Saturday, March 25, 2006

Shanghai Media Group Supports SportelAsia

[Date for Diary]

Shanghai -- Shanghai Media Group joined hands with SportelAsia for the just held 2006 event. A total of 324 companies from 43 countries worldwide, attended.

Some 658 executives represented broadcasters, cable and satellite services, new mobile technologies, professional leagues, program distributors, sports marketing agents, event organizers, satellite services, producers, hardware/software and facilities providers, sponsorship and investment groups, sports federations, new media and international press from around the world.

SPORTEL’s next event is SPORTELMonaco, October 16-19, 2006 at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

Al-jazeera International Delayed?

According to a report in Pakistan's Dawn newspaper March 23, and quoted by other media, the launch of Al-jazeera International is delayed to later this year, the channel's director general Wadah Khanfar is quoted as saying. Nigel Parsons also speaking on behalf of the channel emphasized the delays were for "technical installations to be completed"

"We might still be launching it in the spring. We don't know yet," he said.

Al Jazeera International is due to transmit from four regional broadcast centres in Doha, Kuala Lumpur, London and Washington with 250 journalists based in 30 countries.

PRC: More Radio+TV to Rural Areas

Beijing -- Under the PRC's 11th Five-year Economic Plan, 2006-2010, the government is to prioritize the need to bring state-run radio and TV to some 60 million families still without good terrestrial coverage. This represnts the 5 per cent of the population not yet covered.

In 2005, China invested 800 million yuan (US$99 million) to bring TV service to 86,000 villages in underdeveloped regions.

Labelled the "Cuncuntong Project" as many as 42 million people in more than 300,000 villages, mainly in Western provinces are expected to benefit this year.

India's FM Radio 32% Ad Share forecast from 2% Now

Radio industry to see 32% growth

Mumbai -- On March 23, India's Economic Times reported that India's radio industry is projected to post a robust growth of 32 per cent over the next few years to touch Rs.12 billion (nearly US$270 million) in revenues by 2010 on the back of a robust economy and easing of stiff investment rules. The study was conducted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The article highlights:

- radio, mainly FM radio stations, garners just 2 per cent of total ad spend across all media now. In five to 10 years this figure would reach 32 per cent with 338 new radio licences being offered.

- The new FM radio licences cover about 91 cities, most of which were till now serviced only by the state broadcaster (All India Radio).

- government's decision to move to a low revenue-share regime in contrast to the earlier stiff fixed licence fee regime

- a major boost to the industry, after the government has allowed up to 20 per cent foreign direct investment in the sector

- the investment earlier this year of 4 million pouunds by BBC Worldwide, the British broadcaster's commercial arm into buying a 20 per cent stake in Radio Mid-Day West, a subsidiary of Mid-Day Multimedia, a listed media group that publishes the popular Mid-Day afternoon newspaper in Mumbai.

- similar reasons that attracted Malaysian pay-TV firm Astro All Asia to bid for new radio station licenses with local partners

- the rapid increase in new broadcasters has driven the need for more content to be produced

Original source: msid-1460657,prtpage-1.cms via

Russia- NT-Plus adds Satellite Capacity

March 24

Read on the c21media web site - Russian pay-TV operator NTV-Plus (HTB in Russian) has acquired 30 per cent more satellite capacity to add a 20 more channels to its nine-year-old platform, which reaches some 450,000 subscribers across Russia.

For Russian readers:

ABU - 18th Commonwealth Games TV Coverage

March 2006

[Editor -- a Friendly poke at the ABU]

Melbourne -- The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) is trumpeting its coverage of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games quote "Over a billion people had access to free-to-air coverage of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, stretching from Mongolia in Central Asia, down to the Republic of Timor Leste." - end quote

Excuse me for asking but are Mongolia and Timor Leste members of the Commonwealth? They are indeed ABU members.

As for the "one billion" figure, that must refer for the most part to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, which are members of the Commonwealth. Bit inflated?

Apologies to John Barton, ABU’s Head of Sport author of the ABU press release issued on March 24, 2006 but the ABU is a major international body. If the ABU can't get it right, who can we rely upon in the Asia- Pacific Broadcasting industry?

The serious point that Barton is making though is that the ABU carries a lot of broadcasting clout; covers a huge chunk of the world's population and takes issue with a lot of ongoing commercial issues, especially on the subject of commercial exploitation of major sports events coverage at the expense of national terrestrial broadcasters in Asia-Pacific.

Barton reminds that the 19th Commonwealth Games take place in New Delhi in 2010.

He says that televising multi sport events such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games on free-to-air television would have lasting economic benefits for a nation.

“We’re not just investing in a sporting contest. It is much greater than that. We are showcasing the character of a host nation, its many cultural and commercial assets, and the character and values of the competing nations,” he said as the 18th Commonwealth Games wraps up in Melbourne, Australia.

“That was why it is extremely important for the events to be seen on the free-to-air television markets around the world where their countrymen could share the highs and lows that come with the great sporting occasion.

“Governments and broadcasters have a dual responsibility to make sure that their athletes and teams are given due recognition on television for their years of effort and training. So when they step out onto the international sporting stage they know that their nation is with them, right at that moment, sharing their joy or sadness,” Mr Barton said.

Governments in Asia were spending hundreds of millions of dollars on sporting infrastructure, facilities, coaches and new training methods.

“Asia is thriving as a regional sporting powerhouse with the increasing numbers of Olympic champions. But without television, which has been the engine for growth for many years, that development could be arrested,” he added.

- Commenting on the ABU release : Gerald Brown, editor of Digital Broadcasters Vendor News/ newsletter.

Friday, March 24, 2006

UK - At Last! BBC to Trial HDTV

London -- The BBC is using 2006 World Cup to kick off its 12 month trial of High Definition TV along with Wimbledon coverage taking place around the same time.

The BBC's HD trial is needed at two levels: to test technical delivery of HD and to understand how the audience values an BBC HD service. The latter is important. Under a new corporate structure, approval would be required from the BBC TRust before the introduction of an HDTV service.

Trials start on May 15.

The first live HD program will be the opening World Cup match Germany Vs Costa Rica on June 9.

BBC commentary and studio coverage in HD will wrap up the HD feed from German host broadcaster Premiere. Standard definition digital and analog BBC ONE coverage will also draw on high definition images, both for the World Cup and for Wimbledon where the BBC is the host broadcaster.

It will be an elaborate 12 months of programs featured in the trial.

These include Planet Earth and Galapagos, drama documentary Hannibal and some BBC Proms concerts including the First and Last Nights.

The amount of new programming each day will vary, averaging between one and two hours. Some programmes will be simulcast with BBC ONE or, in a few instances, BBC TWO.

Others will be time-shifted or offer another chance to view past highlights such as dramas Bleak House and Hotel Babylon in high definition for the first time.

The BBC will provide its HD trial stream on all technically capable platforms, including satellite and cable, once available, from commercial providers.

The BBC will run a simultaneous technical trial of HD on digital terrestrial television (Freeview). That trial will be confined to few hundred trial households in London, which will be chosen shortly.

[Editor - I am just wondering if the BBC will garner any experience from NHK who have been involved with HDTV for a number of years already]

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Malaysia: RadiqRadio Back On Air

Billed as Malaysia's first community radio station, RadiqRadio, a project under the Centre for Independent Journalism(CIJ) was re- launched on March 19 after a hiatus for the past three years due to lack of funding.

Local and international support has helped to revive the project.

CIJ director Sonia Randhawa said, "We have worked hard to get this project up and running, and we believe that it will be a turning point in the start of community media in Malaysia."

RadiqRadio will carry news and analysis, mainly in Bahasa Malaysia but in other languages as well. The main focus will however be on program content prepared by the community and targeted at the community. .

RadiqRadio hopes to use AM frequencies in the next few months. (Currently on FM?)

The station is being permitted to accept advertisements, but will not be commercially driven.

The project backers, The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) is a media organisation that aims to improve current Malaysian journalism practice and independence through advocacy, research and analysis, training and practical work. Started in 2001, CIJ has initiated various projects in developing grassroots communications skills through training, infrastructural support and direct action.

