent to DHS, online, without your knowledge or consent,

without a search warrant or even probable cause! That's why this device is hard-wired

directly into the ethernet card, which communicates over the internet!

Turner is not certain how long this information will be permitted to remain online for

all the world to see before the government takes some type of action to attempt to have it removed from public view. He urges you and me to take copy of this page immediately and spread this information to everyone you know immediately! The more people who find out about this, the more can they protect themselves and raise a huge outcry to force government and computer manufacturers to immediately cease installing these devices in new computers!

original source http://www.freebooter.com and http://www.halturnershow.com

Sunday, February 12, 2006

New Zealand Sky cleared to Buy Prime TV's kiwi operations despite objections

February 9

Radio New Zealand reported that the country's free-to-air broadcasters have expressed their disappointment at the Commerce Commission's approval of Sky Television's purchase of the New Zealand arm of Prime TV.

Television New Zealand said it is going to hit an already tight advertising market.

CanWest, which operates TV3 and C4, says Prime is likely to take over free-to-air rugby rights passed on from Sky, but its signal will not reach all New Zealanders. CanWest had said it would be the first time a pay TV monopoly had entered the free to air market.

Sky insists the $30.3 million purchase will increase choice for viewers by saving Prime from closing down due to financial difficulties.

Chief executive, John Fellet, says they will not be making major changes straight away as Prime has already bought its programmes for the next year, but commented that in a few years, the New Zealand market will be strong enough for a 24-hour news channel which could be run on Prime first.

Excerpted from: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/bulletins/radionz/200602091239/33ea807b

KyLinTV and Chinese Media Net form content partnership in Chinese language JV in the United States IPTV marketplace

February 8.

Based in Great Neck, NY, Chinese Media Net, a multimedia news organization best known for the weekly newspaper Duowei Times, and extensive http://www.ChineseNewsNet.com news service is providing dynamic content to KyLin TV of Plainview, NY.

Nancy Li, Chief Executive Officer of KyLinTV said her company was always looking for the best programming for its subscribers and she was really excited about the content that Duowei is bringing to KyLinTV.

Significantly, while KyLinTV is directed to the Chinese Diaspora in America, it is doing so using its own patent pending Video technology for the IP output on home DSL or broadband. KyLinTV is currently available anywhere in North America for a small monthly subscription fee.

Ms Li pointed out that Duowei programs will cover topics that are specifically geared toward the Chinese community living in the states, and you just can't find that anywhere else.

Mingdi Yang, Executive Vice President of Chinese Media Net sees KyLinTV as the way of the future and a great opportunity for Duowei to be a part of this new media, adding: "IPTV delivers broadcast content anywhere, anytime to any television and it is an ideal way to reach the more than 3 million Chinese households in North America who will be interested in our unique programs."

Duowei programs will be available to KyLinTV subscribers for free during the pilot phase.


India's FM radio looks to being re-vitalized with 280 new FM Radio licenses awarded

Thanks to my friends at the [dx-India] group, I can report that 280 new FM radio licences were successfully auctioned by the Government out of 338 in 91 cities that were on offer in the second round of bidding. There are five stages in total.

Realising the disastrous mistakes of the 'licensing model' of the First Phase of FM Radio Policy, the Union government adopted the revenue-sharing model in the second phase, hence the large number of bidders. In fact, some 85 organisations were pre-approved for the auction.

Local major media players including HT Media Limited, Adlabs, Times group's Entertainment Network India Limited (ENIL), South Asia FM, Sun TV, Asianet Communications and Radio Mid Day (a joint venture between the BBC and Mid Day Multimedia) all added to their broadcast assets.

Just 22 private FM radio stgations became operational in Phase I, and one of these had closed down, citing high license fee as the reason for unsustainability of its operation.

