Monday, July 31, 2006

Al Hurra TV Now Broadcasts to Europe

Al Hurra TV, an Arabic language voice of the US Government in the Middle East is to extend its broadcasting coverage area from the Middle East to Europe where sizeable Moslem/Arab populations reside.

From August 1, Al-Hurra TV is launching on the HotBird 3 satellite under the channel name of Al-Hurra Europe. An official announcement said that apart from regional and international news reporting, the channel will feature discussion programs and current affairs magazines on issues ranging from health and entertainment to science and fashion.

The Americans established Al-Hurra TV in the Middle East to report on US actions in the region from the US point of view to counteract the two most important and influential Arabic news TV networks, Al Arabiya TV and Al-Jazeera TV. The United States is doing the same now in Europe as, Joaquin Blaya, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governor's Middle East Committee admitted as such in the official release, where he said: Al Hurra is viewed as a very important alternative to Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. The two channels are widely available across Western Europe.

Recent commissioned surveys show that Al Hurra has an estimated weekly audience across the Middle East of more than 20 million people and that that more than 70 percent of its viewers consider the news reliable.

The Al-Hurra TV network is operated by The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, which is financed by an annual grant from the 'Broadcasting Board of Governors' (BBG), an independent federal agency funded by the US Congress. That definition is 'official speak' for US Taxpayer funded state organisation. The BBG backs Voice of America, Radio TV Marti (propaganda to Cuba) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Al Hurra TV, in Arabic means 'The Free One'.

Media Prima Key Media For Merdeka's 50th

Media Prima Group Berhad (KLSE.4501) are the first media group in Malaysia to start year-long 50th Anniversary Merdeka (Freedom) celebrations for Malaysia's half century as an independent country in 2007.

The 49th anniversary will be on National Day, August 31, 2006.

In the presence of Malaysia Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the Finance Ministry in Kuala Lumpur, Media Prima group MD and CEO, Abdul Rahman Ahmad launched the year long campaign, themed ‘Embracing Malaysia, Embracing the World’.

He said all media units of Media prima - its four TV networks (TV3, ntv7, 8TV and TV9), two radio networks (HotFM and FlyFm), and print media (The Malay Mail, Berita Harian, New Straits Times and Harian Metro), will be used to convey the message of pride in Malaysia.

The Prime Minister thanked Media Prima for being the first from the private sector to initiate efforts in nurturing national pride.

The launch event unveiled a special related logo.

Prima Television Networks group CEO Datuk Farid Ridzuan, NSTP group editor-in-chief Datuk Hishamuddin Aun, ntv7 CEO Amrin Awaluddin and 8TV CEO Ahmad Izham Omar were all in attendance.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Vinten Radamec (VTC.L) New Products at IBC 2006

Vinten Radamec (VTC.L) is showing the new Fusion Range for TV Camera Pedestals at IBC 2006 RAI Centre, Amsterdam

The new "Fusion" robotic pedestal from Vinten Radamec includes a lightweight pedestal - the FP145, the new head -the FH100 and two new control systems.

The new control systems provide seamless backward compatibility for products from Autocam and Radamec, but also introduce a future-proof, architecture, modern connectivity and ongoing support on which new products from Vinten Radamec are constantly being added.

In modernising the robotics products for broadcast/studio TV camera pedestals, significant advances have been made in the performance and network connectivity of the pedestals and heads, particularly with the introduction of the widely used, Vinten manual product design capability to robotic devices.

[Vinten Radamec is part of the United Kingdom, publicly-listed group, VITEC (VTC.L).Ed]

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Aussie Digital Content Korea Delegation

The Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMA) has been in touch with Digital Broadcast Vendor News Asia to advise us of a delegation to Korea September 4-7.

Korea is the most advanced country in Asia in offering Mobile TV content. The timing of the delegation is therefore opportune to pursue content sales and ideas.

Organised by the Australia Korea Foundation and its program partners (including AIMIA) companies involved the Australian digital content industry are invited to join the delegation.