">Contact the station: Web sites:

Malaysia: ASTRO Profit +57%

ASTRO All Asia Networks Plc Malaysia's largest pay-TV operator, has just reported a 57% jump in annual net profit to RM228.8mil from RM145.4mil a year ago on revenue of RM2billion for the financial year ended Jan 31, 2006 (FY06). 1US$=MYR 3.68

Group CEO Ralph Marshall said: “The fundamentals of the business are sound and we expect continuing strong demand for our services in FY2007.

“We will be able to offer a substantially improved service following resolution of the CRM issues, and on receipt of new transponder capacity, some time in the latter part of the year.

“In the meantime, we will incur additional programming and operating costs with no significant revenue contribution.

“We continue to develop a number of content initiatives in Indonesia, India and China that will allow us to leverage on our broadcast experience and distribution infrastructure,’’

Highlights -

- Astro attributed the higher net profit to savings in costs.

- Residential subscriber churn was up. Net additions falling 22.9 per cent to 218,400. Overall ASTRO improved the subscriber base by 35,900 during the year.

- Astro expects a difficult year ahead for its multi channel TV operations, with slower growth in revenue and earnings.

- The slow commissioning of the Measat-3 satellite will further put a strain on revenues.

- Astro's Indonesia services started on February 28 with related start up loses reflected in the group's FY07 earnings.

- Radio division revenue growth up 15 per cent. More expected, from new station operations.

- The MC-TV segment recorded total revenue of RM1.79bil in FY06, up 16.8 per cent.

- Library licensing and distribution generated revenue of RM60.1 million up 26.3 per cent growth, during the year under review.

Guangzhou Microwave migrates from analog to digital broadcasting using TANDBERG

March 22,

Guangzhou -- Guangzhou Microwave, one of the largest broadcast network operators in China chose TANDBERG Television (TAT.OL) as one of its key suppliers in the switch from analog to digital broadcasting.

TANDBERG will supply MPEG-2 technology including a network management system and bit-rate standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) encoders and professional receivers.

The complete system features TANDBERG equipment located at 13 stations and can be centrally monitored and controlled by the TANDBERG nCompass network management system. The total solution enables Guangzhou Microwave to smoothly transition its broadcast microwave network from analog to digital.

Guangzhou Microwave provides digital TV broadcast services to the households in the rural area surrounding Guangzhou, as well as terrestrial multimedia services to home subscribers and automobile users. The network will support the exchange of both SD and HD programming between urban Guangzhou and remote suburban counties.

Respective executives for the deal: Chen Xiaolin, Director of Guangzhou Microwave. and Geng Liang, GM, TANDBERG Television China.

Axerra Opens Singapore+Delhi Offices

March 21

Boca Raton, Florida -- Axerra Networks, a US company at the forefront of providing the backroom solutions for next-generation Ethernet, IP, and MPLS access network technology is doing so well in Asia-Pacific it is opening two more front line offices - Singapore and New Delhi. Hong Kong remains its regional headquarters.

Axerra CEO, Gadi Tamari has branded his firm as "The Pseudo-Wire Company(TM)".

He says the Asia-Pacific operations are needed to support new deployments, advanced field trials, and the overall strength of the communications markets in India and Southeast Asia. Axerra's Asia- Pacific expansion plans for 2006 also include additional sales and support offices throughout the region to support the increasing demand for Axerra's Pseudo-Wire solutions.

Contact Axerra direct

TVNZ+BVITV agree Multi-year Disney Deal

March 23

Auckland -- Stephen Smith, TVNZ's Head of Content says that Television New Zealand (TVNZ) and Buena Vista International, have entered into a long term contract for Walt Disney television programming and feature films. TVOne is to continue to carry programs, Desperate Housewives, Lost, and Grey's Anatomy and Scrubs. TV2 will slot Disney's family-friendly, quality children's animation, and major movie box office attractions such as The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest.

Steve Macallister, BVITV Asia-Pacific's senior VP and MD finalised the deal for Buena Vista.

No financial details have been disclosed.

[Digital Broadcasters Vendor News, first to tell you who sells what, to whom in Asia-Pacific, Middle East or South Asia, be it in digital program content or for digital software or equipment. Part of the e- broadcastnewsasia media network.]

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Korea MBC Buys NTT MPEG-2

March 21

Seoul -- NTT Electronics (NEL)says it has begun the commissioning process of its High Definition MPEG-2 Encoder/Decoder system at Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).

The installation comprises an HD encoder disseminating raw program data from the MBC central broadcast center in Seoul to be all 19 MBC regional broadcast centers that form MBC's comprehensive high definition digital broadcasting network where the data streams are decoded.

The regional centers are in the cities of Pusan, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon, Jeongju, Masan, Chuncheon, Cheongju, Jeju, Ulsan, Gangreung, Chinju, Mogpo, Yosu, Andong, Wonju, Chungju, Samcheok and Pohang.

Chan-Gyu Yi, TV Network & Master Control Division/Director at MBC noted the exceptional video quality, and Lip Synch functionality, meaning that there is absolutely no space between the video and audio streams in the NTT products.

[Interestingly, NTT Electronics - uncharacteristically of Japanese companies, says it will aggressively promote its world-class high definition digital encoder/decoder to broadcasters throughout the world in their move to becoming high definition digital broadcasting networks.]

ImaginAsian TV Anime California

ImaginAsian TV is now being carried by Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR) Inland Empire cable system serving the Asian Diaspora in High Desert, and Mountain Communities in California. Since its on- air launch in August 2004, has brought the finest programs from Asia to the U.S., including anime, hit drama series, blockbuster films, documentaries, music, sports, variety programs and more from Korea, Japan, India, Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. All programming is either in English or English- subtitled.

Saudi Digital TV launch

Saudia Arabia's Ministry of Culture and Information formally announces the roll-out of digital terrestrial broadcasting (DVB-T) services. Five major cities will be ready by June. The target is to cover 22 cities by the end of February 2007 reaching 70 per cent of the population.

In the initial phase, four TV channels and four radio channels will form a single multiplex.

Interactivity will be available, but the government said it will not finance set-top boxes.

DVB-T trials were successfully completed in Riyadh in April 2003 and throughout 2004/2005.

Phillipines: HBO+ Hallmark beef up 2006 offerings

March 22 Manila -- Last week, the HBO Asia and Hallmark Channel Asia Pacific beefed up their Phillipine channel content feeds.

HBO Asia added the "HBO PAK," comprising HBO Signature, HBO Family and HBO Hits to its offerings of HBO and Cinemax. Caroline Wong, HBO Asia’s marketing director during the said the new channels wouldn’t be competing with the two original channels. The additional channels simply give viewers a more flexible schedule.

The Philippines is only the second country to launch HBO PAK after Hong Kong while HBO has launched other channels in Indonesia.

The Hallmark Channel is emphasising quality drama in its 2006 programming schedule.A total of 242 hours of Hallmark Entertainment original movie productions account for 80 percent of the movies scheduled on the channel. According to Andrew Hanna, Hallmark’s MD, Asia Pacific some 20 percent of the channel’s total prime-time schedule will be "first time on TV" premieres.

2006 CCBN Report: PRC now has 10m Digital TV subscribers

March 22,

Beijing -- Coinciding with the China Cable and Broadcasting Network Exhibition 2006 now taking place in the capital, the current edition of the Radio and TV Information (R&TI) magazine quotes Zeng Huiming, president of the R&TI under the State Administration of Radio, Film and TV (SARFT) that there had been good progress recently in the move to digital broadcasting, with 10 million subscribers constituting a tipping point for the market.

"When the number of subscribers breaks the 10 million mark, economies of scale will have an effect," said Zeng.

According to R&TI, which has been tracking the development of digital TV over the past four years, 4.4 million Chinese households had access to digital TV broadcasting last year, compared with 1.1 million in 2004. Zeng believed the increase was partly due to the move of all TV broadcasting at the city level from analog to digital in one step.

Zeng noted that in Qingdao, Shenzhen, Suzhou, and Foshan, local operators already provide digital broadcasting to all residents.

This year, the migration will be conducted at the provincial level.

Zhang Haitao, vice-minister of SARFT, said on March 20 that the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the provinces of Guangdong, Shanxi and Hunan; and the city regions of Shanghai and Chongqing will all start promoting digital TV.

Zeng, of the R&TI said also that the attitudes of local operators had changed and the digital move was no longer only driven by SARFT.