Based on the original source: http://news.webindia123.com

There is a new powerhouse in IPTV video delivery as TANDBERG buys SkyStream

From its UK regional HQ, on February 8, video compression specialist, TANDBERG Television (Oslo:TAT.OL) said it was buying SkyStream, the Sunnyvale, CA based leader in IP video delivery solutions for US$80 million. Skystream is already known in Asia Pacific for its PRC and Korean operations. Both companies already share a number of common customers.

TANDBERG's President, Eric Cooney on the deal says that the sands are shifting in the digital media market and there is an inevitable level of industry consolidation taking place. In a marketplace with a number of acquisition opportunities to pursue, we chose to acquire SkyStream because of the company’s best-in-class technologies and its strong culture of building revenue and profitable growth.

SkyStream's customer list includes Reuters, GlobeCast (a division of France Telecom), EchoStar Communications Corporation, Comcast, BT Broadcast Services, Belgacom, Clear Channel, Convergent Media, Eutelsat, Gilat, New Skies Satellites, ViaSat, Loral Skynet, EMS, CCTV and Telecom Italia.

Singapore lags behind Hong Kong and Taiwan in IPTV but strives to catch up

IPTV is coming to Singapore. Soon but not yet. It is getting there. Alcatel and Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB) on February 7 jointly launched their vision for the implementation of IPTV and to train staff in the technology. Alcatel says the communications infrastructure in Singapore is ready for IPTV on a commercial scale but awaits regulatory approval and for providers, M1, SingTel and StarHub to introduce the broadband products.

Monika Maurer, president of Fixed Solutions at Alcatel, Singapore said that most of the TV today is broadcast - one-way. It's not too exciting because it is pre-processed. Compared to that, IPTV is offering to you a whole new experience in terms of personalisation.

Hong Kong's PCCW and Taiwan's Chung Hwa Telecom have already introduced IPTV into their markets.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

More Upgrades on China Telecom's Broadband Network Courtesy of Alcatel

<fontfamily><param>Verdana</param>On Feb 6, Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP.PA) reported it would upgrade China Telecom 's existing broadband access, the country's backbone network across 26 provinces to prepare for triple play service delivery for ultra high-speed Internet access, videoconferencing, IPTV and other multimedia (video) services. This agreement was signed through

Alcatel Shanghai Bell. No time frame was given for completion.


Sales Lead :Leading channel branders in Dubai

Need to impress a whole bunch of network creatives and TV channel branding consultants from Europe and the Middle East - all in one place. And not just with new digital camera or ipod possibilities? Here is your chance at promaxBDA Arabia 2006, Dubai March 14-16.


US Government Broadcast budget builds war chest to fight terror armed with new technology

Washington, D.C., February 6, 2006- The key proposed for the Broadcast Board of Governors fiscal year 2007 budget for U.S. international broadcasting is to increase the spending by 7.5 % to US$671.9 million. The increases go primarily to Middle East Broadcasting Networks and Voice of America (VOA). At the same time non-war on terror related language services would see reductions and/or eliminations.

In recent years, the Bush Administration and Congress have wiped out the 40 percent cut in spending for international broadcasting during the 1990s following the end of the Cold War.

For fiscal year 2007, the budget proposal calls for a 13% increase for Middle East Broadcasting Networks and a 5.3% increase for Voice of America.

In work in progress, BBG continues to expand service to Iran with a daily four-hour prime time VOA Persian television lineup and enhancing the Radio Farda website; to increase Al Hurra Middle East TV news to run 24/7, up from 16 hours daily; to add customized local news content and coverage for Radio Sawa, and add a one-hour television program for Afghanistan in both Dari and Pashto, and enhance radio and TV to Afghanistan including adding additional FM and medium wave transmitter capability.

Reflecting recent moves at the BBC to focus on the Arab/Islamic world, US Government broadcasts sees losses in other areas in 2007, such as VOA flagship English shortwave programming - News Now radio. At least, VOA English to Africa, Special English and the VOA's English website www.voanews.com are to be maintained.

