Friday, June 30, 2006

Broadband Drives Internet growth says Report

Broadband is the driver behind the expotential media growth on the Internet. Typically this comes from streaming content and wireless apllications.

In 2005, the broadband universe totaled 187 million households, up from only 30 million in 2001. By 2010, there will be an additional 246 million broadband households, bringing the total to 433 million globally. Eventually broadband Internet access will reach the TV/ telephone/indoor plumbing penetration range, all around 99% in the US - although forced to choose, a fair number of people would rather watch TV and talk on the phone than poop and bathe in the house.

Mobile entertainment, driven by wireless subscriber growth, that is to say the rollout of next generation handsets and high-speed wireless networks, will grow wildly as well.

There were a total of 1.8 billion wireless telephone subscriptions globally in 2005. That figure will rise to 2.8 billion by 2010, adding one billion potential customers for mobile content over the next five years.

The U.S. will remain the largest but slowest-growing entertainment and media region, growing at a 5.6 percent compound annual rate, reaching US$726 billion in 2010.

But is the Asia Pacific region that remains the fastest-growing, led by explosive growth in China and India.

Spending in Asia Pacific will average 9.2 percent compounded annual growth, reaching $425 billion in 2010.

China will pass Japan in 2009 to become the largest market in Asia Pacific.

Digital technologies, the long list including online rental subscriptions and digital streaming of filmed entertainment; digital downloads and mobile music in recorded music; online and wireless video games; electronic books, and online casino gaming are changing the way consumers acquire entertainment and media content.

Global spending via online and wireless channels reached $19 billion in 2005 and will increase to $67 billion by 2010.

Wayne Jackson, global leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers' Entertainment & Media Practice says that virtually every segment of the entertainment and media industry is shifting from physical distribution to digital distribution of content.

He notes that this shift continues, we see more revenue opportunities for entertainment and media companies. So while physical distribution of content is declining, that decline will be offset somewhat by digital distribution, which is driving and creating new growth opportunities.

Facts are drawn from PricewaterhouseCoopers latest report.

SKYHD Korea in VOOM Bulk Buy

Seoul, Korea -- Skylife’s SkyHD have agreed to launch high definition television programming drawn from a variety of New York-based, Rainbow HD Holdings' VOOM HD network brands on Korea’s first and only high-definition (HD) programming service.

The daily, primetime two-hour block will feature five VOOM HD network brands - Ultra HD, Rush HD, Equator HD, GamePlay HD, and Monsters HD - throughout the week.

The digital broadcast announcement was made by Greg Moyer, VOOM HD’s General Manager, and Keum Pyo Hong, President of SkyHD.

Rainbow HD will provide SkyHD with 368 hours of programming over the next two years culled from its extensive VOOM HD Networks suite of HD channels and produced exclusively in true high-definition and 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound.

The primetime blocks will begin airing on SkyHD in Q3 2006 and have the potential to be seen in both HD and standard-definition by nearly two million households throughout Korea.

Korea:T-DMB Hugely Popular

Seoul Korea - Korean media reporting government figures report that one million mobile terrestrial digital-TV receivers were purchased in South Korea in the first six months or so after the service was launched, according to government figures.

Of the million receivers sold, about 32 percent are accounted for by mobile phones. The others are devices such as laptops and digital media players.

The service, called terrestrial digital mobile broadcasting or T-DMB, was launched in December and broadcasts seven TV stations and companion radio and data services. It is currently available in Seoul and coverage should expand nationwide by the end of 2006.

The broadcasts are free-to-air, a key reason why it is attracting consumers, said companies selling receivers.

Jay Lee, a senior manager at the digital media business unit at Samsung was quoted as saying that people don't want to pay extra money for their TV. Reception for digital TV is already offered in several of Samsung mobile phones and the company expects to include this feature in more models soon.

By the end of this year, there are expected to be 3.4 million mobile broadcast TV subscribers, jumping to 102 million in 2010, according to a report issued by InStat. In South Korea, domestic estimates put T-DMB terminal sales at eight million by the end of 2007.

Singapore 'in-tune" with Changing Media Landscape

One of the most interesting developments at Broadcast Asia 2006 took place on June 23 with the New Media Conference.

A brainchild of MediaCorp subsidiary, the Singapore Media Academy (SMA), the idea of the event was to address new ways of how consumers 'consume' the new media through converged technologies, such as IPTV, Interactive TV, Video-on-Demand and podcasting.

[Expressed another way: how consumer patterns and the media landscape are changing as a result of new media and how broadcasters can capitalise from it. - Ed]

Conference speakers included Lucas Chow, Group CEO of MediaCorp; Dr Tan Geok Leng, Senior Director(Technology & Planning Group)/ CTO of Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority; Seto Lok Yin, Director of Industry Development, Media Development Authority; and experts from Gartner, Institute of System Science and MediaCorp Technologies.

The New Media Conference was an ideal springboard to launch the academy to be officially opened in July. As the name suggests it will provide specialized media training,with the add on of educational and consultancy services in Singapore and the region.

Visiware with Amazing TV Games First

At Broadcast Asia 2006 Singapore, Visiware the world leading interactive TV company, launched the first triple-play gaming offer, simultaneously available on three platforms: digital TV, MOBILE TV and BROADBAND.

Based in France, Visiware is the world-leading provider of interactive TV games, with its PLAYIN'TV games channels (Playin’TV, Playin’Star, Mini Kids and Sensual TV), reaching more than 120 million people via 33 television networks in 77 countries. They are primarily available on a monthly subscription basis, as well as on a pay-per-play or pay-per-day basis.

PLAYIN'TV has an extensive original game catalog featuring more than 150 titles in various genres: Classics, Card and Board Games (Solitaire, Backgammon, Chess), Casino (Texas Hold’Em, Blackjack, Slot Machine), Action and Adventure (Carrot Mania series), Sports (Tennis, Golf, Football), Strategic Games, Puzzles (Crosswords, Sudoku) and Educational Games.

In addition, Visiware is partnering with major entertainment companies such as Universal Studio Consumer Product Group (King Kong ...), Freemantle Media (Family Feud, Going for Gold, Price is Right), Mattel (Scrabble), in order to bring the excitement of these licenses to interactive Television.

Visiware provides real iTV solutions from concept to broadcast.

Visiware clients include already: AFP, Austar, Bell ExpressVu, Cablecom, Canal+, Canal Digital, Canal Satellite, Digital+, DirecTV Latin America, Dish network, Eurosport international, Eurosport news, France Telecom Cable, France Television, Multichoice South Africa, Nagravision/Nagrastar, Noos, Nova, OpenTV, SKY Italia, SKY New Zealand,TPS, Viaccess, Viasat, Zonavi.

Digital Broadcaster Quote of the Day

Digital Broadcast Vendor News Asia, Executive Quote:

Intro: Like the BBC, and a number of other digital broadcasters, MediaCorp Singapore's equivalent to state TV is running HDTV trials around the period of the World Cup 2006 in Germany. The six month long trial is in line with the Media Development Authority (Media 21)'s strategy to encourage the growth and deployment of digital media in Singapore. This is what MediaCorp says of the trial:

“As part of the Media Development Authority’s initiatives to speed up the deployment and adoption of HD technology, MediaCorp is pleased to be the first in Southeast Asia to launch a terrestrial trial to offer better quality and wider choice of services to our viewers, while allowing us to explore viable business opportunities harnessing digital technology. As the media industry makes the transition to digital technology, MediaCorp will need to invest heavily in new equipment, facilities and skills to produce local shows in HD. The results of the trial will help determine the viability and direction of HDTV over the free-to-air platform”.

Chang Long Jong (Mr), Deputy Group CEO (Television) MediaCorp, Singapore

I believe the key point: "To explore viable business opportunities" in Mr Chang's comment is saying that terrestrial broadcasters have to move with the times more efficiently. This is a fast changing era of technology advancement and consumer needs in relation to how citizens are to be entertained and informed.

The monoliths of the earlier era of state broadcasting serving up a standard diet have been bypassed by today's generation of hands on and highly selective "geeks" who only want what they want, by media of their choosing, not what the broadcaster perceives their needs to be. [Ed]

Radio Broadcasters Urged to Diversify into New Media

Heard at the recent Broadcast Asia 2006, Singapore....

Radio broadcasters should adopt ideas seen in other media such as search engines, digital recording via TiVo, iPods and mobile broadcasting in order to stay current and relevant to the consumer.

That was a key remark in a presentation by media consultant Jonathan Marks of Critical Distance.

He said digital broadcasters should be quick to realise that they have good on-demand content as well as to set up the required infrastructure to cash in on the current publicity generated by the technology companies.

“Let the newly rich technology companies pay for the expensive ads to launch the technology. It’s all useless without the relevant content. That means a great future for speech, as well as music,” he said.

Mr Marks said radio broadcasters had to recognise what people wanted and needed, as well as the type of products and services that they would pay for.

“People will pay for services that communicate status, and they will also pay to save time. They will not pay for anything that locks them into something they think they do not need,” he said.

Mr Marks was speaking at the annual RadioAsia conference at the Singapore Expo, which was jointly organised by the ABU, the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) and Singapore Exhibition Services.

Sponsors for the event include Singapore’s Media Development Authority, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, UNESCO, DW-Germany, Nokia, Malaysia’s AMP Radio Networks, CRA-Australia, Nielsen Media Research and The Broadcast Partner.

Mr Marks also said that organisations such as the ABU and the European Broadcasting Union had a big role to play in coordinating metadata from its members, and ensuring that search engines such as Google, Blinkx and Technorati are able to access it.