[Radio and TV Information (R&TI) is an officially sanctioned publication within SARFT - Editor]

Hong Kong - China Telecom to buy into Phoenix TV for 3G content?

March 21

Hong Kong -- Hong listed, China Mobile is reported to be acquiring some or all of the News Corp's 38 per cent stake in Phoenix Satellite Television, the Chinese language satellite broadcaster.

The news comes at a time, China Mobile is preparing to launch news services on 3G mobile phones in the PRC.

At present, China Mobile is providing value-added services in partnership with its service providers (SPs) and content providers (CPs).

Phoenix has close links to Beijing but is firmly eyed as a Hong Kong enterprise under the "one country, two systems" formula.

If China Mobile (PRC-based) were to invest in Phoenix (Hong Kong based) this would cross the normally uncrossable line in the sensitive area of domestic broadcasting, albeit in 3G content, which is tightly controlled by the propaganda ministries, principally, SARFT.

[I hasten to add the reports of the China Telecom buy-in are hotly denied by all parties. But Phoenix shares listed on Hong Kong are 50 per cent up this year, mostly in recent weeks. Editor]

Phillipines: Ateneo University First Streaming webcast

March 21

Manila: reported that the Ateneo de Manila University is streaming live, graduation rites on the Internet on March 23-26 on its web site http://www.ateneo.ed/ scoring a Phillipines first.

The TV event is being organized by the Konrad Adenauer Center for Journalism with the help of digital broadcast services supplier, Mosaic Communications and the Ateneo Campus Network Group

This is not a 'first in Asia' however. The National University of Singapore did it in 2002.

Commentary: BBC web site to be "re-invented" says Ashley Highfield

March 21

When the BBC innovates, the rest of the digital broadcast industry takes note.

So when the world's leading Digital Broadcaster, says it is to redesign its web site for the era of video-on demand radio and TV programming, and personalized web services, you can accept it is a major leap forward.

The BBC is to make available much of its program output for download within 7 days after the first public broadcast. This it will achieve using its own, BBC Integrated Media Player (iMP).

Ashley Highfield, director of the BBC's new media division made the major pronouncement on stage in Las Vegas at the Microsoft Mix06 conference forum in which Microsoft boss, Bill Gates presided.

The hype surrounding the launch of the iMP relates to its built-in peer-to-peer technology for streaming BBC content on the Internet.

The timing also signals BBC non-exclusive willingness to cooperate with Microsoft in the development of new technologies. The likes of Apple, Sony, Homechoice, NTL and Telewest were also named in other possible partnership models. Seamless delivery of media from domestic PCs to TV sets at home was "the last 10 yards of railtrack" currently under development, Highfield added.

Also present in the forum were invited representatives from web pioneers Amazon, eBay and MySpace (now in the News Corporation camp).

Sometimes the BBC is regarded as a slowcoach, when more maverick competitors like CNN seem to spurt ahead. But as always the BBC takes the considered and long lasting approach to technology innovation to the benefit to all.

If, in today's new media business model "content is king", then "content delivery" runs in parallel, if we heed what the Microsoft Mix0 is all about!

[Watch developments over the next 12 months with these companies named here. Bill Gates said they are among those "transforming" the way customers interact with businesses online and use the internet in their daily lives.- Editor]

Diary Note - Beijing DAB Conference April 20-21

[Digital Broadcasters Vendor News and e-broadcastnewsasia bring you this service announcement] WorldDAB is the key organisor of the "Digital Broadcasting - At the cutting Edge of Media Convergence" a two-day Conference at the Kerry Centre, Beijing, April 20-21. Other joint organisors are Beijing Jolon and Radio Beijing Corporation; Sponsors-Linfair Engineering Group, Irdeto Access, BT Movio, Factum Electronics, Frontier Silicon, Future Waves, Telechips, Blaupunkt and Radioscape.

The event will focus on technical issues including transmission, product and applications for DAB/DMB services; marketing, and progress of DAB/DMB in China.

China is already very active with Digital Audio Broadcasting trials and commercial services on air in Beijing, Tiajin, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Foshan.

WorldDAB members will provide wide ranging demonstrations of the very latest DAB and Mobile TV products.

WorldDAB says China is a key market for the DAB, DMB, and DAB-IP family of standards. Not only is it the powerhouse of the global supply chain for products, with the largest population in the world, but the adoption of DAB in China will also have a huge effect on the global development of DAB.

On April 20th and 21st, the international DAB conference, ‘At the Cutting Edge of Media Convergence’, takes place at the Kerry Centre in Beijing.

[Click for details -]

BBC Japan in Big Trouble

March 21

In London, Darren Childs, MD, BBC Worldwide Global Channels has had to make an embarrassing announcement to the effect that the BBC Japan Channel will close within weeks unless new backers are found. The channel only started in December 2004 with much fanfare.

It appears that JMC, the BBC's local partner in Japan wants to pull out for financial reasons. JMC shareholders are major media players, Dentsu, Jiji Press and Kyodo.

Panic buttons are being pushed at the BEEB to find alternative suitors to keep the channel on air, after BBCWW says it was not consulted on the move by JMC before they made their decision.

Shanghai OCN Picks TANDBERG VOD Deployment

March 21, 2006

The first customer in Asia to use digital vendor TANDBERG's (TAT.OL) OpenStream Digital Services Platform is Oriental Cable Network (OCN) for its first video on-demand (VOD) content deployment in Shanghai.

Oriental Cable Network (OCN, formerly known as Shanghai Cable, operates the world’s largest metropolitan cable television service delivering 61 channels to over 4 million viewers. [That equates to perhaps a million or less households - Editor].

Respective executives handling the deal were Hu Li Qi, Ass GM of Oriental Cable Network. and Graham Cradock, VP and GM, TANDBERG Television Asia Pacific (Hong Kong).

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Diary Date, Taipei May 8 - 12, 2006. 30th Edition of the INPUT Conference

[Digital Broadcasters Vendor News and e-broadcastnewsasia bring this announcement as a service to the industry]

INPUT( International Public Television Screening Conference) under the auspices of the Government Information Office, Taiwan is the only international conference that focuses specifically the innovative programs produced by public broadcasters.

This is INPUT's 30th anniversary. The conference segment of INPUT takes place in Taipei May 8-12. Some 80 or so best TV programs of the year are being screened.

Public broadcaster programs from the following countries are being screened at INPUT:

Ireland, UK, Korea, Bulgaria, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Australia, Kyrgyzstan, Canada, France, Norway, Chile, Poland, USA, Italy, Germany, Latvia, Ukraine, Mexico, South Africa, Switzerland, Colombia, Brazil, Russia, Israel, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan

Over 1000 television broadcast professionals are attending from over 40 countries.

Named delegates to-date participating in various forums include:

RTHK-Hong Kong, Cheung Man-sun, Assistant Director of Broadcasting (Television)
NHK-Japan, Yoshinori Imai , Executive Editor/Program Host
KBS-Korea, Eun-Kyung Min, Head of International Relations Team
PTS-Taiwan, Yuan-hui Hu, President of PTS
Sukriti Foundation -India, Mr. Abhijit Das Gupta, Director
PTS-Taiwan, Ching Swen,Executive Vice-President
NHK-Japan, Sayumi Horie, Associate Director, International Co- Productions
MDA(Media Development Authority)-Singapore , Man Shu Sam, Programme Director
MBC-Korea, Chang Wook Choi, an Executive Producer/Director (Drama Programs)
Denmark TV2 ,Mette Hoffman Meyer,Chief Executive for Co-productions and Documentaries and Factual Programming
NHK-Japan, Takahiro Hamano, TV Director/Producer, Satellite Broadcasting
KBS, Korea, Sung-Min Choi , TV producer-International Relations Team

Click to INPUT web site

[Digital Broadcasters Vendor News and e-broadcastnewsasia bring this announcement as a service to the industry]

Malaysia Digital Broadcaster, ASTRO installs Omneon Media Network server systems

March 21

Kuala Lumpur -- Digital Broadcaster, ASTRO ALL ASIA NETWORKS has recently installed 4 new Omneon Video Networks Spectrum media server systems to provide final playout-to-air at the company's All Asia Broadcast Centre (ABC), an all-digital, state-of-the-art broadcast complex at Technology Park Malaysia, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, as well as at ASTRO's Cyberjaya Broadcast Centre, located about 40 kilometers south of Kuala Lumpur.

