Sunday, April 22, 2007

Digital Broadcasters |Aussie ABC Massively Expands NewsRadio network

ABC Australia, already one of the world's biggest radio networks in terms of terrestrial transmission coverage, informed Digital Broadcasters Vendor News that it is going one step further. Within three years it will make ABC NewsRadio its third main network after ABC Local Radio and ABC Radio National, terrestrially reaching all Aussie communities with a population of 10,000. That massively expands NewsRadio reach to 95 per cent of Australia's population. On April 18, 2007 in Wagga Wagga Senator the Hon Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts gave the project its formal start helped by ABC Director Radio & Regional Content, Sue Howard. Of the digitally supported project, Ms Howard said that this was a massive technological undertaking and important initiative for the ABC. The first stage of the roll out should be on May 1 when current trials will be completed for Wagga Wagga (105.1FM) and the surrounding South Western Slopes countryside(91.5FM) adding 1.2 million listeners to the ABC NewsRadio network. Stages two and three have the potential to extend the service to a further 3 million people by 2009. Three new frequencies will come on line each month until the project is completed. These are mostly FM but some are AM. ABC NewsRadio management says it is Australia's only continuous news format station with 24/7 broadcasts that include breaking news, sport, finance, weather, and when its sits, live coverage of Federal Parliamentary proceedings in Canberra.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | All Blacks, Face TV3 Commercials Ban on Home Turf

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News came across this "oh God, let me hold my head in my hands" broadcasting story from TV3 New Zealand. In reading it, bear in mind that New Zealanders just cannot get enough of their favourite boys in black shorts - the All Blacks. They are walking idols on and off the rugby turf. Canwest Mediaworks terrestrial TV network, TV3 paid a small fortune to outbid rival consortium of Sky TV - Television New Zealand for the New Zealand territorial TV rights to the 2007 Rugby World Cup games live, directly by satellite from France. But an archaic section of the New Zealand Broadcasting Act bans Sunday morning commercial advertising on the TV. Something the Government says it will NOT change. On a Sunday morning, if you are a New Zealander, you can wake up to radio commercials, and read your oversized Sunday newspaper full of special sections and related special print advertisements, view the Internet broadcasts - but no, watching the tele with ads, ain't on! And this is the information era where audiences drive the way their information should be distributed not some bureaucrat, pontificating on the consumers' behalf. Even at New Zealand's national TV - TVNZ, shows its programs with advertisement spots on Sunday mornings - not on its terrestrial transmitter network but via the Internet! A cat and mouse game is on between the Minister of Broadcasting, Steve Maharey and CanWest on, how on earth TV3 will carry ads in a banned time segment early on a Sunday morning. Oh yes that is when the best games take place, five out of seven in fact, allowing for the time difference between France and New Zealand! However, the Broadcasting Act states that the ban can be waived if the programme's signal originates outside New Zealand and is produced and transmitted simultaneously to New Zealand and overseas audiences. There is also something about a 5 second acknowledgement in recognition of a supporting commercial organisation. CanWest, PR front man, Roger Beaumont is quoted in New Zealand media as saying that TV3 has found the solution the TV network was keeping it under wraps. The International Rugby Board, licensor of the Rugby World Cup is expected to market and present its own World Cup packages on the Internet, through TV3 which will promote the games and revenue share. So it is wait and see when the tournament starts how CanWest MediaWorks make a commercial success of this huge project in terms of cost. After much searching on the official rugby world cup sites, Digital Broadcasters Vendor News found the dates of this year's Rugby World Cup (the 6th edition) Friday September 7, 2007 to Saturday October 20, 2007. The dates were buried deep in an FAQ section. The French like to keep these things quiet.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | Radio Australia's Guangzhou Breakfast Goes Begging