“Hours have been spent (by the ABU and EBU) coordinating frequencies at international conferences. The result has been better audibility for members on overcrowded parts of the radio spectrum.

“There is also a role to coordinate metadata. It is important that all this stuff is found on search engines. Some of these programmes may start using the web as a form of on-demand distribution,” he said.

Essel DTH Chooses Scopus

Mumbai, India - Essel Group and its Indian content provider DISH TV have selected Israel's Scopus Video Network products to support the expansion of its channel viewer offerings over its Direct-To-Home (DTH) platform.

DISH TV with its flagship Zee TV channel will use Scopus products to enhance its digital broadcast transponders' utilization and expand its already fast growing DTH market share throughout the Indian subcontinent. This comes at a time India is beginning its transition to digital TV in which the number of digital subscribers is expected to grow tenfold within the next five years.

The deal brings to DISH TV's headend Scopus' full line of products including encoders/decoders, intelligent video gateway platforms and network management System software.

Scopus' versatile IVG platform provides advanced video processing capabilities including joint transrating, grooming and bit rate shaping.

The Essel Group executive responsible for the Scopus contract is Amitabh Kumar, Director of Technology.

StarHub using Sysmedia for e-WorldCup

Singapore - A key company behind the launch of enhanced World Cup TV content on StarHub is UK-based, SysMedia. Their Plasma Gold interactive TV content aggregation and delivery system, is the backbone for users of StarHub Digital Cable’s digital set-top box who have subscribed to the company’s 2006 FIFA World Cup Pay-Per-View package.

Users of this service can access multi-camera views of the World Cup matches and a bundle of exciting World Cup content including team line-ups, half-time and full-time scores, statistics on ball possession, shots on- and off- target, corners, free kicks, fouls, group information, as well as fixture listings and telecast details.

The system is fast, clear and very easy for the viewer to use, as well as being almost totally automatic in operation, taking its input from standard XML data feeds.

Patrick Lim, StarHub’s VP, Cable TV Services, said subscriber reaction had been positive for the World Cup eTV as up-to-date information was obtained through a simple click of the remote control button.

Japan's e-STATION in Adult Content Deal

Tokyo -- Private Media Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: PRVT - News), a worldwide leader in premium-quality adult entertainment products, services, and new media content, and Tokyo-based e-STATION Co., Ltd. signed an agreement to broadcast Private movies on e-STATION'S satellite TV channels in Japan, reaching 3.5 million subscribers.

Private Media Group is expected to receive revenue in excess of US $500,000 within the first twelve months under this license agreement.

Of the agreement, Takahiro Okano, Executive Chief Producer for E- STATION, commented that in light of the relatively strict censorship and cultural requirements in Japan, Private is doing an excellent job of catering to our market by adapting their content and filming Asian- specific movies like Private's recently produced "World Cups 2006".

He added that the station can't wait to air this new movie.

Bo Rosenkvist, CEO of Private Asia Ltd says that his company is now starting to provide content for previously unexploited markets in Asia, like Japan, by adapting content across all business lines, including: broadcasting, broadband and wireless.

Israel's MATV Cable TV now "Hot"

Tel Aviv. There will be just the one Cable TV operator in Israel from now on.

Matav-Cable Systems Media Ltd. (NASDAQ: MATV & TASE: MATV) says that shareholders approved the Company's proposed acquisition (sometimes referred to as the merger among the Israeli cable operators) of the two other Israeli cable operators.

Matav prior to the takeover held a 25 per share of the cable TV market in Israel.

MATAV will change its name also to HOT - Cable Systems Media Ltd.

TVBI Renews with PanAmSat

At CommunicAsia 2006, Singapore PanAmSat VP, Asia Pacific, David Ball said that TVBI Company Limited of Hong Kong had signed an agreement for capacity on the PAS-8 Pacific Ocean Region satellite for distribution of its programming throughout the Asia-Pacific region, the United States and Europe.

Operated by Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), the world’s continuing largest producer of, and contributor to Chinese-language programs, TVBI will use PAS-8 for al its output, including the TVBS Service for Taiwan.

For that service, TVBS Taiwan will deliver four channels to Taiwan cable head ends: TVBS, TVBS-N, TVBS-G and TVBS Asia. These 24-hour-a- day channels include drama, general entertainment, variety shows and news coverage.

The latest agreement continues the harmonious relationship between PanAmSat and TVB, spanning 11 years already.

The TV programming channels uplink from Hong Kong.

Simultaneously, the signal also serves as a contribution feed which will be picked up by the PanAmSat NAPA teleport in California and delivered to TVB USA Norwalk operations for onward delivery to the Chinese Diaspora across the United States.

The NAPA teleport will be responsible also for partial delivery of signals to the TVB operations in London,England.

mlive Launches on Badr3

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Arabsat, the leading satellite operator in the Middle East and North Africa region, has added the digital broadcaster, Mlive and its Bouquet of channels to its list of users on the BADR-3 satellite at 26East.

Uplinked from Arabsat's strategic partner Jordan Media City, the digital distribution platform in Ku-band will allow Mlive to directly access the extensive Middle Eastern and North African audiences via Arabsat’s constellation of BADR satellites @ 26°East.

Furthermore, thanks to its dual-broadcasting on Arabsat's "SEE- DIGITAL" C-band platform on its BADR-C satellite, Mlive will also dramatically extend its reach towards the numerous sub-Saharan viewers tuned to 26°E already watching a C-band bouquet of 37 digital plus 18 analog channels.

Khalid Balkhyour, Arabsat President & CEO says of Mlive, that it is an innovative and attractive new style of channels now able to reach an audience of 130 Million individuals in the MENA region alone, and much more beyond.

Frederic Giaccardo, CEO of Mlive says his Bouquet is a multilingual host of Music, Fashion and Dance, along with Interactive services and applications such as voting, chat, song dedications and quizzes.

Mlive is served up on transponder frequencies 11,747MHz KU band/3760 C Band MHz, Vertical/ Horizontal polarization, at FEC 3/4 and 27,500 MS/s.

Tangerine HDTV in Peninsula Hotel Deal

Hong Kong - Tangerine Global based in Marina del Rey, California and a leader in high-definition television (HDTV) programming for the five-star hospitality marketplace, has been selected by Hong Kong's 5Star hotel group, The Peninsula to provide Tangerine Global's premier HDTV entertainment services in-house.

The contract makes Tangerine Global’s service available as early as this summer to Peninsula’s deluxe properties worldwide, including its flagship hotel, The Peninsula Hong Kong, and The Peninsula Chicago.

Executive in charge of the HDTV project is Fraser Hickox, General Manager, Research & Development for The Peninsula Hotels’ parent company, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels.

The Peninsula Hotels portfolio includes comprises The Peninsula Hong Kong, The Peninsula New York, The Peninsula Chicago, The Peninsula Beverly Hills, The Peninsula Bangkok, The Peninsula Palace Beijing, The Peninsula Manila and The Peninsula Tokyo (opening in 2007). The Peninsula Shanghai is currently under design development.

The hospitality industry is a significant growth area for radio and television digital broadcast applications, and as we can note from this story in high definition (HDTV)along with SD (Standard Definition).

New Zealand: Jan 2007 for Digital Broadcasting

During the hectic BroadcastAsia 2006 exhibition last week in Singapore, a major regional broadcasting decision was unveiled.

The government of New Zealand announced the country is to go free-to- air digital TV from January 2007.

The move will affect terrestrial broadcasters, Television New Zealand (TVNZ), CanWest, Maori TV, the TAB and Radio New Zealand.

The broadcasters, who have forged an alliance called FreeView, have leased satellite space to make the conversion.

TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis, said the announcement is the culmination of a lot of hard work over several years. Ellis said the level of co- operation among free-to-air broadcasters has been unprecedented.

Broadcast Communications Limited (BCL) will deliver transmission capability, and the concept has been finalised with a great deal of constructive dialogue with the New Zealand Ministries of Economic Development, and Culture and Heritage.

TVNZ has already been prepariung for the analog to digital conversion, working on new programming and channel options.

The government said the move from analog to digital TV will offer viewers a clearer and cleaner picture, fewer reception problems - including clearer radio signals - and access to more channels once they are introduced.

The move will require New Zealand consumers to purchase a set-top box similar to that used for the current pay-TV operation of Sky Television.

In some areas a satellite dish may be required.

It is estimated the set-top boxes will cost up to NZ$200 (US$125) initially, with satellite dishes costing around NZ$400 (US$249).

There will not be further subscription costs on top of the purchase of a set top box.

The government has budgetted for NZ$25 million (US$15.56 million) to help establish FreeView. The bulk of costs are however to be met by broadcasters.

Frequencies have already been reserved by the government at no cost for access to the digital broadcast signals. The government puts a value of NZ$10 million (US$6.2 million) on the cost free signals to the broadcasters.

The time frame for analog transmission switch off could be as far out as the year 2022.

ABU Kuala Lumpur Diary Date

[Digital Broadcast Vendor News Asia]

Diary Date

ABU Digital Radio Conference 14-17 August 2006 Prince Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

The ABU has organised a Digital Radio International Conference to be held in Kuala Lumpur from August 14-17.

This radio broadcasters conference is focussed on the digital broadcast era from the key technical, programming, management and business development perspectives.

The key objective is to concentrate on the implementation and applications issues, those myriad of decisions on business; content production facilities, consumer take-up, receiver developments, and issues related to analog to digital switch-over.

The conference program will address core technical issues such as system standard choices, transmission planning and radio receiver developments.