Deadline to apply is August 4.

The delegation will meet with leading Korean broadcasters, on-line and mobile TV/media companies and mobile phone network operators to explore opportunities to collaborate and deliver content for Korean audiences.

The Australian Digital Content delegation aims to establish direct links with Korean digital media companies to facilitate opportunities for Australian digital content developers in this exciting market.

The mission is supported by m.Net Corporation Limited, the Australian Film Commission, Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) and Austrade.

The delegation is being invited to meet with the following Korean digital TV and content industry operators:

− Online media companies, − Broadcast distribution companies, − Education content distributors, − Mobile content distributors, − Cross media production companies, − ISP’s and mobile network operators, and − Strategic government officials.

This is a high profile delegation.

Korea is a country difficult to access without strong introductions. I fully endorse this delegation and urge anyone in digital TV/content to join as a participate.

Details on

Friday, July 28, 2006

Telecom New Zealand ADSL2 On Track

In New Zealand, the roll out of ADSL2-plus broadband service by Telecom New Zealand is still on track for October in the major urban areas.

The enhanced service is planned to give more than 50 per cent of the subscriber network access speeds of 10 megabits per second.

The whole issue of broadband service has been contentious in New Zealand with consumers complaining that access speeds are too slow. The ADSL2 move is partly in response to these complaints and Government calling for greater transparency in governance at Telecom New Zealand.

In a related development, Telecom New Zealand told media that that it expects that IPTV (Internet Protocol for Television) will start late in 2007 but had yet to decide on the IPTV platform.

The company said the choice is between Alcatel and Microsoft TV systems.

Japan's NHK Adds More English Program Output

In Japan radio news, state broadcaster, NHK says that from October 2007 it is going to re-align its Radio Japan International short wave radio broadcasts to reflect changes in listenership lost to television and Internet.

Language sections to be cut completely will be: Italian, German, Swedish and Malay.

Some 18 languages will remain - Japanese, English, French, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese, Korean, Persian, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese.

This is the first time since NHK International (NHK World TV and Radio Japan) was formed in July 1980 and, coincidentally the 50th anniversary of radio broadcasting in Japan that language cuts have taken place.

In transmission schedules, short-wave programs to Western Europe, North America and Hawaii, will also be trimmed back.

French language broadcasts will be directed only to Africa.

Spanish language programs will be transmitted to South America only.

NHK says that the saving of an annual 100 million yen will be used to increase English language program output for its Radio Japan and NHK World international TV transmissions.

NHK has progressively expanded online Internet streaming of its foreign language content/program output accessed by using Windows Media and Real Radio software.

The Radio Japan moves reflect the corporate restructuring of NHK at the direction of the government which wants NHK to modernise in line with a fast changing media environment and to make the institution more relevant to today's needs.

Radioscape Sets Up Hong Kong R&D Facility

Radio vendor news from Hong Kong -- RadioScape, a world leader in digital audio and multimedia broadcast and receiver technology is so pleased with the benefits of setting up a regional sales and support office one year earlier in the territory, that the company is now establishing a research and development centre.

The is being located in Hong Kong's Science and Technology Park in Sha Tin.

A team of ten staffers initially will focus on new technologies such as Mobile TV solutions.

RadioScape says in one year the Hong Kong office has already sold thirteen DMB systems to mainland Chinese organisations in the Mobile TV market.

The company says its success is the result of its unique end-to-end systems solution approach based on the well proven Eureka 147, DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) standard with an additional layer of error correction to ensure robust performance for DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcast) or DAB-IP (DAB Internet Protocol).

[Companies setting up in Hong Kong's Science and Technology Parks are usually eligible for development grants from the SAR government. Ed]

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Divicom Television Broadcast 7000 Encoder at IBC 2006

Harmonic New Product at International Broadcasting Convention, IBC 2006, Amsterdam

Harmonic Inc (NASDAQ:HLIT) continues to label its Divicom digital video compression solution in the Electra 7000 high definition (HD) MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) encoder as "ground breaking".