The 350,000-square-foot ABC facility is on a 29-acre site within the Malaysian Multimedia Super-Corridor (MSC).

Each of the facility's two playout servers provides 800 hours of 15- Mbps MPEG-2 storage and is configured with 36 playout ports, operating as main and backup, plus an additional 12 ports dedicated for ingest. The other two Spectrum server systems are configured with 350 hours of 30-Mbps MPEG-2 (I-Frame only) storage, and each has a further six outputs (main and backup) configured for MXF file transfers, as well as three ports dedicated to ingest. The four server systems are interconnected via a Fibre Channel link.

ASTRO drives its Omneon servers with OmniBus Systems Colossus automation, performing monitoring services with Miranda Technologies probes. The ABC transmission system supports 12 local playout services with ASTRO's Malaysian DTH bouquet, 10 into the company's Indonesian DTH bouquet, and eight regional services uplinked in C- band to service broadcasters in other territories.

The newly built Cyberjaya Broadcast Centre currently serves as a cold disaster-recovery and overflow facility, but it will perform 50 percent of the total broadcast duties for ASTRO Malaysia DTH operations later this year when the MEASAT-3 satellite has been launched.

The two servors at Cyberjaya operate at 30-Mbps MPEG-2 with a total of 490 hours of storage on the main server -- enough to keep all channels running live for 48 hours -- and another 327 hours -- enough to keep all channels live for 24 hours -- on the backup server. The Omneon servers are being integrated with a large media archive and asset management system provided by Front Porch Digital.

Graham Stephens, ASTRO's chief technology officer said that media should now be always available to every channel with the storage organized as RAID 3 in two dimensions, so no reloading of media is required in the rare event of component failure.

Channel NewsAsia takes to the road in mainland China to lure more hotels to carry its service

March 21

Singapore-based, Channel NewsAsia International (CNA) has taken to the road in mainland China to promote its 24/7 news channel to the hotel industry in the cities of Hangzhou and Shanghai.

Why are the one hundred hotel executives being approached so important?

The answer lies in the fact that SARFT - the Broadcasting Ministry in 2004 only granted landing rights to CNA on the restrictive license basis - that means to leading hotels and diplomatic compounds and not on the country's cable systems to be viewed by the masses. Therefore, CNA has to convince those eligible hotels not carrying their channel yet, to do so.

According to Woon Tai Ho, CEO of MediaCorp News, which owns and operates Channel NewsAsia the road shows follow closely on the heels of a new Channel NewsAsia initiative to bring slices of China to worldwide TV audiences worldwide through interesting and lesser known places and cultures of different regions of modern day China. The debut series looks at Zhejiang province, which is being shown during March 2006 and has been produced with the help of Zhejiang Radio & TV Group.

Since March 1999, Channel NewsAsia has positioned itself as an Asian TV News channel that provides news and information on global developments with Asian perspectives rivalling the likes of the BBC and CNN. (CNA is indirectly controlled by the Singapore Government). Its satellite footprint stretches from the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia to Australia into more than 15 million homes and hotels in 21 territories across Asia. CNA is a leading digital broadcaster in the region.



Australia - the ACMA TV Watchdog rules several episodes of Big Brother series in 2005 as Gratuitous Sex and nothing more

March 21

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (formerly the Australian Broadcasting Authority) has ruled that digital broadcaster, Network TEN's Big Brother program series during the Summer of 2005 on at least three occasions breached the Australian Commercial Television Code of Practice. In layman's terms what it ruled on was showing of explicit and gratuitous sex at times inappropriate for youngsters under 15 years of age.

[Editor speak] The ruling is significant. It shows that in today's age where it seems anything goes, impressionable youngsters should not have adult themes dished up on their viewing plate just because the TV stations seek a ratings advantage over competing networks. It is as though programmers knowingly continually push to the legal limit of responsibility, and as proven with this judgement beyond acceptable levels.

The ACMA acted on just two written complaints. They came from perhaps more conservative viewing areas of Perth and Brisbane but the ACMA acknowledges that the Big Brother series had caused a lot of discussion across the areas served by the terrestrial network of TEN TV licensees (and that means most of the country) following broadcast of episodes that went too far.

Not too late, the Network TEN management is acknowledged by the ACMA to have been co-operative in ensuring that ongoing Reality TV type programming should be handled with more care and adherence to the broadcast code of practice as laid out by law. Already, the Big Brother Production staff have been briefed how to handle the 2006 series for the TV Network.

This is not just another ruling because for once the ACMA is making a loud and clear public statement as to the required limits to be adhered to for decent prime time viewing. [Gerald Brown]


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

CCBN Beijing, Who's Attending?

CCBN Beijing 2006

Apart from TANDBERG Television, who are at stand (South Hall 2: 2501), with its cable TV delivery systems and advanced HDTV, IPTV on-demand and interactive entertainment solutions is there nobody else attending from the international digital content or digital broadcasting manufacturers segment of the market?

We would like to talk about your new offerings in the greater China radio and TV marketplace.

[Send us your email ]

Tokyo TV Tower site chosen, the world's tallest tower-to-be

Tokyo -- A recent report in the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said that the choice of site for the world's tallest structure-to-be, the new Tokyo TV Tower is near finalisation.

The chosen site is said to be in the Sumida district of the city.

NHK and the five main commercial digital broadcasters in the city all have a say.

The tower is scheduled for completion in 2011.

The world's current tallest structure -- the CN Tower in Toronto at 1,815ft will lose out the title to the Tokyo tower which is set to be 1,980ft.

[What does a difference in a few feet (or metres) mean?]

[Answer - a lot of prestige]

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

ESPNSTAR Sports latest sponsor, UPS to be given micro web site on Golf

March 2006,

Singapore -- It wasn't the announcement per se from ESPNSTAR Sports that courier company UPS, was to sponsor the network's "Golf Focus" program from March 15 for 9 months, but what caught my attention was the dedicated micro web site to be bundled in the sales package.

The value-added package is intended to increase interactivity with viewers and therefore extra exposure for UPS. The web site will feature in a streaming format, all the UPS Golf Tips aired in the program proper. The video clips are being wrapped in a unique UPS billboard especially created for the Internet streaming feeds. UPS banner ads will also run across all pages on, which feature news on golf.

The main "Golf Focus" program will be transmitted on five TV networks, STAR Sports Asia, STAR Sports South East Asia, STAR Sports HK, STAR Sports Taiwan and STAR Sports India.

Respective executives Joe Guerrisi, Vice President of Marketing, UPS Asia Pacific Region and Charles Less, Senior Vice President, Advertising Sales (SEA), ESPN STAR Sports arranged the digital broadcasters deal.

In Korea, the First "Text for Mobile TV" launched by ROK Entertainment reported on March 8, that in Korea, British-based, mobile content and technology development company, ROK Entertainment Group, launched the world’s first ‘text for mobile TV’ service for mass-market 2.5G handsets. Jonathan Kendrick, ROK’s Chairman and CEO said: “Now we are able to offer a free download so people can trial our full-screen, high resolution mobile TV for themselves without having to sign-up to a 3G service.”

Already compatible with 20 top-selling ‘Smartphone’ handsets, ROK TV offers a range of channels to include CNN, ITN, The Cartoon Network, National Geographic as well as several music, lifestyle and comedy channels.

“All people need do if they have, for example, a new Nokia such as the 6630, 6680, the N70 or the N90 is text ‘ROK S’ to 80160 to receive a free demo of ROK TV” Kendrick explained “and if they have one of the new Sony Ericsson handsets such as the W600i, the W800i or the K600, all they need do is text ‘ROK J’ to 80160. The full list of compatible handsets is shown on our website.”

Asia-Pacific Market Intelligence - Rohde & Schwarz

Extract from Rohde & Schwarz for digital broadcasters release dated March 13

"Rohde & Schwarz has already successfully set up a T-DMB transmission network in Korea. Terrestrial digital multimedia broadcast (T-DMB) is based on the digital audio broadcast (DAB) standard, which has been introduced as digital radio in many countries. Now the company also offers other Test & Measurement and datacasting products for T-DMB and DAB. In combination with the new TRP player and a T-DMB/DAB library, the R&S SFU provides new test functions.