But also out are VOA broadcasts in Croatian, Turkish, Thai, Greek and Georgian. VOA radio broadcasts in Albanian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Serbian, Russian and Hindi would end while television programming in these languages would continue. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty will continue radio programming in Russian and Georgian while eliminating radio programming in Macedonian.

Ed comment - It constantly amazes me that while using radio and TV is one of the least expensive means to promote national objectives around the world, politicians in the west continue to argue over broadcast budgets. Why compromises have to be made with legislators who are too short sighted to understand the role of the government media in international relations is beyond my reasoning. In this context, the loss of VOA New Radio Now is totally incomprehensible. The programming does more than any other on VOA Radio to show what real America is all about, in English the second most widely spoken language on earth. There is a strong mantra in programming management: "If it works,don't mess with it". Doesn't VOA reach 120 million listeners a week? So why mess with it?


SARFT warns Cable operators to switch to digital or else

The Beijing Morning Post reported that China's State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) said China's 40 cable TV network operators with licenses to run digital TV trials must begin the switch to Digital TV (referencing DVB-C standard) before June 30, 2006. The report said that cities that do not begin to make the switch will lose their trial licenses. Apart from Qingdao, Dalian and Taiyuan, progress in the switch to digital has been very slow due to high prices of TV top boxes and digital programming.

WorldDAB says "encouraging growth" in DAB in 2005

<bold><fontfamily><param>Verdana</param><smaller>London, <smaller><smaller> </smaller></smaller>February 6, - WorldDAB issued a summary on the progress of DAB digital radio take up around the world in 2005.

The industry group representing broadcasters and manufacturers said that DAB domestic receiver sales showed encouraging

growth trends with the United Kingdom in the lead.

In Asia, WorldDAB said that Korea has the potential to be a massive market for DAB and its family of standards.

Since December 2005, more than 110,000 DMB enabled receivers have been sold. Mobile

operators have ordered another 30,000 from manufacturers. Sales are expected to top

two million by the end of 2006.

In Singapore, 1% of its approximately one million households by the end of 2005,

had a DAB digital radio. 2005 saw sales rise to 10,000 units, a jump of 83%

in one year. In 2006, broadcasters in Singapore will continue to campaign on behalf of

DAB listening with digital roadshows and on-air advertising.

As the impact of DAB is felt on the international consumer electronics market, WorldDAB is in talks

with retailer auditors such as GfK and TSN Gallup to monitor sales in various countries around the


Korean manufacturer, Samsung Electronics has agreed to supply 500,000 DMB phones to two major

Chinese mobile TV operators. Both companies plan to begin commercial DMB broadcasting in

Spring 2006. DAB digital radio services are part of the package that comes with DMB


2006 is a big year for sports with the Winter Olympics, the World Cup and the Ryder Cup, among

other events, all expected to grow overall radio listening, and WorldDAB said that DAB will take its

share of this market. In Germany, two major DMB trials are focused on the World Cup with radio and

television services. One is a project called <italic>Mi Friends</italic>, which has received official status as a

European project with a budget of around 18 million euros over the next two years.

DAB is broadcast in nearly 40 countries around the world either commercially or in trial phase and

more than 500 million people worldwide are within range of a DAB transmitter.

WorldDAB sees "great potential" in 2006 for products incorporating the DAB

family of standards, which now includes multimedia applications such as DMB and DAB-IP for

mobile TV.

DAB Digital Radio has become an internationally adopted standard that can be

seen and heard in nearly 40 countries. In Asia-Pacific, Australia, Hong Kong,India and China

are testing DAB and developing consumer trials.

The core Eureka147 standard has expanded into a family of DAB

standards which now include other multimedia applications and features, including DMB. Because

all of these share the same core standard, infrastructure and receiver technology they can co-exist

in any combination.

www.worlddab.org </smaller></fontfamily></bold>

MiTV bid looks good for Malaysia's 3G

Reports circulating in Kuala Lumpur suggest that MITV Corp, the Malaysia's second pay-television provider is neck and neck with DiGi.Com Bhd, the smallest of the country's three cellphone operators, to win the third, third generation (3G) license being offered by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

Time DotCom Bhd (another broadcaster) is also in the bidding.