Customers have confirmed bit-rates 20 to 30 percent lower than any currently deployed HD H.264 encoder, and the system has already been selected by five satellite and telco operators in North America and Europe to power their forthcoming HD services.

The Electra 7000 is the world's first multi-channel, multi-service HD H.264 encoder, that supports up to four full resolution HD channels and can simultaneously create low resolution services for picture-in- picture (PiP) or multi-channel mosaic applications.

Marketing is directed to you if you are in satellite, telco/IPTV and cable operators, applications where the Electra 7000 sets a radically improved benchmark for HD H.264 compression performance and video quality.

[An advisory service from Digital Broadcast Vendors News Asia]

"Larger Than Life" TV Facility Chooses Digital Vision

In Philippine news, the "Larger Than Life" located in Makati a visual effects, design, animation and editorial studio for film, High Definition TV and new media has recently installed a Nucoda Film Master from Digital Vision.

The installation was carried out by Digital Vision’s Asian partner "Media Village".

The Nucoda is a complete resolution-independent, end-to-end film finishing solution.

The production studio animation colourists are using the Nucoda Film Master in tandem with its Laser Graphics Director 2k film scanner for film originated projects and its Sony HD 4:4:4 deck and new Panasonic P2 HD formats for HD originated projects.

Marcus Ng, "Larger than Life" CEO explained: ”We are currently doing an effects heavy 60-episode TV series produced by Reality Films and award winning director Erik Matti. This project was commissioned for ABS-CBN. Larger Than Life is handling post, visual effects, vfx supervision, mastering and grading. The series is shot using Panasonic’s P2 technology. The Nucoda Film Master will mainly be used as Larger Than Life’s grading and DI hub for TV commercials, TV series and feature film work.

”We have a mixed format facility, ingesting 35mm, HD, DVCproHD and P2. We call ourselves a pseudo-DI facility, as we don’t just handle film but also tapeless P2 HD technology. Our facility utilises a central Bright 4 gig fibre channel storage network that integrates post, effects and CG. We can ingest and output on either film, SD (standard definition) (NTSC/PAL) or HD (1080/720 line).

”We designed the facility with data in mind. We are currently the only facility in Manila with an end-to-end data-centric environment. We chose Nucoda Film Master because of its ease of integration with existing off the shelf components and also on-proprietary machines. The system is truly a future proof investment. Ng added, ”Larger Than Life is at the forefront of creative driven technology and with Digital Vision we have become a benchmark when it comes to DI in Manila and also in terms of speed, quality and flexibility. The Nucoda Film Master has opened a lot of opportunities for us in post and visual effects.”

Strategy & Technology New Products IBC 2006 Amsterdam

Strategy & Technology from the UK New Products at the International Broadcasting Convention, IBC 2006 Amsterdam September 12-16

* TSBroadcaster 2 - TSBroadcaster 2 is the new version of the highly successful TSBroadcaster product. It provides a wide range of enhancements to the object carousel, data and signalling generator as well as to TSPlayer MPEG-2 transport stream generator. Key new features in TSBroadcaster 2 include:

- Fully compliant with latest MHP, MHEG and OCAP specifications - User access rights - allows the delegation of applications management - Control of AV stream insertion and multiplexing via an easy-to-use interface - Improved operational status and diagnostics

* MHEG-5 Plug-in for MHP - This software application enables MHP 1.1 receivers to receive and run MHEG-5 applications. This enables broadcasters to use MHEG-5 applications in markets where MHP receivers are deployed

* TSDeveloper - TSDeveloper provides an integrated solution for generation and playout of interactive TV applications in the authoring, applications development and test environments. Housed in a portable desktop unit it integrates with authoring tools and generates an RF output that connects directly to target receivers and set-top boxes with support of DVB or OCAP/ETV standards. Applications can be viewed and tested on target TV devices, avoiding the limitations of emulators and allowing true performance and behaviour to be exercised.