The successful all-purpose R&S SFU broadcast test system was developed for all internationally important digital TV standards - 8VSB/ATSC, J.83/B, DVB-S2, DVB-S, DVB-T, DVB-H, DVB-C, DMB-T and DIRECTV. An analog interferer and an interferer management option now complement the R&S SFU to handle transmission simulation. By using these options, the effect an analog TV interference signal has on the digital useful signal can be easily simulated."

Australia Network TEN chooses Marquis Broadcast workflow solutions

March 13,

Sydney -- Digital broadcaster, Network TEN has ordered two Medway media exchange systems from Marquis Broadcast, a specialist in broadcast workflow studies and solutions.

The Medway systems will be part of a new digital broadcasting environment for Network Ten’s newsroom centres in Sydney and Melbourne where they will enable Omnibus media files to be transferred between Omneon Media Servers and Avid Unity.

Network TEN partnered Medway to find specific solutions to overcome tedious file incompatibility. These issues often occur in sourced information that needs to be integrated into the flow of newsroom output.

The deal was arranged by Jason Tuendemann, Technology Project Manager, Network Ten.

Network TEN is Marquis' first customer in Australia's digital broadcasters scene.

Digital Broadcaster Mediacorp Pulls out of Commonwealth Games at Last Minute

March 13

A report on ABC Asia Pacific News web site said that MediaCorp, Singapore's national broadcaster, (and one of the regions leading digital broadcasters - ed) had pulled out of coverage of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, angering Games officials.

[Editor] Is it a political snub?

[Editor] Is a protest at the cost of the rights to the Games?

[Editor] We will have to await a possible clarification from Caldecott Hill TV headquarters.

STAR India Splits into Two Operating Units

March 13

Hong Kong/Mumbai -– Are the powerbases of Steve Askew and Michelle Guthrie playing out in reorganisation of STAR India operations?

On his just announced added responsibilities as new President of STAR Entertainment, Steve Askew (already STAR CEO) announced reorganised Indian operations into two operating units – STAR Group and STAR Entertainment.

Peter Mukerjea is to oversee STAR Group, India in his capacity as CEO. This includes investments in Tata Sky, Hathway, Balaji and MCCS and spearhead new business opportunities. Mukerjea will continue to report to Michelle Guthrie, Chief Executive Officer of STAR.

Meanwhile, Sameer Nair has been promoted to CEO, STAR Entertainment, India, handling day-to-day operations - programming, marketing, advertising sales and distribution, AS WELL AS pursuing growth opportunities in new media eg wireless and internet. Nair Reports to Askew.

Sameer is credited with the key driving force to STAR India's turnaround in ratings in 2001 and subsequent delivery of ratings and revenues.

Comments welcome.

Finale Night of Malaysia Broadcasters Awards - Anugerah Seri Angkasa 2005

March 11

Saturday Night Finale of the Anugerah Seri Angkasa 2005 (Malaysia Broadcasters) Awards evening:

(Broadcasters Names in Brackets)

Best TV Drama: Hari-hari Terakhir Seorang Wanita (Astro)

Best TV Drama Director: Jurey Latiff (Hari-hari Terakhir Seorang Wanita)

Best Drama TV Series: Dan Di Situ Ada Doa (RTM)

Best Sports TV Programme: Highlight Liga Malaysia (RTM)

Best TV Actor: Wan Hanafi Su (Anak Penarik Beca, RTM)

Best TV Actress: Safura Yaacob (Hari-hari Terakhir Seorang Wanita)

Best TV Documentary: Profil Seni (Astro)

Best Entertainment TV Series: Macam Macam Aznil (Astro)

Best TV Host: Aznil Hj Nawawi

Best TV Talk Show: Halim Othman Live (Astro)

Best Reality TV Programme: Explorace (TV3)

Best TV Comedy Series: Senario (TV3)

Best TV Comedy Actor: Sabri Yunus

Best TV Comedy Actress: Nik Sayyidah

Best TV Game Show: Kunci Khazanah

Best Male Radio Deejay: Mohd Shah Hashim (Perlis FM, RTM)

Best Female Radio Deejay: V. Prema (KL FM, RTM)

Seri Angkasa Broadcasting Icon: Tan Sri Hj Dol Ramli (first head of RTM)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Malaysia Broadcasting Awards First Night results

March 10

Kuala Lumpur -- Bernama reported that Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) grabbed most of the honours on the first night of Malaysia's own version of the Emmies - Anugerah Seri Angkasa (ASA 2005) radio and TV broadcasting awards held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. It is spread over Friday and Saturday evenings.

From the first night -


Radio drama "Igauan Semalam" (Nasional FM) won four awards -- Best Radio Drama, Best Audio, and for Best Supporting Roles by Nasrin Ngasri and Jalaluddin Hassan.

Aminah Mokhtar (Nasional FM) won for the Best Radio Script for her drama "Merdekakan Cinta Kita, Cik Embun". Best Radio News Coverage went to Marzuki Ismail for the "Serumpun Sebudaya" (Best 104FM) and the Best Radio Magazine by "Citra Budaya" (Nasional FM).

Best Radio Bulletin honour went to Nazri Abdullah (Nasional FM) while Yasser Yusoff won Best Radio Commentator for his coverage of "Penang/MPPJ Super League 2005/2006" football clash (Mutiara FM). Best Radio News presenter - Mustaza Maah (Nasional FM).

The "Citra Cinta" programme by DJ Lin (Star FM) won Best Interactive radio program; Best Radio Capsule(public service announcement) Hargai Air (Save Water - Best 104).


Drama "Maafkan Aku Mama" (TV3) won Best Editing AWard. Best TV Script went to Martias Ali for his "Anak Penarik Beca" drama (RTM). Best Audio Entertainment - Live Telecast, was won by the "Zoom In Bersama Man Kidal and Friends" show (RTM), Best TV Audio Drama by "Haryati 2" (RTM) and Best Drama Lighting also by "Anak Penarik Beca" (RTM).

Best TV News Presenter category Norazlina Awang (ntv7), Best Television Reporter Rosli Mohd Nordin (RTM) for his coverage of Malaysian Defence Forces' humanitarian operation in the aftermath of last year's killer Pakistan earthquake.

Best Cinematography went to Dan Disitu Ada Doa (RTM), Best TV Lighting for an Entertainment Programme to Malaysian Idol Grand Final (8TV) and Best Costumes to Haryati 2 (RTM).

Best Graphic Design was won by Stylo (RTM), Set Design by DJ @ 2 Episode 18 (Host Gary - RTM), Best Subtitling by Whispers - An Elephant Tale TV3, Montage/Teasers by AF3 Konsert - Astro, Best Promotion by Malaysian Idol - 8TV and Special Music Award by Raya Nite Live - ntv7.

Second night results to come

Saturday, March 11, 2006

CCTV CASBAA Diary Note for August

March 9,

The date for the 2nd Annual China International Sports Television Forum in Beijing will be Thursday August 24th, 2006.

The host will be SARFT, and coorganized by CASBAA and China International Television Corp (CITV) the commercial arm of the state broadcaster CCTV, in association with CITV Sports Promotion Limited Corporation CITVSP). The event media partner is national sports TV network CCTV-5.

The theme will be: “New Definitions: The Sports TV Digital Revolution”. Sessions will cover sports television and economic development, sports branding and sponsorship for China, as well as new media opportunities and the lessons learned from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. The day will wrap-up with a high-powered CEO panel looking at the future of sports television production and HDTV.



Snippet - How did CCTV 6 get the 78th Academy Awards Show?

March 9

Via Tut Systems of course.

They took the original Academy Awards program feed live off satellite with the help of China Network Communications Corporation (CNC), then using its encoding and decoding technology provided translation and editing of the content for customized delivery to CCTV6 (CCTV's Movie Channel) for national broadcast from Beijing.

CNC as a telecoms telecommunications enterprise is to be the fixed telecommunications service partner for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Tut Systems, Inc (NASDAQ:TUTS) is known for deploying next-generation data and video services over broadband networks.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Bloomberg Television adds CJ Cablenet and Areum Broadcasting to its distribution across Asia Pacific

March 9

Hong Kong -- Bloomberg Television Asia Pacific sasys it has increased distribution in the region by 47 per cent during the past 12 months.