Issues of interest to digital broadcasters in the non-technical areas include digital radio applications and services, content development, transition and analog switch-off, and the convergence era and new revenue streams.

Some 40 eminent speakers will update participants on these topics with their experiences in digital radio.

More information can be obtained from

Make a date in Kuala Lumpur, August 14-17.

ANTV On Harris Transmitter Wavelength

Jakarta - In Indonesia, ANTV terrestrial television network is in the process taking delivery and installation of an analog Harris TV transmission system.

The project is being handled by broadcast systems integrator, PT Marlin Trisiana.

Television equipment deliveries began this month.

The contract is valued at US$6.9 million.

Harris will provide analog transmitters and spare parts, along with turnkey services for commissioning the transmission sites.

PT Marlin Trisiana is taking delivery of the Harris transmission equipment, supply tower and antenna systems, and provide the civil engineering works on site.

The completed transmission system will enable ANTV to deliver high- quality, over-to-the-air signals across Indonesia in a tropical environment.

The key transmitters are located on Java. Both are 120 kW Sigma analog transmitters, one in Jakarta and the other in Surabuya.

A further eight sets of 20 kW and nine sets of 5 kW Atlas analog transmitters are being delivered to other sites around the huge country.

Commissioning is planned for October.

Dale Mowry, VP and GM of the Harris Television Broadcast Systems business unit handled the equipment sale.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Digital Car TV Trials Singapore


I came across this gem via TracVision, the Rhode Island company specialising in communications on the move.

SingTel in Singapore, has unveiled a collaborative effort with Mercedes-Benz, Siemens and NEC that allows passengers to receive broadband internet feed on the move.

A demonstration system in an S-class sedan is undergoing tests in Singapore after being shown around Europe last year.

The car gives rear-seat occupants access to the World Wide Web as well as video-conferencing on the move. But even early adopters in Singapore will have to wait a little longer for a satellite serving of digitally broadcast TV series such as Friends, 24 or The Simpsons live on their laptops or DVD screens.

In the United States, 4-wheel drive and multi-purpose vehicle buyers have been tuning into DVD in their in-car systems in huge numbers in the past year and, while only about a dozen models come equipped with the technology as standard, almost 50 per cent of buyers of full-size 4WDs surveyed in the US stated their next vehicle would be DVD- quipped, either factory-fitted or an after sale installation.

The purveyors of the TracVision A4 antenna hope that by making in-car satellite TV possible, eclipsing satellite radio - early versions of which are just appearing in new cars as factory-fitted items.

"Satellite radio, for all its variety, is still just audio entertainment," says Jim Dodez, vice- president of marketing for the TracVision antenna manufacturer, KVH.

"While 600,000 people have subscribed to the various satellite radio services, industry data estimates that one million in-car video systems were sold in 2002 alone (in the US)," Dodez says.

"Passengers in these vehicles are going to want something to watch. Satellite TV, with more than 300 channels of video, 35 to 50 channels of commercial-free music and nationwide coverage, is the perfect solution. "KVH's ultra-low profile TracVision A5 satellite TV antenna makes it possible," he says.

KVH's automatic antenna is a very compact unit, just 125mm high. It mounts on the roof rack of a vehicle and can support multiple video screens and receivers within the vehicle.

And there is more to come

Aftermarket suppliers, including KVH and Delphi, are said to be looking now at on-board digital broadcast television, according to American research firm JD Power and associates. 2m Page views! – the official Television New Zealand web site has reported soaring traffic levels, driven by Television ONE News, on demand video clips, competitions and downloads of the prime time hit series, Dancing with the Stars.

The 2006 Qantas Best Website winner clocked up 8.84 million page impressions in May – 20% higher than April and 28% higher than May last year. Web site milestones:

*ONE News - totalled 2.09 million page impressions from 336,000 unique visitors. Up 53%.

*On-demand video streaming of News page impressions. Up 35%. This shows consumers choosing their own time to view the news.

*TV2's site topped the 1 million page impressions mark for the first time. The 2Kids section also reached a new high with year on year growth in visitors of 146%.

To continue the growth, TVNZ plans extra video streaming across a new range of shows, and highlights such as the current TVNZ Virtual Football competition (where players' points go towards secondary schools competing to win sporting equipment), and the hugely popular NZ Idol site.

[TVNZ is a good example of how a national digital terrestrial broadcaster is tackling growing TV audience fragmentation. TVNZ is grabbing the opportunity to interact with viewers to retain the long term relationship built up through the days of traditional viewing habits. Ed]

Podcasts attract young at

Digital broadcaster,, early into blogging - although they are not put on par with actual news reports, even though it is the same reporters doing the blogs - is just testing the waters with podcasting with some unexpected results. (See end of story)

The suite of Video Podcasts on iTunes and comprises raw footage, high-impact video, edgy humour and experimental content

The podcasts are free and downloadable at podcasting and at Mac's iTunes site.

The suite of six video podcasts, with more in development, encompass all parts of CNN’s news organisation including behind the scenes reports from correspondents in the field.

TV Programming developed especially for hand held video players and computers includes a daily wrap for the busy commuter and a look at the lighter side of life with the “The Grist,” a fast-paced, satirical take on the news of the week.

The chronology rollout of digital products reads like this:

*June 2005 Free video to all of its users.

*December 2005 CNN Pipeline, on-demand broadband video service.


*June 2006 Podcasts.

Question: CNN sees podcasting attracting the very young. Why?

Answer: "They were raised during the age of the Internet, not that of the 6 o’clock news,” so says David Payne, SVP/GM

[Can you believe it?- Ed]

India, AsiaNet Newsroom Upgrades with Leitch/Harris

Mumbai - Asianet, one of the oldest private broadcasters in India, has selected the Harris NEXIO NewsNet newsroom server system for a major upgrade of its news production facility with various Harris add ons.

The installation will be completed by systems integrator Shaf Broadcast Private Unlimited in India.

Suresh Narayanan, head of technology and projects at Asianet chose Harris, as he wanted a scalable system for this important facility upgrade.

That number cruncher, turned company developer, Tim Thorsteinson is at the helm at Harris Broadcast, Communications Division (previously Leitch).

No value was mentioned for the deal.

Oz Mobile TV Results

Sydney, NSW Australia

Broadcast Australia is reporting the results of the recent Sydney Mobile TV "movemedia" trial of 16 television services on mobile handsets (DVB-H). The handset used was the Nokia 7710 (priced in the local marketplace at A$700 and up).

The survey, importantly showed two facts. 1. A high level of consumer interest in a future commercial Mobile TV service in Australia. 2. A significant majority of trial participants expressed an interest to subscribe to such a commercial service, if one were to be offered.

Other highlighted findings:

*The mobility of Mobile TV, to watch TV anytime, anywhere appealed to 80 per cent of trial participants, notably when hanging around, travelling, at home or commuting.

*With people rushing around on business days, total TV viewing increased during those periods. Highest viewing was in the morning and lunchtime.

*Peak viewing of the traditional TV channels on a Mobile handset peaked in the mornings, lunchtime and evenings, with an afternoon peak on Sundays.

*The more intensive users were non-Pay TV subscribers and commuters.

*Sports channels were the most popular among viewers during their lunch breaks and Sport was also popular on Saturday evenings.

*Overall the most popular content was general entertainment, news and documentaries.

*The content provided met trial participant expectations

*Trial participants thought the Mobile TV trial a success but would like to be able to download and record programs to watch later.

*Participants chose to access TV on their Telstra mobile handset for an average of 25 minutes per viewing session, with 1 to 2 sessions per day.

*Overall, Australian usage behaviour showed very similar results to those obtained from overseas market research.

The digital broadcasting on the move trial was conducted by partners, Broadcast Australia Group and Telstra using 375 trial participants from across a range of demographics.

The Mobile TV trial offered: Channel V, (Fox) E!, (Fox) Fox Football, (Fox) Fox Sports News, (Fox) Nickelodeon, (Fox) Sky News, (Fox) Sky News Business, (Fox) The History Channel,(Fox) The Lifestyle Channel (Fox) The Weather Channel, (Fox) ABC2, SBS, Channel Nine, CNN, Sky Racing Boomerang

Backgrounder *The Mobile TV Trial commenced July 2005.

*The service is being transmitted on channel 29 From the Broadcast Australia transmitter at Gore Hill, NSW for reception by DVB-H (digital video broadcasting - handheld) technology. Trial participants used the Nokia 7710 3G mobile phone. The specially adapted handset receives 16 broadcast video streams while the telephone utilises the Telstra GSM and GPRS mobile networks.

I believe the reference to movemedia is in fact the streaming technology used for the Mobile TV delivery. What a pity this announcement from Broadcast Australia was so lacking in depth and explanation. Issuing press announcements for major corporations is a business not to be taken simplistically. Could this be a packaged announcement that in reality is mutton dressed up as lamb?

[As a post script, I am really not clear from this survey what message Broadcast Australia is trying to put across. The 7710 handsets are already in the Sydney marketplace. Clearly it is not the most popular of the Nokia range because of its high price and the fact it is a multimedia handset with more of a multimedia look and feel than a phone. Is it that Broadcast Australia and Telstra are just confirming what they already know? That Mobile TV will, if offered, be a good product and will be attractive to today's "geek" market. The problem as I see it will be the cost of content. Similar services using 3G, I note in other Asia cities such as TV station news programming is not yet cost-effective in many consumer's minds. This movemedia survey asked questions in principle. Were participants asked about the cost factor? At the end of the day, will it be so urgent to watch a program on the move or wait until reaching the office or home? The timing of the introduction of Mobile TV is therefore critical. Should the Australian economy begin to falter under higher interest rates and consumers respond with tighter belts, Mobile TV may then move from a must have, to an optional spend. - Ed]

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Singapore Broadcasters: Analog-to-Digital Switchover Date?