* Digital TV receiver Over-Air Download (OAD) system - This product suite delivers new versions of software to digital TV receivers and set-top boxes. It supports both the UK OAD and DVB-SSU standards and provides lifecycle management of software downloads as well as scheduling and playout with ASI, GigE and RF modulator output options. The playout system provides a simple 'Load and Go' option.

Strategy & Technology is a specialist company in the field of digital interactive TV, focused on the provision of technology solutions using public standards. S&T is involved in the deployment of interactive digital TV throughout the world.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"Solid State Logic" Line Up at IBC 2006

Solid State Logic at the International Broadcasting Convention, IBC 2006 Amsterdam

US-based, Solid State Logic, the manufacturer of professional digital and analog consoles, will be showing the latest versions of its C100 and C300 digital production consoles.

The product is the C100 digital broadcast console with the new MORSE (Modular Resource Sharing Engine) feature, which brings the added benefit of resource sharing capabilities to the desk. Launched at National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Convention in Las Vegas in April and on show for the first time in Europe at IBC, the MORSE is a modular resource-sharing engine designed specifically for zero down time broadcast applications. It enables any studio floor to be routed to any control room, allowing broadcasters to "mix and match" their source rooms to their available consoles.

"With the proliferation of channels in digital broadcast, the demands placed on broadcast infrastructure are greater than ever before," says SSL's Director of Product Marketing, Niall Feldman.

SSL will also be showing its new IFB Master Channel section for the C100, which delivers simple, fast, direct access to multiple comms busses for intuitive handling of complex IFB requirements. It is compatible with existing C100 consoles, and can be used in combination with the original Master Channel section.

In addition to the C100 innovations, SSL will be displaying its recently launched C300 Master Studio System. This is a compact, assignable console, for fast and efficient sweetening and mix creation that addresses the requirements of non-linear film and TV production by delivering the ultimate in cost-effective, scalable operational efficiency.

The C300 Master Studio System integrates DAW control using techniques successfully pioneered with the AWS 900 console. This brings the workstation into the console allowing unparalleled interaction between console and DAW. Broadcast automation developed from the C200 console provides complete real and non-real time control over the console's powerful signal processing.

This allows operators to slow down fast moves to a more manageable pace, or even set-up whole scenes with the press of a locate key. This saves massive amounts of time and yet also delivers the subtle control required to satisfy the most demanding producers or directors.

artec at IBC 2006 Amsterdam

artec technologies new Broadcast and Internet Streaming products at the International Broadcasting Convention, IBC 2006 Amsterdam Sept 12-16:

artec technologies of Germany has two new product lines:

* XBL BROADCAST LOGGER - The XBL Broadcast Logger unifies compliance recording, archiving, monitoring, streaming and media service into one unit. Multiple numbers of TV and radio channels can be recorded together with metadata such as EPG, as-run-logs, closed captions and teletext. The recording duration of 30/60/90 or more days is determined only by the size of the hardware capacity. The XBL Broadcast Logger system supports analog, digital and DVB-S inputs and is operated and administered via network-based web clients - plug-ins are not necessary. Clips can be produced in WM9, MPEG-2, Real or 3G format.

* XENTAURIX IPTV PLATFORM – Introducing a Microsoft TV/IPTV- compatible media service platform utilising IPTV solutions for corporate TV, movie on demand, e-learning, personal video recorder or video search engine. Uniquely combining Internet live streaming, server-end recording and the parallel integration of metadata, XentauriX empowers the user to track TV broadcasts and recordings wherever and whenever he wants - via set-top boxes, desktop PCs, notebooks, mobiles, handhelds, etc. Even during transmission, recordings are at clients' disposal for instant replay. Metadata enables fast recording retrieval and allows clients to save broadcast and recording bookmarks with commentaries.

artec technologies of Germany develops, manufactures and distributes digital transmitting and recording technology for audio and video content for intranet and internet broadcast streaming/distribution, e.g. IPTV (Internet Protocol for Television/Digital Streaming Video).