The latest takers of its program content are in Korea, notably, cable TV systems operators CJ Cablenet and Areum Broadcasting, and Korea Telecom's Mobile PDA video service known as "KT Netspot Swing" which is available to 120,000 mobile phone users.

Other new takers of Bloomberg Television programming in the region in the past year include: UBC Thailand, now Broadband TV / Smartone-Vodafone Hong Kong, VCTV in Vietnam, Optus TV Australia, PPCTV Cambodia, Singtel Singapore and Celcom Malaysia.

Dubai Media City has a new tenant - Harris Corp

March 9

DUBAI -- The Broadcast Communications Division of Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) has set up a presence in the UAE and the greater Middle East with a new office in Dubai Media City.

Two local industry experts have been appointed. Jamal Khalili, a systems specialist (ex-Pinnacle Systems, NewTV and NBN Television in Beirut), and Sohail Shafi a technical sales specialist (ex-Salam Technical Services, the Leitch reseller in Dubai; Omnix International; and the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation.

The move follows the recent appointment of Said Bacho of the first general manager in the Middle East for Harris' Leitch business unit.

Harris says it has a number of high-profile customers in the region, including Arab Radio & Television (ART) in Jordan Media City in Amman, Jordan; Al-Rai in Kuwait; JCC in Qatar; and the Iraqi Media Network.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

South Korea and Egypt to co-operate in Digital Multimedia Broadcasting

March 7

On the occasion of the visit to Cairo of Roh Moo-hyun, the President of Korea, Egypt and South Korea have agreed to cooperate in in the fields of ultra high-speed Internet, mobile telecommunications, digital multimedia broadcasting and wireless broadband Internet.

PCCW launches TV News Channel to rival CNN and CNBC in Hong Kong

Advance publicity from PCCW says its Business News Channel (BNC), will start broadcasting on March 20.

The Cantonese-language station, supporting a 100-strong staff and transmitted on PCCW's Now Broadband TV is cloning the look of the CNBC style of output in the United States.

Ironically, business rival TVB's town office is in the same building as the BNC studio operation.

Australia's Podcasting Surprise - It is not a youthful craze but an oldie Rush

March 09

Sydney -- The Australian newspaper carried a story today that said in less than a year radio podcasting is rapidly moving from the realm of hip and hype into serious media.

The story noted that the ABC, the country's main podcaster, recorded 368,000 downloads last week compared with fewer than 50,000 a week when it started its serious push into the area last May.

There are 83 radio shows across ABC networks offering podcasts with specialist content on Radio National, especially science and health, and programs from the youth network Triple J the most popular.

Commercial broadcaster Austereo, which operates the metropolitan FM networks Today and Triple M, also reports a huge jump in demand.

Gordon Taylor, manager of podcasting for ABC radio, was quoted as saying content from 23 of Radio National's programs comprised nearly half (177,000) of last week's downloads. There were 88,000 downloads from Triple J, 63,000 from news and current affairs shows such as AM and 28,000 from Radio Australia, with the remainder spread across other networks.

A surprising fact - the majority of Radio National pod users were aged between 40 and 54.

Taiwan Cable Industry Consolidation?

Following Macquarie Media Group's, (20%-owned by Macquarie Bank Ltd. (MBL.AU)) purchase of a controlling stake in Taiwan Broadband Communications for US$886 million - is Eastern Multimedia Co next?

TBC is one of Taiwan's four largest cable operators while Eastern Multimedia is Taiwan's second-largest cable service provider with 1.06 million household subscribers, 40,000 of which are digital cable subscribers.

Press reports in Taiwan have speculated that US-based Liberty Media Corp. (L) may have interest.

[Editor - Any comments?]

Malaysia DIGITAL suppliers Alert

March 8

Quotes from a Dow Jones Newswries interview:

"Malaysia's MiTV Corp. Sdn. Bhd. plans to offer shares to the public to raise part of the MYR1 billion it needs to roll out a third-generation mobile services network over two years."


"MiTV, controlled by influential tycoon Vincent Tan, plans to eventually build, in stages, "thousands" of 3G base stations covering 80% of Malaysia by 2008 to offer 3G services. The services will be rolled out by the end of the year in phases."

Executive Director Kenneth Chang told Dow Jones Newswires

end quote

ESPNSTAR Sports adds Johnny Walker to 2006 Formula One Sponsor list

March 9

Singapore:  ESPN STAR Sports has added the Johnnie Walker Whiskey brand to its sponsor line up for the 2006 Formula One series that is on the starting blocks in Bahrein on March 11.

Johnnie Walker, will enjoy regional association with Formula One™ on STAR Sports Asia networks, including on-air entitlements as well as marketing and online benefits.

The deal was brokered by Charles Less, Senior VP, Advertising Sales (SEA), ESPN STAR Sports and Nikki Kirkwood, Regional Sponsorship Manager for Johnnie Walker.

Other 2006 sponsors for Formula One programming on ESPNSTAR Sports include 02, Petronas, Fedex and Mobil.

Formula One is being broadcast ‘live’ on STAR Sports Hong Kong, STAR Sports India, STAR Sports Taiwan and STAR Sports Southeast Asia, reaching a potential 64 million households.  

Greetings and Blessings to Vatican Radio on its 75th Anniversary

Rome -- Om March 3, Pope Benedict XVI visited the studios of Vatican Radio, the digital radio station of the Holy See, in Palazzo Pio in commemoration of the station's 75th anniversary. The event was covered live by Vatican TV and of course the radio station.

The pontiff met with the station's 39 language sections (many Asian) and viewed its new facilities.

Vatican radio was started by Guglielmo Marconi on February 12 1931 and was inaugurated by Pope Pius XVI.

[Editor - 1.] Send your greetings directly to Vatican Radio, they will appreciate the gesture. [Editor - 2.] Post your comments here and recount your dealings with Vatican Radio. Did you sell equipment and services to the station?]

Vatican Radio's main web site is:

The English pages are at:

A full chronology of developments at the station:

Southern Cross HY 2005 off 2.8 per cent

Melbourne: On March 8, Southern Cross Broadcasting (Australia) Limited, reported half year financials to December 31, 2005. Chairman, John Dahlsen said unaudited net profit, before interest on Convertible Preference Shares (“CPS”) and specific items was off 2.8 per cent at A$31,096,000.

Briefly the main results show:

• After three consecutive years of solid growth, the advertising market has entered a weaker phase in its cycle with the Adelaide market contracting 3.4% and regional TV growing only 1.3% for the half. Metropolitan radio was up 4.1%; • Sales revenue from TV declined 0.6%, reflecting a softer ad market. Revenue market share remained steady for both Channel Nine Adelaide and Southern Cross Ten while Nine Adelaide had to pay high program fees. • Radio earnings and market share grew; • The significant revenue increase in Southern Star is attributable to Carnival (UK).


Advertising conditions remain difficult with short term buying; TV revenue to be flat, Radio to grow in the second half. Southern Cross said its company’s business units remain very sound, with strong medium term prospects for growth.

About SCB

Southern Cross Broadcasting (Australia) Limited owns and operates commercial radio and television stations throughout Australia and an integrated film and television production and distribution business in Australia and overseas. Regional Television Network: Southern Cross Ten Queensland Southern Cross Ten Northern NSW Southern Cross Ten Southern NSW and ACT Southern Cross Ten Victoria Southern Cross Television Tasmania Spencer Gulf Telecasters South Australia Southern Cross Ten South Australia Southern Cross Central Southern Cross Darwin 50% interest in Tasmanian Digital Television Metropolitan Television Station: Channel Nine Adelaide Talk Radio Network: 3AW Melbourne 2UE Sydney 6PR Perth 4BC Brisbane Music Radio Stations: Magic 693 Melbourne 96FM Perth 4BH Brisbane Southern Star Southern Star Entertainment Southern Star Sales Southern Star Entertainment UK Carnival (UK) 49% interest in Endemol Southern Star 50% interest in Southern Star Golden Globe

Other Businesses:

Southern Cross Sales Satellite Music Australia Southern Cross Syndication Southern Cross Telecommunications Southern Cross Tricom Southern Cross Broadcasting’s media interests have a potential reach of 94% of Australia’s population.

(Editor : Would you buy Southern Star shares? What is the best, ROI valued broadcaster in Australia?)