[Digital Broadcast Vendor News Asia Quote]

Quote on Singapore's Switch over from Analog to Digital from Malaysia's The Star newspaper: --------- The exact date for the switch-over had not been fixed but broadcasters and TV manufacturers had proposed dates that fall within the 2010 to 2015 time frame. Some say we should be more aggressive (in pushing forward the date) while some say we should not be so aggressive. We do not want to be too early or to force people. Yeo Chun Cheng Chief Information Officer Media Development Authority Singapore ---------

Mr Yeo made the remarks at BroadcastAsia 2006 trade show at Singapore Expo on June 22. Thursday.

Note:Digital TV broadcasts were introduced in Singapore by StarHub in 2004. The company has since launched 33 new television channels.

PCCW Interested in TVB?

Hong Kong.

The street is a buzz with speculation that Richard Li who runs PCCW, Hong Kong's biggest telco is interested in obtaining a foothold in Television Broadcasts Ltd. But, cash strapped at PCCW.

Is it any surprise then that the deep pocketed Macquarie Media Group from Australia is in contact with PCCW to buy its telco assets comprising the biggest fixed line network in Hong Kong, Sunday Mobile Phone and "now Broadband" service.

PCCW and Sunday shares were suspended for a time on the Hong Kong Stock Exchanges.

Last year, Macquarie bought Taiwan Broadband Communications for US $1.2 billion, giving it a 12 per cent of the Taiwan cable TV market, the third-biggest in Asia.

PS. It is also doing the rounds in Hong Kong, that the powers that be in Beijing have not been entirely happy with the way PCCW has been going.

TV Cabo Macau Under Pressure

Macau Special Administrative Region.

It is reported that Portugal Telecom chairman Henrique Granadeiro is dissatisfied with results of its cable TV subsidiary, TV Cabo Macau, which he considers is “of inadequate size or badly managed,” and is among the worst performing of the company assets in businesses in China.

Portugal Telecom has an 87 per cent stake in TV Cabo Macau.

PT is taking steps to improve the situation following analysis.

TV Cabo Macau posted turnover of US$2.4 million (2004), a quarter more than in the previous year.

Its customer base increased 16 percent to 37,000, but PT believes that results are falling below market potential.

PT also has a major stake in CTM, the mobile, fixed-line operator in the Macau SAR.

HyeFilms Armenia Restore with da Vinci Support

The National Film Archives of Armenia are being preserved by the recently privatised film studio, HyeFilm in the capital Yerevan, using the latest da Vinci Resolve digital mastering suite, and Revival color image restoration systems for digitizing and restoring the vast store of feature films.

This is a story of preservation of a national heritage. The original Armenian film negatives were stored for decades in the Soviet state film library in Moscow. Armenia is the first CIS country to have gained access to its Soviet-era film library, and the film treasures.

It is now the task of HyeFilm to repair, enhance, and preserve Armenian film archives dating back to 1924.

The recently acquired, da Vinci product systems at HyeFilm are connected to a common storage area network (SAN) and thereby easily access the same materials without need for time-consuming copying between systems.

The preservation process will be complete with the end product available in Standard Definition Broadcast(SD) or HD video for television broadcast, as well as scanner files for film output for cinema release or archive storage.

da Vinci made the Armenian sale through its local dealer, ACN Company .

As a footnote, Yerevan is a leading industrial, cultural, and scientific centre in the Caucasus region.

MCOT is AsiaVision's Top Network

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

As part of the just concluded, annual meeting of AsiaVision at the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union News Summit was the awarding of the annual AsiaVision Award.

For the second year running, MCOT Public Company Limited was the winner.

MCOT is Thailand's biggest broadcast media organisation that includes the Channel 9 network and more than 60 radio stations. Now a public listed company, MCOT is regarded as the defacto voice of the government of the day.

NHK of Japan was awarded the top prize in the breaking news category and Doordarshan TV (India) and IRIB (Iran) were named joint winners for news quality.

Asiavision is the daily satellite TV news exchange program among media organizations and agencies in the region that includes: Bangladesh, Brunei, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Also at the News Summit, ABU members agreed to pursue a broadband delivery system for the exchange of news and program content among member radio and television organisations.

ABU Planning Broadband Content Exchange Network

Broadband is the current focus of attention at the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU).

At a regular ABU News Group meeting just concluded in Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei members are to consider introducing an internal broadband content exchange network.

The News Group adopted a proposal for them to actively pursue the matter.

Another significant meeting decision is for each of the ABU Asiavision News Exchange members to make a determined effort to archive historical TV news footage in new digital technology formats.

ABU members recognise that with fast pace of transition from analog to digital broadcast there is serious concern that physically stored materials will be lost forever, unless digital storage and archival materials and brought into use quickly t production facilities and radio and television news centres.

At the same meeting, Johari Achee, the News Group Chairman of the Asia-Pacific ABU News Group, has stepped down following his retirement from Radio Television Brunei (RTB).

The newly elected chairman is Shaun Seow, Deputy Group CEO (News, Radio and Print), at MediaCorp, Singapore

An important footnote is that the ABU radio and TV news directors are taking a serious approach to effective co-ordination in their approach to, and handling of, the issue of Avian Flu across the region.

[Only last week Indonesia reported more cases of the spread of suspected human to human contagion of the disease. The World Health Organisation already takes the position that it is a case of 'when' not 'if' there will be a major outbreak in the Asia region. The ABU radio and TV news directors clearly want to be ready with a collectively agreed approach to handling the matter, as a news issue, striking the correct balance between informing their audiences without causing alarm and panic. As many ABU members are closely linked with national Ministries of Information, the clear channels of communication required between the disseminators of the news, the radio and TV stations and their governments is already in place. The regional governments are much better placed for any natural catastrophe now, following the lessons learned from Tsunami in 2004. Ed]

Some material sourced from: The Borneo Bulletin, http://www.brunei-

Hong Kong - Senior Broadcast Industry Appointments

Two appointments of recent times make for interesting reading for the digital broadcast equipment sector in Hong Kong.

Joining Pro-Bel as its President Asia-Pacific is Alex Chelleri.

Chelleri joins Pro-Bel with over twenty years of experience in the broadcast, film and video industry, and has lived and worked for the last twelve years in the Asian region.

Reading, UK based, Pro-Bel is known for its digital broadcast routing switchers, signal processing, master control, automation and control and monitoring technologies.

Chelleri joins Pro-Bel from Quantel where he was Head of Sales for the Asia Pacific region. Prior to Quantel, Chelleri was Regional Sales Manager, Asia Pacific with Leitch, Managing Director for the Asian office for Scitex Digital Vision (which was acquired by Accom) and Regional Sales Manager Asia Pacific-Post Production with Dynatech Corporation.

Also in Hong Kong, at Dayang International, Mark Parlett has been recruited as General Manager, reporting to CEO Karlton Burn.

Parlett, a Quantel man for many years in Asia Pacific later joined Snell & Wilcox Asia Pacific in 1999 as Managing Director. Dayang, the China headquartered provider of broadcast graphics, editing, asset- management and server systems has its international centre of operations in Hong Kong.

Dayang is at the forefront of growth companies. Since the year 2000, Dayang has partnered with global companies such as IBM, Matrox, Panasonic and Thomson, co-operating on OEM business and system integration for the worldwide television production and broadcast industry.

Vinasat-1, Arianespace to launch in 1Q2008

Arianespace has formally announced it will launch the first satellite for Vietnam in the first half of 2008.

Digital broadcasts for radio and TV will be part of the telecommunications uses transponders will be used for.

Arianspace was awarded the contract by Viet Nam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT).

Vinasat-1 is to be manufactured by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems.

Vinasat-1 will have an Asia-Pacific regionwide footprint.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Brazil Adopts ISDB-T From Japan

Quoting from the Kyodo News Agency, the Brazilian government has decided to adopt Japanese digital television standards, the ISDB-T format.

Brazil is the first country outside Japan to adopt the system.

Under the Japanese format, digital terrestrial broadcasting for portable terminals, such as for mobile phones and car navigation equipment, is available without setting an adapter to a television set.

Kyodo said that back in April, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Minister Luiz Fernando Furlan and Communications Minister Helio Costa visited Japan and told Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and other Japanese government officials that they had a strong interest in choosing the Japanese format. No launch date or time frame for implementation has been announced so far.

Ho Chi Minh TV Installs Duet LEX Graphics System

In Vietnam, Digital Broadcaster, Ho Chi Minh City Television (HCMTV) recently installed a Chyron Duet LEX graphics system running on Chyron Lyric software.

State broadcaster, HCMTV, which transmits seven channels in analog and digital 24/7, is using the SD Duet LEX graphics system with the clip player option to provide high-speed graphics for its main TV production studio, which produces game shows, variety shows and TV soap operas.

Nguyen Van An, Studio Manager at HCMTV said the decision to buy the Duet LEX system was due to its high quality graphics output and the fact the system supports the Vietnamese language.

The installation at digital broadcaster, HCMTV was carried out by Chyron’s South East Asian partner/vendor, Magna Systems based in Australia.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Digital Broadcast Vendor [ALERT] for Australia

[Digital Broadcast Vendor News Alert Asia]ALERT

For any Cable TV vendor selling in the Australian marketplace should be aware that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has endorsed a new set of rules governing installations for cable TV/broadband customers.