Netia Wins major ABC Radio Contract

In Australian radio news, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has decided to replace its current NETIA equipment news management and playout system with the latest version of Radio-Assist 7.5 digital audio content management software. The solution for on-air delivery in all seven of its News and Current Affairs and Radio networks across Australia will be installed over the next 18 months by NETIA’s Australian agent, Syncrotech Systems Pty and the ABC.

The newly purchased Radio-Assist program replaces the current NETIA solution and D-CART systems and will be installed on up to 5,000 workstations across approximately 75 of ABC’s capital city, regional, metropolitan, and content/program production facilities.

Paul Heaton, managing director of Syncrotech Systems based in Sydney said the project will refine the operational and distributional methods of radio broadcasting.

The NETIA Radio-Assist 7.5 software will now be utilized throughout the entire ABC Radio Network and includes a high level of integration with iNews for the news department. As a result, ABC’s network traffic will also increase. NETIA’s USHARE integrated bandwidth management tool will take care of this as well.

The Radio-Assist 7.5 range of digital audio software programs cover the entire operation of a radio station, from production to broadcast, including acquisition, sound-file editing, commercial and music production, scheduling, multicasting, administration, and more.

No contract price has been announced.

Walt Disney buys into Hungama Kids TV Channel

Walt Disney Company (Southeast Asia) Pte Ltd based in Singapore has bought the 49% shareholding of Ronnie Scewvala's UTV Software Communications Ltd (UTV) in Mumbai-based, United Home Entertainment Ltd (UHE) for Rs 142 crore (US$30.5 million).

The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

UHE owns the successful Hungama kids TV channel broadcast and distributed across India.

A second move by Disney Singapore is to take a 14.9% in UTV by Walt Disney.

UTV Software is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Philippines Digital TV Update

ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. in the Philippines continues to press ahead for a license to broadcast in digital to leverage on its present network of analog broadcast assets.

The company made its formal application to the National Telecommunications Commission for a terrestrial television license (DTT) in late June.

ABS-CBN sees DTV as a cost-effective alternative to cable or satellite systems for the average home as its requires just an antenna not a satellite or cable TV connection..

ABS-CBN recognises that broadcasters worldwide, particularly those operating in countries with low cable and satellite penetration, are starting to make inroads into DTV programming. These nascent services include interactive TV, multi-channel programming, interactive advertising, TV-based online shopping and banking and the delivery of premium television content directly to mobile phones.

In its letter to the National Telecommunications Commission, ABS-CBN said: “ABS-CBN remains legally, financially and technically qualified to maintain and operate the proposed DTT service".

Another part of the submission read: "As part of its efforts to upgrade its broadcast operations and enhance the efficiency of its service, the applicant (ABS-CBN) hereby manifests its intention to provide DTT service, through the conversion of its existing analog service to digital"

ABS-CBN first step will be for its flag ship television station in Manila, DWWX-TV Channel 2 to upgrade from analog to digital broadcast. The company says this is already underway and is being undertaken to assist the Philippine government’s initiative to effect migration of television broadcast stations from analog to digital transmissions, “at the earliest time practicable.”

ABS-CBN expects there to be a changeover period where analog and digital transmissions will run side by side.

The ABS-CBN application has becoming a pressure point for the company that has seen its ratings and earnings dip after main rival GMA-7 Network has been eating into audience share. New income generating revenue streams over digital would make its content/programming output more valuable being used across a number of distribution platforms.

But the Philippines is behind much of the rest of Asia in adopting the International Telecommunications Union’s 2010 timetable to start switching off analog broadcasts. Both regulators and the private broadcasters are still undecided as to the path to follow.

According to the ITU, most countries have already designated specific dates for the switchover to DTT programming from analog programming.