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News wonders why Radio Australia's Breakfast Club in its upcoming East Asia, three city tour was able to co-opt host broadcasters in Singapore (938Live FM) and Kuala Lumpur (Traxx FM) to simulcast their editions but when Phil Kafcaloudes the program's co-presenter kicks off on April 27 in Guangzhou, it is not happening? Not even a breakfast 'club sandwich' will be shared? The Radio Australia press release said that the program will sample the styles, flavours and tastes of Asia. Perhaps if Radio Australia had sent co-presenter Adelaine Ng (a Chinese lady?) the outcome in Guangzhou may have been different? Kind of deflates the message that the release was trying to convey when it stated that: "The East Asia tour builds on the growing links Radio Australia has established with stations in the region....". According to Radio Australia, "The Breakfast Club" is the popular morning program, which provides an appealing and humorous start to the day capable of engaging audiences from India to Tonga. The Aussie national broadcaster also says that the Breakfast Club program is broadcast (re-broadcast? - Ed) across Radio Australia's expanding Asian and Pacific FM network, Not only that it is quickly becoming a regional media benchmark in interacting with wide audiences ranging across physical borders and cultural boundaries from India to Tonga. It does not elaborate on how it is doing that. I think they ought to Wiki that comment, and get it justified.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | Doordarshan Up Up and Away in UK

Digital Broadcasters Vendors News notes that after years of indecision, India's state TV, Doordarshan is up, up and away in UK's satellite land using DVB. From London on April 16 DD launches a general channel, DD India and 24/7, DD News. Both are free - to - air, part of the Sky UK satellite TV mux in Hindi and both are transmitted on the Eurobird satellite positioned at 28.5 degrees East. This gives a satellite footprint of 95 per cent of Europe, let alone the UK. Backers of the channels are the London based, Rayat Television Enterprises Ltd. The Rayat Group has interests in retail, air travel and technology. It has invested £2 million in the 5 year project, (with a first refusal option for a further 5 years). Much of the expenditure includes advance royalty payments (10 million Rupees) to Doordarshan and set up costs. Khalid Mahmood, Rayat Group CEO said the channels will connect British Indians with their roots and set standards in ethnic broadcasting. An anonymous executive within Doordarshan said it had taken 48 years for Doordarshan to make the decision to have a UK operation. India state TV's late arrival in the European satellite TV broadcasting scene sees it coming up against established competition from UK, Indian Pakistani and Bangla channels. These include from Zee, STAR, Sony, NDTV and local Asian channels, MATV and Raj. They all TV target the same audience with some emphasising younger values and others the more older traditions. Line up of UK channels directed at Indian, Pakistani, Nepali (Galaxy TV on Hotbird 6) and Bangladesh viewers on FTA EuroBird 28.5E with main languages used: Urdu (Pakistan) Channels: PrimeTV: 11623 Urdu Punjabi PTV Global: 11224 Urdu GeoTV: 11343 Urdu ARYOneWorld: 11343 Urdu The Musik: 11343 Urdu DM Digital: 11261 urdu Bangla Channels: Bangla TV: 11344 Bengali ATN Bangla: 11488 Bengali NTV Channel S: 11488 Bengali Channel S UK: 11488 Bengali English Language/Mixed Channel S UK: 11488 English RajTV: 11428 English/Hindi MATV: 11389 English/Mixed Hindi Channels DD India: 11426 Hindi (20 per cent English, some Gujarati and Tamil) DD News: 11527 Hindi mainly (20 per cent English, some Gujarati and Tamil) Star One: 11262 Hindi mainly DD India UK and DD News UK carry their own logos on the TV screen along with that of Rayat TV. Researching this article, Digital Broadcasters Vendor News found that Doordarshan, has over 1.4 billion viewers worldwide.

Digital Broadcaster | TVNZ Heads Up with Aussie

Television New Zealand has informed Digital Broadcasters Vendor News that Aussie, Anthony Flannery a veteran newsman from Nine Network (PBL:AX) is to head up News and Current Affairs at the Kiwi network from May. Flannery has been responsible for Nine Television Network's highly rated, "A Current Affair" program. He is regarded as one of the most experienced broadcast journalists in the Southern Hemisphere familiar with a variety of news distribution platforms in digital. TVNZ's own website has an insatiable appetite for strong news content. The TVNZ move is a prize catch for them as Flannery has been a Nine Network staffer since 1995 and before that at Nine's NTD8 Darwin TV station, Mid-State Television in Western New South Wales, WIN TV in Canberra and in the mid-1980s, he was Press Secretary to Aussie member of Parliament, David Simmons MP. Digital Broadcasters Vendors News believes that the hiring of Flannery could be misunderstood at a time when TVNZ has cut back on its Newsroom staff to save NZ$10million in salary costs. Television New Zealand in the past decade has suffered as a national institution at the vagaries of governing parties in Wellington. The once invisible flagship news on TVOne and TV2 has recently shown holes in its ratings, challenged by the news output from Canwest's TV3.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | Google Adsense Radio Simple Operation

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News reports that this IS the big news and it is such a simple operation.