These rules were originally announced on April 12 by the The Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF) announced in the form of a standard, AS/ACIF S009:2006 and apply to all wiring connected to telecommunications providers.

Some of the major changes to the standard include:

* Redefinition of voltage classifications * Fire detection and fire alarm system cabling variations accommodated * Building control system cabling variations accommodated.

These new rules come into effect on July 1.

You can read the full requirements at the Australian Communications and Media Authority web site:

Add KazSat 1 to list of Asia Broadcast Satellites

Kazakhstan has launched its first satellite into space. The KazSat 1, a geostationary satellite is primarily for digital broadcasting for Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and part of Central Russia.

Women Broadcasters Quote from Aung San Suu Kyi

In support, and to draw attention to the womens support group based in California, Outervoices. Org, see story on Vietnam radio documentary earlier posting here, Digital Broadcast Vendor News Asia would like to quote the following from the eminent lady who knows suffering in Myanmar:


"For millennia women have dedicated themselves almost exclusively to the task of nurturing, protecting and caring for the young and the old, striving for the conditions of peace that favour life as a whole. To this can be added the fact that, to the best of my knowledge, no war was ever started by women. But it is women and children who have always suffered most in situations of conflict. Now that we are gaining control of the primary historical role imposed on us of sustaining life in the context of the home and family, it is time to apply in the arena of the world the wisdom and experience thus gained in activities of peace over so many thousands of years. The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all."

—Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (from keynote address to NGO Forum on Women, Beijing, 1995) Courtesy of

If you can help with their radio program in Vietnam please leave a comment at the end of this message.

Vietnam Broadcast Documentary, Help Needed

Digital Broadcast Vendor News Asia has learned of a plight of an outreach support group for women, Outer Voices.

They are in the planning stages for a radio documentary in Vietnam, but have been cautioned that the permit process for media might make it close to impossible to conduct its work, or if they were able to obtain a permit, that their work would be so limited in scope that it might not be worth the effort.

This group is doing tremendous work through radio documentaries and other media exposure to drawn attention to a wider audience in the West, of problems afflicting women in societies around the Asia Pacific region.

If there are any broadcast production companies or digital broadcast vendors or you, with contacts in Vietnam who could help this organisation, I would appreciate you contacting them directly or initially placing a comment at the end of this message.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Digital Broadcaster RTM Uses BBC Guidelines in Commissioning Content

Digital Broadcast Vendor News has learned that in Malaysia, Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin is introducing new commissioning content guidelines to enhance the quality of programs on state broadcaster, Radio Television Malaysia networks, RTM1 and RTM2.

The Minister said that giving air time based on merit through the commissioning method as practised by BBC and Channel ITV in London might help achieve the programming hoped for by RTM

According to Zainuddin, the new guidelines would look into the credentials of a tv/film company such as financial status, percentage of Bumiputera (ethnic Malays) equity and capability to supply films for TV.

Film Directors Association of Malaysia (FDAM) president Dr Mahadi J. Murat is quoted as saying that the present system benefited certain groups who had been allotted air time, hence making it difficult for new talent to participate.

Mahadi believed that the proposed guidelines would address the problem of non-bumiputera producers who controlled companies registered under a bumiputera name.

Give set top boxes to everyone

[Give everyone a set top box.]

After having reviewed the direction digital broadcast vendors are going at Broadcast Asia 2006 just concluded in Singapore, and how the creatives want to provide new content while the digital broadcasters are scratching their heads at the cost of HDTV and conversion to digital transmission, that single idea of giving set top boxes to everyone makes even more sense. Why?

The following is in the Australian context and experience but can be applied to any Asia-Pacific environment.

Firstly the set top box idea is not mine but that of former Telstra CEO, Ziggy Switkowski which he expressed in an address to the Australian National Press Club last year.

He said the Government should be the provider of set top boxes.

The cost would be A$440 million (about US$300 million).

The point he made was simple. Once you have got all digital broadcasting and an available market of 100 per cent of all households, creatives can unleash their imagination.

Switkowski eyes are wide open to new media players. He sees them able to invent business models that marry content with interactive applications and access to internet sites and databases, in ways few of us can anticipate today.

Now here is a comparative thought. Australia in its changeover to digital/HDTV is dual simulcasting in analog and digital for terrestrial transmissions that is costing the princely annual sum of A $143 million a year, paid, of course, by the taxpayer.

Based on the Switkowski proposition those transitional cost incurred by the ABC would disappear because analog transmission could be switched off, much earlier - by January 2008, rather than the present, wobbly time frame between 2010-12. That is assuming that set top box vendor(s) could deliver by that date.

This approach would enable a trade off between the dual transmission costs of the ABC and the cost of set top boxes. The whole national penetration of the interactive, digital platform in HDTV would be brought forward three years.

Why cannot the Australian Government see this practical solution for launching the digital broadcast platform onto a firmer footing rather than the adventure into the wilderness, all the digital terrestrial networks are going through, worrying about the unpredictable future bottom line.

But then which governments are ever practical?

- Gerald Brown

Thursday, June 22, 2006

RadioScape Mobile TV:Secrets revealed at Broadcast Asia 2006

Mobile TV Highlight at BroadcastAsia 2006 for digital broadcast:

RadioScape, a world leader in digital audio and multimedia broadcast and receiver technology is a key technology palyer and provider for Mobile TV trials that are taking place around the world. Dr Les Sabel, RadioScape’s VP of Technology said the reason for this is that RadioScape is the only company that provides both broadcast and receiver technologies giving integrated, end-to-end solutions that ensure robustness and reliability. Dr Sabel added that the secret to the company’s success has been able to provide flexible solutions, which can be easily adapted to incorporate a variety of standards in the rapidly evolving world of Mobile TV, is that it uses software to define the functionality, i.e. Software Defined Digital Radio. Underpinning this is a framework called RadiOS that enables modular software functionality to be loaded only when needed, hence allowing a wide variety of applications to be incorporated into high-end, feature-rich products.

Dr Sabel presented a paper at Broadcast Asia 2006 to explain the RadioScape technology and how its broadcast system technology have been a crucial part of Mobile TV trials as follows:

• The DAB-IP trials in the UK in 2005-2006 • The current joint trial by RTÉ and RadioScape in Dublin • The Centre of Excellence for Digital Broadcasting (CoEfDB) trial in the Netherlands • The DMB/DAB-IP Mobile TV trial in the UK that was announced on the 5th of June 2006 • Trials in China with over nine installations in operation, some of which are now broadcasting commercially.

Digital Broadcaster Hangover Cure

For those in Singapore for the BroadcastAsia 2006 and CommunicAsia 2006 events, indulging in the necessary late night business functions and parties hosted by the digital broadcast vendors can take heart if they have a hangover, the morning after. As a new hangover pill has been unveiled in the US that can help people everywhere to enjoy a customary few drinks, without suffering the consequences the next morning. Altoxin is a new product that helps your body to flush out toxins and recover from a night of drinking.

A spokesman for Selmedica Healthcare Corporation, the inventors of Altoxin said, the ingredients were specially formulated to promote better mornings and a general sense of well-being after a night of drinking.

You read it first here in Digital Broadcasters Vendor News. And the website...I hear you

No, I am not benefiting from this announcement, it is not an ad.

$1.8 TRILLION - That is the value of media and entertainment by 2010

A digitalized UK is the fastest growing digital Media and Entertainment market with expected growth to US$28 billion by 2010.

But it is a whopping value of US$1.8 trillion put on the worldwide industry by 2010, according to the latest research from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Their report is called: "Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2006-2010".

The report largely attributes this phenominal growth to digital broadband internet and mobile digital technologies, which have become lucrative distribution channels for licensed entertainment and media content owners and providers.

Search our site for related stories using the Google customised search box.

Asian Broadcasters told: "Change or Die"

Singapore -- For the first 60 years of broadcast television, the broadcast industry was restrained by analog technology using frequency and bandwidth guzzling technology and political controls. In the 1990s, the conversion to digital broadcasting technology started. Internet came along, and with it greater consumer choices that opened up across the spectrum of telecommunications, radio and TV broadcasting and telephony.

Now we are in the 21st Century. For those in the broadcast industry the challenges may seem overwhelming coming from every conceivable new technological advance.

Broadcasting per se is now being shaken to core values. Mind sets of traditional broadcasting ethics and standards are no more. On June 20, 2006 Jeffrey Soong, of Hong Kong-based, Broadband Network Systems addressed the CommunicAsia 2006 conference audience with a succinct message to digital broadcasters, Cable TV operators and broadband entities which basically said: "Change or Die".

Soong's reality check to change the established industry mind set to handle today's Entertainment World is covered in the following Q & A with [Digital Broadcasters Vendor News Asia's Gerald Brown]:

[Gerald Brown] From your perspective, what are the realities for industry players in the Entertainment World in the 21st Century?

[Jeffrey Soong] It is the Emergence of new platforms - the i-pod, Mobile Phone and the PC Game Console. For Consumers they are moving from being a group of **["massive passives" to "gadgetiers" and for the young generation, the "cool kids"] thriving on interactivity, engaging in, and with the entertainment being offered. For the content owners/providers, the new platforms create two great and fresh opportunities: 1. New Revenue Streams and 2. the Ability to Assert Brand values.

[Gerald Brown] Taking these developments forward, in practice what does this mean for participants?