Maxis Communications Bhd, and Telekom Malaysia Bhd won the first round of 3G services.

MCMC is expected to announce the successful bidder shortly.

Monday, February 06, 2006

HDTV one step closer in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, terrestrial TV broadcasters, ATV and TVB (0511.HK) expect to be on-air with 14 hours daily of HDTV by end of 2007, have now applied to the Hong Kong Government for sites to build 6 main and 20 relay transmitter sites for their planned services.

TVB is expecting to spend at least HK$400M to begin HDTV service, bringing its total investment in the project to around HK$1 billion since 2003. Both stations will annoiuce detailed plans by mid-2006.

Hong Kong as part of the PRC awaits the final decision from Beijing on the choice of the mainland's expected hybrid DVB system for terrestrial services to be in place for the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics.

HK$7.75 to 1US$

Newsroom Automation Vendors Alert

In India on January 31, 2006 a Media Advisory Group to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has cleared a proposal for 24/7 private NEWS channels.

The Information, Communication and Entertainment (ICE) Committee main brief has been at the bigger picture of how to regulate the media that is growing in its powerbase.

So far, the government has banned news broadcasts on Commercial Radio FM stations.

This may well all change if the ICE Committee recommendations are accepted at Cabinet level and also herald the advent of local 24 hour news radio.

It is suggested the PM also does not have a strong opinion on the news issue either.

The ICE Committee findings come at a time when the next swathe of commercial FM licenses have been bid for and licenses granted.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Two Way and STAR in Mobile TV MOU

TWO WAY TV AUSTRALIA SIGNS PAN-ASIAN LICENSING DEAL WITH STAR FOR DEPLOYMENT OF SIMCAST MOBILE-TO-TV TECHNOLOGY On December 5, last year, Two Way TV Australia Limited (ASX:TTV) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with STAR Group (STAR), Hong Kong for the ground-breaking mobile-to-TV technology called Simcast, which can be used to create a range of exciting interactive TV applications that viewers can respond to using their mobile phones. Now, STAR intends to use the Simcast system for a wide range of interactive applications across its network of 50 channels in eight languages. The system has already been deployed in successful trials in China and India, involving chat and voting applications on the popular music channel “Channel [V]”, and the Hindi entertainment channel “STAR ONE”. Two Way will receive an upfront fee and an ongoing share in the revenue generated by viewers sending in messages from their mobile phones. Two Way will also provide support and maintenance in return for a monthly fee. The deal is for five years. Over time, the deal has the potential to generate multiple revenue streams for the company, from the deployment of multiple applications across multiple countries. Managing Director of Two Way, Mr Jim McKay, said “This deal is a major step forward in Two Way’s strategy of working with the leading broadcasters in the heavily populated markets of Asia. We are very proud to deploy our Simcast technology in partnership with STAR and its powerhouse of entertaining and informative channel brands.” Two Way said the expected revenue from this deal in the current financial year is reflected in Two Way’s existing revenue guidance. Ross Crowley, Senior Vice President of Programming, STAR is handling this project. Two months on, I look forward to seeing a public announcement of the long form contract. Ed - Gerald Brown

India's Rajtaru takes Imagica latest scanner

RAJTARU post production again chooses Imagica IMAGICA Corporation of Tokyo has sold and installed its latest digital film scanner, the IMAGER XE -ADVANCED PLUS to leading Indian post-production company, Rajtaru. The IMAGER XE scans 35mm motion picture film at the speed of 1.9 seconds per frame for 4K and 1.3 second per frame for 2K. The scanneer being used at RajTaru's DI facility. http://www.imagica.com