You have been following Google's move into radio advertising? Well here is the definitive result: Broadcast Electronics (BE) of Quincy Illinois, in collaboration with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) have added an AdSense software plug-in to BE's AudioVAULT digital studio system. This means that AdSense automatically matches a station's available open slots for spots to Google's advertiser inventory. This is new revenue streaming for the stations that have installed AudioVault across the United States.

Russell Ketchum, Business Product Manager for Google AdSense for Audio said that AdSense for Audio is about connecting Google's advertisers, a group largely new to radio, with radio stations in a way that's similar to what they're used to online.

Ray Miklius, BE VP for Studio Systems said that adding AdSense for Audio's real-time inventory matching, automation and control to AudioVAULT will help (our) stations attract new advertisers.

How long will it be before Google Adsense Radio comes to your local radio station? Anyone heard any rumbles in Asia yet? How will Google play this card? Mainstream multinationals for economy of scale? Or local retail advertising? Perhaps Google needs to do a lot of explaining of this business model or is it something that will just evolve?

Broadcast Electronics Inc. is controlled by Audax Group, a private equity firm based in Boston, MA.

Digital Broadcasters | Bangladesh Maverick Ekushey TV Returns

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News notes that Ekushey Television (ETV) in Bangladesh is still on air terrestrially and via satellite two weeks after getting its license back after a four year hiatus. A maverick broadcaster if ever there was one.

Staying on air terrestrially seems no mean feat in a Bangladesh where ETV was forced off air in Aug, 2002 by then-prime minister, Begum Khaleda Zia for apparently favouring her rivals in the Awami League in its programming. The broadcasting authority, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Board (BTRC) seized ETV's transmission equipment.

ETV, the country's first private TV station was awarded its original license by the Awami League government in April 2000.

Although the high court ordered the Khaleda Zia government to return transmission equipment to ETV in 2005 it never did. Yet in the meantime, a further six local, private TV networks were allowed to start broadcasting - but only via satellite distribution.

ETV's break came after Khaleda handed power to an interim government in October 2006, on completion of a five-year term in office. Just a few weeks ago the BDTC under the temporary administration government gave ETV the green light to resume transmissions.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News is still puzzled why ETV along with the state-owned Bangladesh Television are the only terrestrial (as well as satellite TV network) operators in the country.

Digital Broadcasters | Listen Again to Australia Country Radio 1962

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News invites you down a trip to memory
lane from the days when radio announcers dressed up to present their
programs not dress down as is the case today.

Our friends at The Radio Heritage Foundation []
has a second
radio heritage documentary on RNZI during April.

"More Australian Country Radio" re-visits 1962 to radio stations in
Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania. It was an era from time pips,
gongs and modulated and annunciated radio announcer tones.

From the days of 3MA Mildura - The Voice of Sunraysia, includes an
old Holden car ad, as well as from local stores. 7AD Devonport in
Tasmania, some recollections including, local weather, a station ID
and an ad of the time promoting the radio medium as a sales medium.

From 2GZ Orange City, grab a Sydney Water Board Loan and Super Ajax
ads along with hits from Ben E King....and 'Turntable 2BS' from
Bathurst with a string of hits and ID's completes the 1962 tour.

By the way, the first stop on the tour was the RZNI April 2
transmission which visited 2CA Canberra, 2WG Wagga Wagga, 3BO Bendigo
and 3BA Ballarat.

A trip down memory lane, a trip back in time on "Mailbox" on Radio
New Zealand International on audio-on-demand by clicking
on Audio, on 'more audio', scroll down to Mailbox and click on the
latest version updated for April 16 and for the April 2 "Mailbox".

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | Taiwan Moving Ahead with DTV

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News can report that according to press
coverage in Taiwan, the broadcasting watchdog, the National
Communications Commission is moving ahead with plans to offer new
terrestrial digital TV broadcasting licences. The plan calls for the
introduction of new TV networks on UHF channels 25, 31, 33 and 49
with nationwide coverage with two stages of introduction. The first
will offer the channel with a 6MHz audio bandwidth and the second,
two further channels to a 12MHz audio bandwith on UHF TV channels 27
and 29.