[Jeffrey Soong] What is happening is that Power is shifting away from the recognised satellite and terrestrial channels - names we all know so well - as the drivers of content production. That 'old' system was a vertical supply chain comprised mainly of TV, Movies and Music producers. They supplied the TV networks/channels, who would then distribute via terrestrial transmission, broadcast satellite and cable/broadband operators to reach consumers via their TVs and radios. The 'new' way, is what I term the 'New Media Ecosystem' which sees Content Producers continuing to make content for the broadcasters but now tailor-made for the array of new distribution platforms - IPTV, iTunes, Games Consoles, Search Engines, TiVO, etc. It is the consumers (users) of these new interactive platforms, who are driving content needs across all the delivery platforms, with the "massive passives" rapidly declining as economies mature and grow in audio and video entertainment sophistication. [Gerald Brown] It appears that new platform delivery is itself changing fast. How would you describe it? [Jeffrey Soong] : As technology advances, we are going from a more basic level of interactivity and innovation to being 'truly' innovative and interactive. Think about services such as Network PVR, home surveillance, video conferencing, two-way broadcasting, interactive gaming, personal jukebox and SMS on Internet Video Search with IPTV Display; Mobile/IPTV Convergence; Home Networking; Remote Video Access for those travelling; Video Podcasting on IPTV; P2P multicasting and so on. The opportunities are mindboggling.

[Gerald Brown] It appears that new platform delivery is itself changing fast. How would you describe it?

[Jeffrey Soong] : As technology advances, we are going from a more basic level of interactivity and innovation to being 'truly' innovative. We are moving from those basic services we have become used to in the last few years, such as Network PVR, home surveillance, video conferencing, two-way broadcasting, interactive gaming, personal jukebox and SMS on Internet Video Search with IPTV Display; Mobile/IPTV Convergence; Home Networking; Remote Video Access for those travelling; Video Podcasting on IPTV; P2P multicasting and so on.

[Gerald Brown] What key advice do you give to CEOs in this rapidly advancing industry to improve the bottom line and stay competitive?

[Jeffrey Soong] 1. Be Aware of the emerging Power of new broadcast delivery platforms. 2. Design a bespoke, highly flexible platform for quick and easy addition of new services. 3. Learn how to monetise now trends in content creation and distribution, across multiple access platforms with innovative business models. 4. Position your platform as the pivotal point for providing all entertainment needs. 5. Co-operate with, and get close to the content community. The platform provider needs to be able to understand the potential of new and emerging technologies. 6. Finally a caution! Beware of becoming locked into a closed proprietary delivery system at the expense of being able to incorporate a myriad of free and Pay-TV programming.

[Gerald Brown] When you meet the CEOs of digital broadcasters and channels around Asia-Pacific how do you pitch, what you term the "BNS Value Proposition"?

[Jeffrey Soong] BNS is an IPTV enabler, so we offer comprehensive, field proven solutions for IPTV deployment and management. This includes a three-pronged approach comprising what we call the three cornerstones of a successful IPTV service: Strategy, Content and Technology. We believe that only when these three areas are addressed at the same time, operators will be able to create a flexible and future proof service that will maximise their investment.

[Gerald Brown] Mr Soong, thank you for telling us how traditional broadcasters, channels and broadband operators should move forward to capitalise on the sea change in consumer choices in entertainment as part of your company's doctrine of "Empowering broadband TV".

[Jeffrey Soong is CEO of Broadband Network Systems, Hong Kong]

**Massive Passives", "Gagetiers" and "Cool Kids" are all descriptions coined by IBM.**

Digital Broadcast Vendor News Asia Quote of the Day

Singapore, June 2006.

“Users in the Asia-Pacific region are among the earliest adopters of new technology and demand the latest applications. With users looking for the next killer application and operators needing to generate more revenue from 3G investments, CommunicAsia is the ideal platform for us to show our cutting-edge solutions, including Active Messaging.”

Nigel Waller, Vice President of International Sales Glenayre Messaging

exhibiting at CommuniAsia 2006 (sister show of Broadcast Asia 2006).

CBNsat Not off the Hook Yet

Digital Broadcast Vendors News reported that in Colombo CBNSat Cable TV service was closed by the Sri Lankan police two weeks ago on instructions from the authorities - presumably the Ministry of the Media. The pretext was they were operating without a proper license.

Yesterday,June 21, executives of CBNSat were in court. But the main case has been postponed until July 28.

Sri Lanka is supposedly a democracy but it occurs to me that if a company has operated successfully for 8 years and is then closed down without notice, what were the authorities doing the whole period?

A good investigative reporter may well have a field day with what he/ she may uncover. That perhaps the greatest beneficiaries of CBNSat demise will be the commercial terrestrial stations broadcasting free- to-air?

Thinking aloud, I would also summise that authorities also appear to be ignoring the fact that CBSat has a strong subscriber base and it is those people who are pretty ticked off by the whole episode. The timing of the move by the Media Ministry is particularly irksome. A lot of World Cup and International Cricket coverage are blacked out by the stopping of CBNSat transmissions.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mobile TV centre stage at BroadcastAsia2006

[Digital Broadcasters Vendor News Asia] has learned that Mobile TV took centre-stage at the opening of the BroadcastAsia 2006 conference in Singapore on June 20, with an entire session dedicated to this important sector.

Clive Morton, Broadcast Services Director of [Broadcast Australia], explored the future directions--and challenges--for mobile television. Broadcast Australia is a 100% owned subsidiary of Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group, an entity listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX code: MCG)

In his address entitled ‘The future of handheld services’, Morton drew on Broadcast Australia’s extensive mobile television trial experience to reflect on the industry’s progress thus far, and what might lie ahead. He emphasised that while much ground had been made in overcoming the technical challenges facing mobile TV, a great deal more was required to turn the technology into a global business success.

He pointed to a ‘new-for-2006’ [Emmy Award] category that is specifically for television programming created for mobile devices, which enjoyed the most entries of any Emmy Award category this year.

“The addition of this new category shows that the all-powerful Hollywood machine has sanctioned the concept of mobile TV,” Morton said. While he believes this is a significant milestone, there is a long journey ahead to transform it into the ‘next killer application’.

He cited collaboration--specifically between traditional industry competitors and commercial stakeholders--as the crucial ingredient in catalysing this transformation.

“Last year’s BroadcastAsia conference closed by saying that mobile broadcasting was emerging as a key trend; one year on, we can see that mobile broadcasting has, indeed, emerged,” Morton said. He emphasised that the future of handheld services depended on a potent mix of technology, devices, creativity, government, business, and-- the most volatile of all elements--people.

“If carriers, content creators and media outlets battle each other for ownership of the customer, then someone will be giving a very similar presentation like this next year, because we won’t have progressed!” he warned. “For mobile television to reach its full potential, we need the lawyers, politicians and business executives to develop a true environment of collaboration--this will determine the future of mobile television.”

Morton listed a number of challenges ahead for regional and global mobile television. These include resolving the choices in technology and technology platform (including handsets); untangling the complex issues of content rights and regulatory issues in the new mobile TV age; determining and addressing issues of consumer behaviour and needs; and most importantly, determining an effective mobile TV business model.

On the issue of mobile TV technology platform options, Morton outlined the increasingly complex task of standardising the wide range mobile TV platforms now available, including DVB-H, T-DMB, MediaFLO and ISDB-T. He emphasised that while multi-standard capable handsets might be a long-term solution, in the short-term it is vital to factor in the expectations of the modern subscriber. “Mobile telephony users expect to use at least GSM, SMS and GPRS wherever they travel. What a shame it would be if mobile phones roam almost anywhere in the world, but the mobile TV service cannot!” he said.

He warned that a world sporting a ‘patchwork quilt’ of mobile TV technologies that vary from country-to-country and region-to-region will result in major interoperability issues. “Ultimately, there needs to be convergence on a single interoperable specification to create a truly global mobile TV market, as there has been with other DVB equipment,” he said.

Malaysia's RTM buys SGL Digital Storage Software

At BroadcastAsia 2006, Singapore, Software Generation Ltd (SGL), known as a key British vendor to digital broadcasters of its digital video storage/archive management software reported that Malaysia state broadcaster, Radio Television Malaysia (RTM), has selected SGL FlashNet as part of its major digital upgrade project.

Other key players involved in the RTM project include: Avid, Blue Order, Harris, Hitachi, Omneon, Snell & Wilcox and StorageTek. They will provide the glue between the Media Asset Management system and the ingest and automation solution, moving material between the online storage on the video servers to the nearline disk storage and then across to the tape library under the control of Harris applications.

Bernie Walsh handled the project for SGL.

RTM, based in Kuala Lumpur, currently runs two television channels (RTM1 and RTM2) and eight national, 16 state and eight district radio stations. Trials are to begin shortly for DTTV in the Klang Valley using a new frequency for transmissions.

[Search this site using the Google Box above for other stories on digital broadcast developments at RTM]

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Spotlight France at Broadcast Asia 2006

Bonjour Singapore, Ca va? France increases its presence at the digital broadcasters key annual trade show in the region, Broadcast Asia 2006 now taking place.

For the third year in a row, the French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (FCCS), in collaboration with both the Economic and Cultural Departments of the French Embassy in Singapore, and Ubifrance, the French agency for international business development, are combining resources to ensure a strong presence at CommunicAsia- BroadcastAsia 2006, Singapore. 34 French companies are exhibiting.

Two Broadcast Asia 2006 conference highlights to watch out for, are on Thursday (June 22).