For the US, its Congress passed a law in December last year calling for a mandatory switch-off date of February 2009, while the UK opted for a switch-off date of December 2012. Although Australia has just delayed from 2008 to a movable goal post deadline between 2010 and 2012. Canada has decided to leave it to the free market to decide.

Meanwhile, sister company to ABS-CBN, Bayan Telecommunications Inc. (Bayantel) announced late last year of its plan to offer Internet- based broadcasting or IPTV (broadband) services.

Bayantel has already formed a working group with ABS-CBN and cable TV firm SkyCable, that will engineer the master plan for the rollout of IPTV across the country.

It wants to offer IPTV by bundling the video content of ABS-CBN and SkyCable with the telephony and Internet services of Bayantel, and then selling the package at an attractive market rate.

In another unrelated move, Nokia Philippines started preliminary discussions with broadcasters on the question of broadcasting to hand held mobile devices in the country.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

First Gaming TV Starts in India This Month

Gaming TV comes to India for the first time for digital broadcast television on DishTV India.

The Essel group owned, Dish TV is using its DTH, Direct-To-Home satellite distributed premium broadcast service, using set top boxes.

Open TV is initially supplying Dish TV with the Playjam gaming product and related technology, according to local newspaper reports as part of a five agreement valued at US$100 million.

The Indian media has quoted Jawahar Goel, business head at Dish TV as saying the end of July launch will be followed by 2007 with an extended gaming package.

Dish TV's aim is to have a range of interactive TV program content covering movies, music and sports as well.

Dish TV's valued added gaming TV services are expected to generate income ten fold by 2012.

It is surprising that Indian gaming legislation is seemingly lax for the broadcaster.

If this is the case, DTH rivals such as Sun TV and Tata Sky will not be far behind in implementing gaming TV to generate an explosive income.

Qtel 3G Broadcast Ready for Asian Games

Qatar has expedited commissioning of Qatar Telecom's (Qtel) upgrade to new third generation mobile capabilities in readiness for the 15th Asian Games taking place in December in Doha.

At the centre of the upgrade are the multimedia high speed 3G/UMTS services that include personalised and interactive content for video MMS service, video streaming or live TV broadcasts made possible by the digital technologies.

Qtel sees the Mobile TV to handset channel solutions as a boost to the broadcasting of the Asian Games, the second largest sporting event after the Olympics.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Pakistan Closes More Illegal FM Radio Stations

Since the beginning of 2006, the Pakistan Government and its agencies have being closing down illegal FM Radio stations.

The closures have mainly been in tribal and border areas but also stations run by the religious schools known as maddrassas.

The Islamabad government says it has to stop the spread of religious extremism and anti-state sentiments, notably among Pashtun tribes near the Afghan border.

Local press reports quote 156 FM stations closed in the past six months.

Some 41 were closed by the broadcasting watchdog, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulating Authority (PEMRA) in January. Then the target was mainly FM stations in the urban areas that broadcast religious programs in the morning and evening and gained popularity among women listeners.

PEMRA remit does not include the border areas so the task of taking action is left to local law enforcement agencies.

CASBAA and HK CableTV Sue Over World Cup

In Hong Kong, the high profile publicity campaign waged by CASBAA - The Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia against the bars and other venues that illegally carried World Cup 2006 from Germany is now resulting in civil action being taken in the courts.

FIFA and official TV rights holder, Hong Kong Cable Television are taking the action jointly with CASBAA.

On July 21, the Hong Kong Government, through the Commerce, Industry & Technology Bureau welcomed legal action by the broadcasting industry.

Hong Kong falls within the satellite transmission footprints of Thailand and Philippine satellite pay- TV broadcasters whose encrypted services are the main source of the illegal business in the territory.