There is the intention, it is believed, for the four channels
with the 6MHz sound carrier also to move over to 12MHz.

The NCC says that to offer 12MHZ licenses can only happen come after
the NCC has reviewed Taiwan' related broadcasting and telecoms laws
to accommodate the new technical specifications for transmission.

The 5 present terrestrial broadcasters in analog: public TV station -
Public Television Service (PTS), TTV, Chinese Television System
(CTS), China Television Company (CTV) and Formosa Television Company
(FTV) will be given a chance to bid for the new licences. There will
be one condition / restriction imposed. Any license can only
broadcast in high definition TV - HDTV, as a mechanism the NCC
believes that would stimulate the growth of the medium. All current
analog terrestrial TV transmissions are using 6MHz.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | Kabul 98.1 Arman FM Online

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has heard from Arman FM in Kabul. This is one of the digital radio and TV success stories of a war ravaged country. 98.1FM is online, with live streaming. Essentially, the station is trying to reach pockets in the country where their terrestrial transmission cannot reach. They are on satellite.

What is so good is that true inter-raction is possible with the Afghani Diaspora worldwide when someone has access to the Internet. Program requests and message are so easy. From within Afghanistan using the Roshan phone network it is a case of just dialling 456. Regular phone +93 799 780 456 and phone the answer phone menu instructions (option 1).

Listen Here

We at Digital Broadcasters Vendor News accessed Arman 98.1.FM using iTunes (being on Mac's) and the sound quality is terrific.

Digital Broadcasters |Al Jazeera English Versatile HDTV and SD

All digital broadcaster, Al Jazeera English, at its new Doha
headquarters studio complex in Qatar routinely retains video feeds in
high definition television (HD, HDTV) on a rotating basis for up to
one week using a recently installed, NEXIO XS server system from
Harris Broadcast Inc (NYSE:HRS). Specifically, the NEXIO XS server
platform at Al Jazeera English consists of 4 x NXS3600HDX servers
with more than 30 terabytes of storage that allows for 4 x incoming
news agency feeds simultaneously. The server is versatile enabling
the ability to record and generate output in either HD or SD -
standard definition, where required.

When the NXS3600HDX servers connect to the NEXIO storage area network
(SAN), the digital broadcaster has a streamlined infrastructure for
producing, processing, distributing and managing SD and HD content

Al Jazeera English is striving to become a unique broadcaster, the
distinction that Al Jazeera in Arabic has achieved already. Al Jaz
balances the news flow from south to north, providing accurate,
impartial and objective reporting for a global audience from a
grassroots level. Al-jaz has regional news bureaux in Kuala Lumpur,
London and Washington D.C.

Digital Broadcasters | India | Bhubaneswar Adds Two FM stations

Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa state, and popularly known as the
"Temple City of India" adds two 24/7 private FM radio stations from
this month. Adlabs' BIG 92.7 FM will have an effective radiated
power that distributes its signal for a 60 kilometre radius that also
takes in the city of Cuttack with a program diet of entertainment and
"serious" information. Serious means updates to the supply of
vegetables in the markets, where there are power cuts, other utility
problems and government announcements. Music content is being split
in a ratio of 70% Hindi to 30% Oriya.

The second station is Eastern Media Ltd's Choklate 104 FM Superhit
Music. Its broadcast area includes Cuttack and Rourkela and areas
smaller cities of Athagarh, Chandaka, Gopinathpur, Raghunathpur,
Salepur,Jagatpur, Tangi, Deogaon, Gondia, Dhenkanal, Barhachara,
Haridashpur, Manda, Khurdha, Balipatna, Kapilespur, Pipli,
Jagatsinghpur, Patkura, Ratnagari, Udaigiri, Jenapur and Bhuban.

The two broadcasting network stations were issued the licences in the
second batch of 250 stations issued last year.

The introduction of the commercial FM stations is prompting All India
Radio's AIR Cuttack to upgrade its FM Rainbow Channel locally.