Program distributors alert - Changes at RTM1 and RTM2 Malaysia

March 7, TV1 To Broadcast Programmes In Malay And English Only

KUALA LUMPUR -- Program distributors/digital content vendors be alerted: Program changes are afoot at RTM1 and RTM2. Bernama news agency reported that Malaysia's Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin said on March 7 that RTM1 would only broadcast in Bahasa Malaysia and English. Tamil and Chinese language programs would move to RTM2.

The move is to strengthen RTM1, RTM's flagship channel as most of today's young people are fluent in both languages. The move would be introduced gradually.

Zainuddin said this did not mean that there would be a reduction in the number of programmes in the other languages.

Editor : Can anyone in Malaysia comment on the significance of this move by RTM?

Microsoft's Origami Project unveiled March 9, 2006

The much touted rival to the Apple's iPOD, Microsoft's "ORIGAMI" product is being unveiled at CeBIT, Hanover today March 9.

Watch out for it!

Taiwan is largest exhibitor group at CeBIT, Hanover 2006 followed by China and Korea

March 8,

Hanover, Germany -- The 20th edition of CeBIT, the world's biggest technology and telecoms fair which started today has added significance this year with World Cup Soccer Finals taking place this summer in Germany. High Definition TV and 3G product exhibitiors are therefore in the spotlight with their latest product upgrades and subsequent emphasis on higher capacity storage capabilities.

HDTV is also putting the spotlight on new, higher capacity storage versions of DVD with rival formats Blu-ray and HD DVD formats fighting to garner the US$24 billion a year worldwide home video market.

Microsoft and its origami project - the rival and next generation to the iPOD is also being publicly announced. The scene-stealer details are on the dedicated web site from March 9.

This year CeBIT hosts 6,000 exhibitors from 70 countries lead by Taiwan with 700 companies, followed by China, South Korea and the United States. Some 500,000 visitors are expected.

(Note: Rival electronics trade fair, IFA in Berlin is to be an annual event rather than alternate years.)

EarthTV nightly News on TV3 Malaysia

If you like what you read, tell Your friends. They can sign up to have 24/7 updates on their desktop by simply clicking on the RSS/Atom links from our home page at March 7

Kuala Lumpur -- earthTV, the supplier of live, remote-controlled broadcast camera feeds from cities across the globe has launched on TV3 network,Malaysia.

The World Weather reports air nightly on the main bulletins "Bulletin Utama" (Bahasa Malaysia) and Nightline (English).

The multi-year deal was arranged by TV3’s director of news and current affairs, Datuk Kamarulzaman Haji Zainal and Thomas Hohenacker, president, earthTV, through earthTV’s representative in Malaysia, C-Quill Sdn. Bhd.

Munich-based, earthTV has broadcast partnerships with more than 40 networks worldwide including other Asia Networks, TVB Hong Kong, ABS-CBN Manila, and The Real Estate Channel Dubai, utilising its patented, remote-controlled camera network and technology.

Evansky promoted at APTN with worldwide responsibility

March 6

Evansky named VP of AP S&T operations

AT APTN, Nick Evansky has been promoted from director of technology for Associated Press Television News to be vice president and director of operations for AP Services & Technology. Evansky moves from London to New York to take up his new worldwide responsibilty at Associated Press Television headquarters.

Evansky, 39 led the conversion of APTN from analog to digital and oversaw the unification of AP's international technical groups. Before joining AP, he held positions at various broadcast and production companies, including BSB (now BSKYB) and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corp).

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Connect your related blog site?

I would like to connect with other sites related to this the radio and TV industry across Asia-Pacific. Perhaps you have something to share with the rest of the industry on perhaps digital radio, digital cameras, or your experiences in broadcast markets such as CCTV in China or All India India. Or, perhaps you wish to talk about Broadcast Asia 2005, Broadcast Asia 2006? then you can connect your blog or site to ours drawing wider comment to your views. Remember we also have the support of the e-broadcastnewsasia e-mail newsletter and its 30,000+ subscribers!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

New Trade Show - a first and focusses on Sports Technology

March 6

Mark your diaries as C4-Sports will be the first electronic media trade show dedicated wholly to sports technology. The show will premiere July 18 and 19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and sponsored by Avid Technology.

C4-Sports will focus on the critical components of sports technology, and the extensive FMC conference will feature cutting-edge technical sessions and panel discussions designed to allow sports media production professionals to share and learn techniques specific to the sports television production environment.

Backing the event and the accompanying conference is Ben Kozuch, president and co-founder of Future Media Concepts who believes today's sports production facilities face new challenges presented by the push for high-quality HD media, as well as the rapidly growing demand for sports content on new platforms ranging from HD DVD to cell phones and other mobile devices.

On the subject of content creation, the second track will focus on innovative techniques and approaches to catch the audience's attention and enhance brand awareness. This track includes sessions such as "Automating Broadcast Graphics With Adobe Photoshop," "Shooting and Posting HD Sports Video as Used for MLB, NFL Films, and HBO Sports," and "HD Post-Production Primer."

BBC World Service Radio and WorldSpace Indian link up

March 3

As part of its efforts to significantly upgrade distribution of program output to India, the BBC has linked with radio satellite specialist, WorldSpace to deliver a number of different language channels. The offering is however a paid one. Listeners have to subscribe to WorldSpace's basic package to hear BBC news and BBC World Service programmes in four languages: English, Hindi, Urdu and Bengali, as well various BBC programmes on WorldSpace's newly launched all-sports radio channel, Play.

Subscribers to WorldSpace's enhanced gold package will, in addition, receive the BBC Global News channel which has up-to-the-minute news and in-depth analysis from the BBC.

The deal was arranged via Michel Lobelle, BBC Business Development Manager, Asia and Pacific Region and Shishir Lall, MD of WorldSpace India.

BBC World Service delivers radio programmes and services in 33 languages. It uses multiple platforms to reach 149 million listeners globally, including SW, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels. It has more than 2,000 partner radio stations which take BBC content, and numerous partnerships supplying content to mobile phones.

WorldSpace subscribers benefit from a unique combination of local programming, original WorldSpace content and content from leading brands around the globe.

WorldSpace in India offers 40 radio stations across many genres.

Omneon Video Networks Expands India Sales Operation

March 6,

Iain Wood is the new regional sales manager for India for Omneon Video Networks. Wood previously served as sales manager for OmniBus Systems, where he managed the India and Middle East regions. He joined OmniBus in 1998 from Drake Automation.

Greg Hoskin, vice president of EMEA sales at Omneon said the appointment of Mr Wood was to enable Omneon to introduce and establish its media server and storage solutions quickly with key broadcasters in the region.

Wood like Hoskins is based at Omneon's expanded EMEA headquarters now located in Hampshire, England.

News Alert to Digital Suppliers

March 7 -

The World Telecommunication Development Conference 2006 opens today in Doha, Qatar, March 7 with a call to connect all communities by 2015.

This follows a key decision of the World Summit on the Information Society, which concluded last November in Tunis, to ensure that all villages, schools, libraries and local governments will be connected to information and communication technologies (ICT) by 2015.

Keep an eye out for developments and the business opportunities to follow in all related sectors.

Once ITU takes a stand, it means that member governments are already actively engaged in the implementation of the decision.

Full text of the announcement can be viewed at the ITU web site:


March 6

The setting was Adelaide, on March 3; the event - the Australian Interactive Multimedia Industry Association (AIMIA) Awards where the ABC was rewarded for setting the trends in new media content output. Its New Media & Digital Services division along with various co-production partners, won six iTV awards. The division saw 10 of its projects as finalists in this year’s awards, and won 6 out of the possible 19 categories.

The ABC and partners won:

* Best of the Best Award: "Dog and Cat News": created by Blue Rocket Productions for the Australian Film Commission/ABC Broadband Production Initiative * Best Childrens Award: "Dog and Cat News" (ditto) * Best Cross-Platform Content/Content Integration Award: "4 Corners" (ABC in House production) * Best Game Award: "Dot & Diamonds" created by Monkeystack for an ABC/South Australia Film Commission Initiative) * Best Learning Award: "Us Mob" created by Us Mob Pty Ltd, Katalyst Web Design and the Tangentyere Council for the Australian Film Commission/ABC Broadband Production Initiative * Best News/Reference: "4 Corners"

Obviously delighted with the Awards, Ms Lynley Marshall, Director of ABC New Media and Digital Services noted the Awards were a great acknowledgement of the quality of its web presence of content and the collaborative success of ABC staff and external partners.