Labelled: “French dynamism and expertise in Infocomm Technologies”, Geof Heydon, Director of innovation and market development of Alcatel Asia Pacific will present Alcatel's vision of where IPTV is going in the region, and Olivier Lafaye, President of Thomson Asia tackles the rapidly growing media segment with a talk called: "Building up a new business model to address Media groups needs".

It is often overlooked in anglophone countries, but France is well known for its excellence in Broadcasting, such as Angenieux, Thales while Sagem and Alcatel show leadership in DSL, and France Telecom is one of the top 5 telecom operators worldwide.

France also happens to be a leader in the global videogaming industry and has more than 140 development studios. Major players include In- FUSIO and Gameloft.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Singapore HDTV Ranks Top for World Cup

More Highlights from Broadcast Asia 2006 (Bca206)

The DVB project is again doing a big service to sports fans this time at the Broadcast Asia 2006, Singapore event. They will be ensuring visitors to both CommunicAsia and BCA 2006 will not miss the World Cup from Germany and in high definition TV as they are linking with Singapore cable TV operator, StarHub to take feeds inside the exhibition Halls. StarHub launched HDTV trial services in time for tournament with full rollout later this year.

On the terrestrial side, MediaCorp has launched its HDTV trial over its new terrestrial Channel 38, with the Hollywood blockbuster, The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers. Consumers have bought an estimated 200,000 flat panel HDTV sets, which is about one in every five households. MediaCorp estimates it will cost at least S$100 million (US$63 million) to roll out HDTV on all its terrestrial channels.

This sudden explosion of enthusiasm in Singapore is believed to be as a direct result of the recent appearance of H.264/DVB-S2 boxes, linked to flat panel HD-ready displays that makes bringing HDTV to consumers much more exciting.

As a point of reference, in the UK, BBC HD and Sky HD has been made available to subscribers of the Sky HD satellite service, which is deploying DVB-S2 with H.264/MPEG-4 AVC in time for World Cup in Germany.

Satellite and cable providers in Germany, France, Italy and Scandinavia are all using DVB technology to offer HD broadcasts of the tournament.

In North America, satellite service providers will carry High Definition World Cup coverage using DVB-S and the new powerful DVB-S2 transmission standard in tandem with advanced video codecs (H.264/ AVC). In South America, the Brazilian TVA Digital platform will show HD broadcasts on the Bandsports channel using DVB-S, and TV Globo will use both DVB-S and DVB-C.

Even in Africa, Multichoice South Africa and the South African Broadcasting Corporation are cooperating to run test HDTV transmissions of the tournament in preparation for the country’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

DVB specifications have supported HDTV since 1998 and the first commercial DVB HDTV deployment began in Australia in 2001 using DVB- T. In fact, the World Cup has been a catalyst in bringing DVB technology (DVB-T, DVB-C, DVB-S, and DVB-S2)all at once.

For more info on Broadcast Asia 2006 event,search this web site using the special Google search box at the top of this story.

DVB-H Kicks off Bca2006 Conference Sessions

Some more Highlights from Broadcast Asia 2006 (Bca2006).

Kicking off the official Broadcast Asia conference program, The DVB Project is hosting ‘Broadcasting to Handhelds – An International Review & Update’ to provide an update on the technology, including the results of global trials, available spectrum resources and the launch of commercial services. First session Monday, June 19th at 0930.

DVB's Peter MacAvock is chairing the session that includes digital broadcasters suppliers and their presentations, and TV Network TBS from Japan on the synergies with ISDB:

Clive Morton [Broadcast Australia] – ‘The Future of Handheld Services’; Hyan Oh [Kobeta] – ‘Update from Korea – DMB’; Omar Javaid [Qualcomm] – ‘MediaFlo’; Juha Lipiainen [Nokia] – ‘DVB-H Trials & Commercial Services’; Gerard Faria [Teamcast] –‘Overview of the Standardised Technologies Pros & Cons’; Regis Le Roux [Enensys] – ‘Where do the Broadcasters & Telcos fit in & how?’ and Hidefumi Yasuda of [TBS - Tokyo Broadcasting System] – ‘Update from Japan – ISDB – OneSEG’;

Searches - Please use the tailor made Google search box for this web site above this article for more highlights on Bca2006.

The DVB Project at Bca2006

Broadcast Asia 2006 (Bca 2006) starts Monday June 19.

At BroadcastAsia look out for DVB, which is focussing on its work with both DVB-H (DVB Handheld Devices) and IPTV technologies.

At both Bca 2006 and sister show, CommunicAsia can see DVB-H in action at the stands of Nokia, ProTelevision Technologies, TeamCast, UDcast and Innoxius Technologies.

DVB is currently emphasising its delivery of transport stream-based, DVB services over IP networks and Asia is a vital player, as pointed out by Peter MacAvock, Executive Director at the DVB Project who says that Asia-Pacific has always embraced the hottest new technologies leading the way with DVB Mobile TV services, and now we see the swift take-up of IPTV. He notes that the focus on DVB-H and IPTV standardisation at BroadcastAsia 2006 is evidence of the DVB Project's continued commitment to the vibrant market in this region.

The worldwide IPTV market is predicted to grow to over 27 million households by the end of the decade, primarily driven by Europe and Asia, with particular China, according to findings from IMS Research.

China alone is expected to become the world's largest national IPTV market, with 3.58m IPTV households by 2010, representing about 13 percent of the total worldwide market.

It is worth noting that the DVB Pavilion at BCA is hosting a number of demonstrations and product showcases for ADB (set top boxes), IKONVERGENZ (production-ready digital DVB-T IPTV and analogue LCD TV solutions to manufacturers for immediate mass production), and UDcast (IP solutions over broadcast media).

Search for more bca2006 information of highlights using the special Google search box for this web site.

[Diary] Broadcast Asia 2006 starts 19th (tomoorrow)

Firstly, a reminder the Conference runs 19 (Mon) – 22 June and the Exhibition from Tuesday 20 – 23 June.

BroadcastAsia is the Industry’s Asia-Pacific Preferred Marketplace for Electronic Media Technology in Asia

The conference as always brings together the key professional bodies such as, Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Developments (AIBD), Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA), WorldDAB, Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) and Infocomm Development Authority Singapore (IDA). Get to meet them. Notable is the RadioAsia2006 Conference, jointly organised with the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) and Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU). It commemorates the 100th anniversary of radio broadcasting and provides a platform for a comprehensive discussion on cutting edge technological, political and economic developments in the radio sector.

With the convergence of technologies (ICT, Telco and Media), the media landscape worldwide is experiencing significant changes. New ways of consuming media through the use of technologies - IPTV, Interactive TV, VOD, podcasting and such, are now available to the industry and consumers. These new trends will be discussed in the New Media Conference, jointly presented by Singapore Media Academy (a MediaCorp company) and Singapore Exhibition Services.

More news will identify highlights of the event.

For more information on this web site on Broadcast Asia 2006, use the special Google search button for our site.

Enjoy Bca 2006 and Singapore.

.TV provides instantly recognisable branding

Today I welcome .tv to [DBVNA]. We are now part of their network.

The successful domain name .tv is ideal for digital television broadcasters.

Whether you are a TV station, a content/program supplier or a audio video production or post production facility, .tv is a handy and easily recognisable suffix. Many companies outside of the media have chosen .tv as their suffix to be "cool".

To give you an idea of the good company you would be in, by using .tv - look at the list: One of the most successful entertainment sites on the web; is the home of the Eurovision Song Contest. This annual European music festival is televised in 39 European countries. Altitude TV is a satellite cable channel featuring regional professional sports including the NHL Colorado Avalanche, NBA Denver Nuggets and National Lacrosse League Colorado Mammoth, as well as concerts and other entertainment from Denver-area performance venues. The goal of is to produce high-quality, internationally practicable documentaries. has produced productions about the Third Reich, as well as international and award-winning projects. Diverse is one of Britain’s leading independent factual television and new media production companies. The official home of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Germany's TV program guide provides complete schedules and information on all the best shows. Britain's biggest breakfast show's Web site includes information on health, kid's activities, travel — everything they talk about on the show. HBO Latin America's Web site. The official website of MTV Europe. Visit KNBC, Los Angeles' (NBC4) award-winning site. Watch quality programs from all over the world on your computer at; your world tv portal. Sitcom is the largest Italian content production and distribution company, and a world leader in broadband multimedia services. — Turner's TBS Superstation, official site. Home of Turner Network Television. The San Francisco Bay Area's UPN station Web site. The leading music broadcasting station in Germany. Official site of Women's Entertainment Television Network.

I endorse [.TV] along with many Internet users from around the globe are adopting .tv as their Web address of choice.

[.tv] works exactly like a .com or .net address, but allows you to brand you or your company using the most recognized two-letter symbol in the world—"TV."

Whether you're an individual, small or medium sized business, or a large enterprise, .tv is your Web address. To know more just click on the links to the right of this page. The site is informative and helpful with ideas on marketing your brand using [.tv]

Worldspace india

Satellite programmer, WorldSpace India with a fanfare said it has launched India's 'only' 24-hour all sports (radio) channel 'Play'.

To do so, it is partnering with BBC and sports content giant, Trans World International (TWI) to bring subscribers an exclusive mix of programming that captures the action, news, views, and profiles from the World Cup, the largest global sporting event.

WorldSpace added that India's top footballer, Baichung Bhutia, joins the WorldSpace team as they decode the strategies, talk you through the day's highlights from Germany, and rope you into the game with exciting contests and interactive programming initiatives.

But nowhere, do I read that there will be "live" ball-by-ball commentary, nor did the announcement say WorldSpace were an official rights holder.