Digital Broadcasters | India Could Add 90 FM Radio Stations

Talking to local media in Mumbai, India, S.K.Arora, Secretary at the
Indian Broadcasting and Information Ministry indicated that a further
90 FM Radio station frequencies could be added soon in what the I&B
Ministry terms C & D level cities - those yet to have commercial
broadcast operations.

The I&B ministry is currently evaluating the viability of offering
such licences after it has quantifies how many of the 250 stations in
91 cities are profitable and were licensed in the second phase of
bidding for private FM radio stations last year.

Significantly, foreign investors can take up to 20 per cent equity in
broadcasting companies.

Meanwhile, Mr Arora reported developments in Community Radio / Campus
radio. He is quoted as saying that the Indian I&B Ministry has signed
60 letters of intent for educational institutions that are also
including a number of non government agencies (NGOs).

Friday, April 13, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | India | Doordarshan Works with Envivio and SHAF

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has learnt that San Francisco based, Envivio a privately held company supplied the digital Mobile TV Head End equipment for the Doordarshan Mobile TV digital terrestrial trials in New Delhi. The MPEG-4 head end (transmitter) package includes 4Caster M2 encoders and the 4Manager network management system. The Envivio system fits cross media deployment by supporting the most broadcast and telco network standards, including 3GPP, 3GPP2, DVB-H, DMB and ISDB-T. Envivio supplied the mobile TV transmission equipment to broadcast integrator, SHAF Broadcast Pvt Ltd. The digital broadcast pilot project is offering eight TV channels initially. Later in 2007 it will be expanded to 16 , the pilot is delivering a high quality mobile TV experience to Indian consumers. Doordarshan is not only testing the technical aspects of the broadcast distribution signals through Mobile TV but it is also exploring the different possibilities for service bouquets, including advertising and interactive services to through testing consumer feedback. The information is sourced via a release from Envivio Inc.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | India | Doordarshan Regional Newrooms Go VSAT

In New Delhi, Doordarshan India's state TV network is moving ahead with developing field production in high definition (HDTV). The administration says it expects trials to start later in 2007 or 2008. New Delhi has been chosen as the place to stage the testing. Meanwhile, there is small revolution taking place in the state broadcaster's newsgathering technology. All 70 of DD's regional news centers are being equipped with VSAT links. Orders have been placed for VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminals) equipment for every center. Each will link to the main news hub in New Delhi. Along with the feeds will be much required communication circuits, and production team voice circuits enabling two way talkback between studio control rooms around the country.

Digital Broadcasters | India | DoorDarshan in Content Digital Exploitation

Doordarshan, India's state TV broadcaster says that its 70,000 hours of analog library of video tape programming is destined to be fully converted into digital format, now that a detailed business plan has been drawn up for commercial exploitation. So far some 1,400 hours of programs have been converted by "DD Archives" which has released so far some 51 titles to the video distribution market. DD also says that some 600 hours have been identified and set aside for the DD MTNL joint venture, the Broadband Video-On- Demand project. The content covers program genres from culture and travel to personalities, historical places, health, fitness, and lifestyles. The DD "analog to digital" content conversion project covers the complete process of migration for all program production and output, as well as facilitating broadband convergence. Still, the key decision is commercial exploitation - return on the investment. How best can DD market and commercially exploit the mountain of programming content it is sitting on? One key intention is to create and promote interest among India's young generation in the country's traditional culture. This is best served by making available as many digital recordings as possible for distribution at home and abroad across the Indian Diaspora and to heritage institutions around the world.

Digital Broadcasters | India Censors Irked by FTVs Catwalk Capers

In India the satellite TV channels have been pushing the boundaries of decency in programming in the past six months - that is by Indian standards. The latest is from FTV and its catwalk capers of believing less is better. In a country that bans kissing on TV, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting was forced to act on March 29 when Fashion TV under the India label showed models strutting the catwork clad skimpily and without brassieres and swearing seethough tops at the midnight hour. The channel is carried by the country's cable TV operators. The Ministry slapped a ban on the channel for two months under Sub-Section (2) of Section 20 of the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995. The transmission or re-transmission of this Channel on all platforms has been prohibited effect April 1 through to May 30 across the country. The ministry guardians depict the programming as "against good taste and decency, denigrating women and likely to adversely affect public morality." Is there no subtlety? The programming was called ‘Midnight Hot’. I suspect that most adult men would at least be tempted to take a peek at a program with such a title. Still, being "off-air" is an indirect way of even greater promotion for the channel that has not been short of a following as it is. Will FTV in turn be irked by the prudishness of the Censors at India's Broadcasting Ministry?