The AIMIA Awards are the peak Australian multimedia industry awards, acknowledging excellence in new media content production.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Malaysia gets two more 3G licensees TTdotCom and MiTV

March 3

Kuala Lumpur -- Malaysia's Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications has awarded two more 3G mobile phone licences. The winning applicants are TTdotCom Sdn Bhd and MiTV Corp Sdn Bhd. Losing out was third applicant, DiGi.Com Bhd. All are Malaysian companies.

The Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) also recommended the two to receive a licence.

The Government awarded the first two 3G licences to Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Maxis Communications Bhd in 2002.

Miranda Beefs Up Asia-Pacific Focussing on China

March 3

Miranda Technologies Inc. (TSX: MT) has hired Ivan Siu Tin Lee as regional sales manager based in the new Asia HQ for the company in Wanchai, Hong Kong Island. Ivan was previously with Sony Corporation of Hong Kong in the Broadcast Professional Products division. Miranda recently opened a Beijing office for mainland China headed by China Sales Manager, Libin Lou. Miranda has also expanded its operations in Singapore.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Concrete action on the Information Divide at the World Telecommunication Development Conference 2006, March 7 in Doha

March 3

The World Telecommunication Development Conference, which opens in Doha, Qatar, on March 7, will focus on development priorities aimed at bridging the digital divide.

In achieving the objectives of the recently concluded World Summit on the Information Society, the Doha Action Plan will focus on utilizing the full potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) to connect the unconnected and accelerate the pace of social and economic development.

Within the framework of WTDC-06, ITU is organizing a series of information sessions on four key issues that have a direct bearing on telecommunication development around the world, with special relevance for developing countries.

Canada's ATN screens India vs England Cricket

March 3

Toronto - Asian Television Network International(ATN)(TSX-SAT) has won the exclusive Canadian Rights for India vs. England Cricket Series.

The Three Cricket Test Matches and Seven One Day Internationals (ODI's)started March 2. commencing March 2nd 2006.

The Test Matches will be shown live exclusively on ATN across Canada. ATN will make the games available on its premium Pay Per View service.

Royal Nepalese Army granted permission to run FM stations to counter the rebel propaganda

March 2

Kathmandu: The Nepalese Ministry of Information and Communication has permitted the Royal Nepal Army (RNA) to run FM radio stations, according to the Kantipur Daily.

The army will operate 10 FM stations throughout the kingdom, four of 1K and 6 of low power at 250 watts.

The transmitters will be placed at strategic villages to counteract Maoist rebel mobile FM stations.

NHK to have dedicated International English TV service to promote Japanese interests worldwide?

March 3

Tokyo: Public broadcaster, NHK the Japan Broadcasting Corporation is being forced into re-inventing itself following embezzlement scandals and a revolt by the license fee paying public among other things.

On March 1, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi instructed Heizo Takenaka, minister of internal affairs and communications, to set to and make things happen.

Koizumi said there are too many NHK channels (presumably referring to both the satellite as well as terrestrial).

Press reports out of Tokyo, say that the Japanese Government is using the idea of an English TV channel to match CNN or similar as an international voice.

The position is aggravated by the fact China has a worldwide satellite network in CCTV-9 and is now talking of an Arab language network. Fellow neighbour, Korea through its Arirang TV Network already has a dedicated Arab service to the Middle East as well as a popular worldwide English/Korean language station that reflects modern and traditional culture.

Moves like these by Japan's neighbours show just how insular is the political mainstream thinking in Tokyo.

But times are changing.

The current worldwide satellite offerings of NHK - NHK World TV and NHK World Premium aimed at the Japanese Diaspora have not proved as popular as first thought. As part of the internal re-organisation of NHK currently being proposed, NHK says it will turn its World TV into a solely English outlet within a three year time frame.

NHK President Genichi Hashimoto said international broadcasting services would best be financed with viewer fees.

Financing is a sensitive issue at advertising-free, NHK. Various funding options are under consideration. There is a good chance that specific funding would come from central government along the lines the BBC World Service radio is funded as part of the UK's foreign policy.

In India New News outlet CNN-IBN opts for Snell & Wilcox backbone solutions

March 1,

CNN-IBN, a joint venture news and information channel being launched in India by TV18 Group through its Global Broadcast News (GBN) subsidiary and Turner International, has deployed Snell & Wilcox’s IQ Modular products for an easily reconfigurable and scalable broadcast infrastructure backbone.

Television Eighteen India Ltd (TV18) is India’s premier news broadcaster and the owner of CNBC TV18. The new CNN-IBN service will build upon TV18’s newsgathering experience and CNN’s extensive global news network to provide audiences with business and consumer news.

Snell & Wilcox’s IQ Modular infrastructure system provides more than 300 intelligent component building blocks with which to construct any kind of broadcast facility as exemplified by Snell & Wilcox products found at other Indian networks, TV Today Network, Star News, ZeeTV, Eenadu TV, and NDTV.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

ABS-CBN Executive Moves

February 28

Manila --ABS-CBN Broadcasting has created the new position of executive vice-president with responsibility for total television channel programming, on-air operations, and overall revenue and profit delivery of Channel 2, the flagship of ABS-CBN. Rosario Santos-Concio has been promoted to fill the post from executive VP for the entertainment group of the company.

Another move see Antonio Ventosa, until recently the managing director of Hemisphere Leo Burnett Advertising, will be joining ABS-CBN as head of marketing.

Meanwhile, Agustin Benitez moves from being deputy head of Manila's ABC Channel 5 to become head of the ABS-CBN customer development group.

India AIR FM transmitter expansion continues

February 27

New Delhi, India: In a written reply in Parliament (Rajya Sabha), the Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs, P R Dasmunsi stated as many as 31 radio towers will be set up in as many cities spread over 15 states.

Andhra Pradesh state will have three stations in Kakinada, Hyderabad, Vijayawada of 10 kW each, and one of 5KW in Karimnagar and one of 1 KW in Srikakularm.

Maharashtra state will have four stations (Aurangabad, Amravati, Sholapur- 10 kW each & Oros- 5 kW).

Three stations of 10 KW each will be set up in Uttar Pradesh cities of Gorakhpur, Kanpur and Varanasi, while Uttaranchal will have three stations (Bageshwar 5 KW and Gairsen and New Tehri with 1 kW each).

In other states, two stations each will be set up in West Bengal (Darjeeling, Coochbihar- 10 kW each), Tripura (Agartala- 10 kW and Longtharai- 5 kW), Tamil Nadu (Madurai, Tirunelvelli- 10 kW each), Karnataka (Gulbarga, Bellary- 10 kW each) and Rajasthan (Udaipur, Bikaner- 10 kW each) and one each in Gujarat (Junagarh- 10 kW), Haryana (Rohtak- 10 kW), Madhya Pradesh (Ujjain- 5 kW), Manipur (Imphal- 10 kW), Orissa (Rairangpur- 1kW) and Punjab (Jalandhar- 10 kW).

Some of the cities where Doordarshan TV towers exist, will accommodate FM radio transmitters instead of separate construction.

Shanghai Media Group utilises Siemens and TANDBERG IPTV Solutions

February 28

TANDBERG Television is working closely with its partners and customers to build a next generation digital TV infrastructure in mainland China. That was a key point that came out of the company's February 28 press release quoting Geng Liang, General Manager of TANDBERG Television China.

The release was regarding Shanghai Media Group (SMG) and Shanghai Telecom (ST) January launch of their 50 channel interactive IPTV services to subscribers in the upmarket, Pudong area.

The IPTV installation contract was awarded to Siemens that then utilised TANDBERG MPEG-4 AVC video compression.

The TANDBERG announcement noted also that the fullservice was launched to an audience "over 100% higher than the anticipated subscriber base".

TANDBERG further noted that IPTV provides China's network operators the opportunity to boost their ARPU and reduce their churn by enticing China’s 360 million TV viewers and 25 million broadband users away from traditional cable and satellite Pay-TV.

Essentially, the TANDBERG Television standard definition MPEG-4 AVC head-end provides bandwidth savings of up to 50% on MPEG-2, with superior picture and sound quality.