If the facts stand, as I understand them, I find there is a lack of credibility in a claim to be India's only 24 hour sports channel when they don't give the listening fans what they want i.e. everything, but the live commentary of the games.

Would someone like to confirm my understanding or otherwise?

Chyron sells to Korea Church

The Bundang Choongang Church in the Gyungido Bundang region of Korea has installed a Chyron Duet MicroX graphics system to provide 2D/3D animation for its Church service. The systems were sold through Chyron’s Asian partner, Sion Media.

The Duet MicroX running Chyron’s Lyric software provides the Bundang Choongang Church with broadcast-quality, real-time animation, which has the ability to instantly update text and graphics for its services that include hymns and sermons as well as special preaching events.

William Payne, Chyron’s director of sales, Asia Pacific says : "Churches across the world are becoming more and more broadcast focussed 'as graphics systems involve the congregation further by providing a more interactive service'".


[Sales Lead] ABP Plans Kolkata Radio

Digital broadcasters Vendor News has learned that press reports from Kolkata (Calcutta) in recent weeks indicate that the media group, [ABP Pvt Ltd] will launch its FM radio station in the city in the second half of this year.

ABP successfully bid for FM Radio licenses in the Phase Two auction by the Indian Government earlier this year via its subsidiary [Ananda Offset]. The others players who successfully bid in the second round of bidding for private FM radio licences were Ablabs, HT Music, Radio Today and Radio Mid-Day.

APB moved into television in 2003 with a 74 per cent stake in Media Content and Communications India Pvt Ltd. The company now operates Star News and Star Ananda, the leading 24-hour Bengali news channels launched in June last year.

In related media, ABP launched in 2003. The group also owns Heyya, a mobile internet portal launched in November 2005.

BBC World Service Renews Arabsat

The BBC through the BBC World Service has renewed its agreement with Arabsat to reach Middle East listeners. The period of renewal nor the costs involved were disclosed.

Recent reconfiguration of the Arabsat bouquet means that established BBC listeners via Arabsat will need to retune their receivers for continued digital broadcast reception. The BBC services are available on the multiplex operating frequency 11.861 MHz, FEC 3/4 Symbol rate 27 500. The channel IDs are 20 for BBC Arabic and 21 for BBC English.

Audiences listening to English broadcasts can continue to enjoy the BBC’s flagship programs Newshour and Outlook.

The BBC World Service promotes interactive contact in the program "Have Your Say" - the daily multimedia phone-in program encouraging people across the world to question experts and leading international figures in the news.

The most listened to BBC program in Arabic is the morning flagship news program "The World This Morning" (Al-alam hatha al-sabah) which sets the day’s agenda every morning, seven days a week, and Discussion Point (Nuqtat Hewar), the place to exchange opinions and share views on a wide range of issues for Arab speakers across the world. Campaign: "Be the First to Know"

Here is the way to launch a new online newsletter as part of the build up campaign for a new digital broadcaster.

Using the slogan: "Be the first to know", the BBC Arabic team aims to reach 19 million online users with adverts appearing on a number of key pan-Arab websites including MSN Arabia - Hotmail and Messenger, Yahoo, and Ebay.

The campaign promotes the free, Arabic language e-newsletter.

Newsletter subscribers will be treated to an insiders view of the most popular and trusted non-Arab news broadcaster in the Middle East and North Africa. They receive an update on the upcoming programs, share their views and opinions with online debates and polls, and be able to access profiles of their favourite presenters at the web site.

There are also opportunities to enter a variety of competitions with a range of exciting prizes.

Alan Booth, Controller of BBC World Service Marketing, Communications & Audiences, says the BBC Arabic e-newsletter is a "brilliant way" of connecting with young people in the Middle East based on earlier research and roadshow.

BBC World Service used the Amman-based design agency, [Mint], to produce creative work for the campaign. The London-based specialist online agency, [Agency Republic] planned and bought the advertising space while database management and email marketing services will be contracted to [Broadsystem] based in London.

Subscriptions will be driven via a dedicated page on http://

ITU Ensures All Digital TV by 2015

A treaty agreement was signed June 16 at the International Telecommunications Union Headquarters in Geneva at the conclusion of ITU's Regional Radiocommunication Conference (RRC-06) heralding the development of 'all-digital' terrestrial broadcast services for sound and television.

The switch from analog TV to full digital broadcasting in Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Islamic Republic of Iran by 2015 represents a major landmark towards establishing a more equitable, just and people-centred Information Society.

The analog to digital conversion will leapfrog existing technologies to connect the unconnected in underserved and remote communities and close the digital divide.

The ITU says that the agreement reached at RRC-06 paves the way for utilizing the full potential of information and communication technologies to achieve the internationally recognized development goals. The date of transition to digital terrestrial broadcasting in the year 2015 is intended to coincide with the targets set by the Millennium Development Goals.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Overview of HDTV into Hotels

[As digital manufacturers of broadcast equipment continue to focus on the mainstream digital broadcasters, the article below sets out a clear proposition for the new found positive attitude to introducing High Definition Television into hotel guest rooms. This will mean the hospitality industry having to install all of the associated equipment required to receive and carry signals on hotel properties but also any in-house production output. This is a confirmation for satellite broadcasters too, to be able to show growth figures for their hotel distribution. Mainland China comes to mind with the major decisions of which digital system to be adopted, cannot be far away. The PRC has pledged to cover the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing in full HDTV. This report, while aimed at the Continental US, in my opinion resonates across Asia Pacific as well. - Ed]

Hotel HDTV: The Picture is Getting Clearer by Dave Bankers is Senior Vice President, Product & Technology Development for LodgeNet Entertainment Corporation .

In less than three years, hotel industry perception of high- definition television (HDTV) has shifted from a “maybe someday” proposition to a mainstream issue – and for more and more hoteliers, a mandated guest room requirement. One driver behind HDTV adoption is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandate that by mid-2007, all newly built televisions must support ATSC-compliant digital television (DTV) video signals.

Another key factor is the increasing availability of high definition (HD), first-run, video-on-demand (VOD) Hollywood movies and premium satellite programming. In addition, a growing number of travelers with HDTV in their homes are beginning to expect it in their hotels. It all means that increasing numbers of hotel operators are preparing for HDTV – and they’re finding that their in-room entertainment provider holds the critical key to a successful HDTV migration.

When it comes to HDTV, operators are interested and engaged. LodgeNet saw high attendance at its HDTV seminars the past two HITEC shows, and HDTV resources are among the most downloaded documents from the LodgeNet Website. Those whose HD efforts had been focused on self- education are today moving into evaluation and implementation. From venerable luxury chains to landmark independent properties, from established focused service brands to new extended stay flags, hoteliers are specifying HDTV in their long-term agreements with in- room entertainment suppliers and TV manufacturers.

Emergence of Security Standard Driving Increased Availability of Premium HD Content

Quality HD content is critical to maximizing the ROI on HD displays. Initially, satellite programmers and movie studios were reluctant to license HD entertainment for hotel distribution due to concern that their DVD sales could be impacted by content pirated from digital in- room entertainment systems. That changed last year with the introduction of Pro:IdiomTM, a robust content security solution that protects satellite-delivered and VOD content adhering to the digital transport standards of the ATSC. Pro:IdiomTM has enabled industry- first, HD content licensing agreements with major Hollywood studios as well as premium HD satellite networks like HBO-HD, HDNet and ESPN- HD. With Pro:Idiom implementation growing among in-room entertainment providers and HD display manufacturers, hoteliers should consider it a “must-have” for their HDTV solution.

Making HD Easy

Early installations have proven that a successful HD migration entails much more than simply buying HD displays and connecting the cables. Hoteliers must consider every component that plays into the guest’s TV experience, right down to the remote control. There may be far-reaching implications for the hotel’s infrastructure, especially in older properties. And of course, any HD solution must be financed, installed and serviced.

Experienced in-room entertainment providers are helping hotel operators smoothly transition to HDTV with solutions that not only integrate a compatible HD television and HD content security, but also account for display furniture (or wall mounting hardware) and can even support the premium sound systems that create a true “home theater” environment.

To ensure the most cost effective and trouble-free HDTV conversion, hoteliers should work with an in-room entertainment partner that:

• Has adopted the Pro:IdiomTM standard for digital content security • Is delivering the full range of HD programming – broadcast, premium satellite and early release VOD – to meet the expectations and desires of today’s entertainment consumers • Is working with leading commercial HD television manufacturers to ensure compatibility of their displays with the provider’s in-room entertainment system; ideally this will take the form of a formal compatibility program to help hoteliers choose an HD display that not only can receive a broad range of HD content, but also delivers a superior guest experience in an economical fashion • Can produce customer references regarding the provider’s ability to install, service and support an HDTV solution • Offers consulting to help hoteliers make the right decisions ahead of their HD migration, and project management to keep all the stakeholders on the same page and ensure the right pieces get to the right place, at the right time

Hotel operators, management companies and chains are asking how to make the right HDTV decision for their guest rooms now – and with good reason. FCC deadlines are approaching; guest demand is growing; HD display costs are coming down; a content security standard is in place; and those who have waited until now to implement HDTV can draw on the knowledge gained through the successful (and not so successful) efforts of early HD adopters. Migrating to HDTV can still be expensive and frustrating, but happy hoteliers and “WOWed” guests are proving it doesn’t have to be. As the HDTV picture comes into focus, partnership with a proven in-room entertainment provider is still the essential key to a smooth implementation.

Author: Dave Bankers is Senior Vice President, Product & Technology Development for LodgeNet Entertainment Corporation