Digital Broadcasters | India Doordarshan LPTs Replaced

Just for the record here, on March 14 in the Indian Parliament (Rajya Sabha Chamber), Shri P R Dasmunsi, Minister of Information reported that: 84 Doordarshan low output transmitters (LPTs) of 100-watt effective radiated power (ERP) have been replaced during the years 2004 to the present. Of these, 76 were replaced with 500-watt LPT’s. A further eight were of greater ERP.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | TV3 Rate Roar Not Appreciated

Malaysia's TV3 may be roaring ahead but its latest announcement is not appreciated. Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has learned from advertising agency contacts in Kuala Lumpur that a just pronounced 5-15 per cent advertising rate hike by premier private TV3 network is not causing ripples but a Tsunami size reaction. TV3 owned by Media Prima Group dominates Malaysia's terrestrial television on-air advertising market with a 60 per cent market dominance along with stable mate, TV8. Mind you, last year TV3 faced vocal criticism too from advertisers when it talked about rate rises at that time.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | PRC | CRI Awarded Phone for TV Licence

Sometimes decisions coming out of China's digital broadcasting set up seem quirky. The latest in mobile handheld licenses is no exception. The state arm in charge of propaganda in Beijing, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has awarded to China Radio International (CRI) the overseas radio broadcasting division, the third license on offer for mobile phone "TV" services. Shanghai Media Group and CCTV were awarded the other two.

It does seem somewhat odd that the international and radio oriented division is granted the right to domestic mobile phone/handheld devices. The reasoning may be the fact that some CRI programming is carried domestically by AM and FM regional and local stations and networks around the country. Or just keeping it within the close knit ranks of the broadcasting power base in Beijing.

CRI has set up a subsidiary to link up with China Unicom (0762.HK) (the world's third largest mobile phone operator).

CRI is also in talks with China Mobile (0941.HK) for mobile broadcast cooperation, according to a People's Daily report.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | Bahrain | 1st Private TV Station

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has learnt that Bahrein (Bahrain - مملكة البحرين Mamlakat al-Baḥrayn ) this weekend is getting its first private digital broadcaster, Atlas Travel and Culture. Satellite channel owner is local businessman Jamil A Wafa and partners. Bahreini reports say media expert Dr Mohsen Saffar will chair the TV station's board. Atlas Travel and Culture is believed will be part of the Bahreini Government TV mux on Arabsat's Badr transponder frequency 12226 horizontal. The station is also to be found on Nilesat. At press time exact details are unknown. The TV station's operations are based at Saar, about 15 kilometres west of Manama. Apparently the TV channel has the tacit support of Bahrein's Ministry of Information. Atlas Travel and Culture will be a-political and is reported to have already produced local documentaries on non-Bahreini contentious subjects. Digital Broadcasters Vendor News believes the only other direct "travel TV" competitor among Middle East Satellite television broadcasters is another outlet with the abbreviation "ATC" - Arab Travel Channel (ATC) from Dubai. That ATC has been distributed on satellite on Nilesat 102 since late 2004. Jamil A Wafa is a well connected member of the Bahrein establishment. His flagship group, UNITAG has handled many infrastructure projects in Bahrain in the past 30 years. Unitag has has worked with Thomcast Thomson Broadcast in the past for broadcasting equipment installation in Bahrain. One division, Magnum Holdings is also the backer of the premier travel exhibition in the region -, also more information at The photograph above of Mr Wafa is from the unitag web site. Meanwhile, Arab Travel Channel at Dubai Studio City (DSC) expanded its operation by expanding to a 60,000 sqft facility recently, and named as the Four Lines DSC. (Aptly named after its owner, Four Lines Media, a member of the UAE-based, Suwaidani Group). Picture shows ATC of Dubai at its stand at the BITE Exhibition 2006.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | Genesis Opens Tokyo POP

Tokyo, Sydney and Auckland have been added as the latest "point-of- presence" POP's in Asia-Pacific on the New York - based, Genesis Networks global video transmission network. Digital Broadcasters Vendor News understands that POPs are already operational in Beijing, Singapore, and other major media centers in Asia. The new POP sites will allow Genesis Networks to interconnect with local broadcasters throughout the Asia Pacific region, notably in China and Japan routing content using fibre optic and satellite from Asia via the Genesis network and broadcasting it anywhere in the world but mainly to the US. The company has a teleport in North Miami and is building a reputation as a carrier of ethnic channel programming from India, Poland and Latin America for distribution to US cable TV systems.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Digital Satellite | Satlynx New Found Freedom Under GE

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News gets the clear impression that Luxembourg-based,Satlynx, a major participant in digital satellite telecommunications in the Middle East, Europe and Africa region, is relishing new found freedom under the new General Electric (NYSE: GE - News) ownership, as a fully operational subsidiary, quote: "...... for the first time... full independence from satellite operating companies and equipment vendors... and is free to pursue its supplier neutral strategy of offering the best solution to fit its customers’ requirements."

Does that imply that under the old SES structure they were hamstrung?

Paul Heinerscheid, President and CEO Satlynx while acknowledging growth in the past years uses the significant "but" when he is quoted in a press release of today's date under GE management: "...but now we look forward to a new chapter within GE where the benefits to our company and our customers will be many-fold.”

Interesting stuff.

Digital Broadcasters | Philippines Enforces Cable TV IP Violations

Philippines has tightened the noose around the neck of cable TV pirates. From today a strengthened complaints process will be enforced. The legal framework for filing violation of broadcasters program content by cable TV pirates in the Philippines has been enacted between the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IP Philippines) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). Together, they will expedite the resolution of cases filed with the NTC against cable operators involving violations of intellectual property rights, and NTC rules and regulations. Complainants can file to the IP office or the NTC.

The new procedures do not interfere with legal complaints being filed directly against cable TV operators by broadcasters and broadcast rights holders either.

Cases of copyright infringement reported to the NTC already in the pipeline will also be brought into the new system's framework.

CASBAA and other rights holders approve and welcome the new administrative procedures in the Philippines.

While at first glance it looks to be just another legal layer complainants have to work through, if everything goes to plan, complaints on broadcast rights violations will be funnelled through the same reporting system, quickening the process and making decisions more effective.

I hope there is a uniform and unique case numbering system, if all cases are to follow a standard procedure.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | Malaysia to Adopt DVB-T

So now we know, it is confirmed the Malaysian Government is going ahead with the adoption of DVB-T for digital terrestrial transmissions. Digital Broadcasters Vendor News notes that this is clearly ahead of the intended date of such an announcement - a month before the present Klang Valley trial was due for completion.

Deputy Information Minister Chia Kwang Chye who made the announcement, March 26 at the ABU Digital TV Symposium in Kuala Lumpur indicated that the results of the DTV trial were very positive, the meaning was "why wait?"

According to Mr Chia more than 60 percent of trial participants said signal quality was 'good' to 'very good'; 70 percent sound quality was better -- responses being all better than his department had imagined.

That means that DTTV will roll out in the Klang Valley in 2009, and in Mr Chye's quoted words "Malaysia was keen to trial the DVB-H standard for mobile phones".

Mr Chia said the Malaysian government's Digital Task Force was also considering the implementing the HD format in programming.

Digital Broadcasters | ABC Brisbane To Relocate

News from ABC Brisbane is that it is at long last to get a new unified home for its regional digital radio and television broadcasting complex and headquarters for Queensland. Digital Broadcasters Vendor News received the announcement from ABC in Sydney directly.

ABC Managing Director Mark Scott said that the present 280 employees based in Queensland's capital city and housed in seven different buildings are to be housed at one site. Mr Scott made it clear the matter now being treated urgently.

The ABC Board recognises the fact and has approved a Project Control Group to take immediate control.

All the options and alternatives though have not been investigated yet. These include whether the future site of a broadcast complex would be leasehold or purchased, or a present building to be bought and converted.

Mr Scott also pointed out that specialist consultants will need to be appointed to make such assessments in a two stage process.

From now until the end of April, the first stage gets under way with the ABC Project Group calling for initial proposals.

Presently, the main Brisbane location is at ABC Toowong. ABC informed Digital Broadcasters Vendor News that it is not going to redevelop that site.