Hong Kong law is very clear. People who import, export or supply decoders for receiving foreign satellite pay television services not licensed in Hong Kong are breaching the Copyright Ordinance.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

AOL CNN WGBH Online Initiative for the Deaf

Digital broadcasting to the Deaf takes a step forward in the United States where AOL is testing closed captions for streaming video online for TV news content from CNN in co-operation with TV station, WGBH and NEC Japan, through its NEC Foundation of America. The benefits should be useful to Asian broadcasters with online services.

The AOL closed captioning tests are to improve the online media experience for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The captioned content when fully implemented will be available through all AOL channels, which includes its subscriber network, service, web portal and video portal.

This is an advance on the previous service to the deaf, limited to on- screen captions for CNN News Updates.

From now on, AOL is manually captioning broadcaster CNN's content. This will expand to add current events and entertainment. Additional video content will be added over the coming months.

Similar to closed captioning for traditional television, AOL captions are displayed directly beneath the video window and correspond to the audio content. The service is activated by clicking on the "CC" button on AOL's media player.

The AOL closed captioning project linked with public Television station, WGBH in Boston, and its Media Access Group, an organization that develops technologies and services for media accessibility.

For this project funding AOL looked to NEC of Japan for assistance through its NEC Foundation of America.

The NEC Foundation looks for new technology projects that will have a far reaching impact to help improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Nancy J. Bloch, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf in the US saluted AOL's efforts to make the online world accessible to all.

Claude Stout, Executive Director for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI) described the project as a "pace-setting initiative".

For now the online closed caption video project is limited to Windows users with Windows Media Player.

[Almost all the members of the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union have online web sites. Many carry TV programs for streaming that are a direct feed from the terrestrial broadcast. These often include sign language presenters placed in the corner of the screen. The NEC/AOL project for closed caption streaming output should be of direct interest as a simple practical solution to regional broadcasting industry forerunners such as China Central Television, NHK Japan, Radio Television Malaysia, Radio Television Hong Kong and Doordarshan of India.]

Saturday, July 22, 2006

1st Mobile TV Digital Broadcasts for Cars

This month P.T. Mentari Multimedia M2V is starting digital broadcast trials in Jakarta for the first Mobile TV system designed for the automobile (as opposed to buses and coaches) using the CAS7 conditional access system software from Conax AS of Norway.

M2V is the first operator to offer pay-tv services over L band network to automobiles.

With extensive network coverage to Metro Jakarta, M2V has a potential of reaching out to around half a million automobiles currently fitted with LCD monitors.

The Conax CAS7 system, being built on Conax’s strong security technology platform and long experience, is a key business enabler for operators seeking to maximize revenues. As a stand-alone CA solution or modular add-on to an existing CA system, Conax CAS7 can be tailored to system operators’ specific needs and implemented cost- effectively with minimal upfront investment. The product is compliant with open standards such as MPEG2/MPEG4, DVB SimulCrypt and Common Interface, OpenCable, OpenCAS and DOCSIS.

"After years of market studies and evaluating available technologies, M2V has found the strategic fit in consideration of e.g. security, network and signal quality, seamless integration and cost effectiveness, the choice of having Conax and their partners to provide the most suitable solution and yet future proof," said Tavip N. Parawansa, President Director of P.T. Mentari Multimedia

Friday, July 21, 2006

Indonesia Radio Stations Online Update

Radio Stations Online in Indonesia Update

Selamat datang di [Digital Broadcast Vendor News Asia]

BOOKMARK THIS PAGE (Control + D on your keyboard)

RADIO di Bahasa Indonesia interaktif Wherever you are in the world you can access online these Indonesian radio stations:

*Global FM Bali *Hardrock FM 87.5 *Jakarta News Radio *JJFM 105.1 FM *Prambors FM Jakarta *Radio DJ 94.8 FM *Radio Istra FM *Radio Fiska Ria Jaya Suara 100 FM *Radio Sonora 97,75 FM Surabaya *Radio Swaragama 101.7 FM


Selamat datang di INDORADIO, dengan mencoba format baru semoga menjadikan indoradio menjadi lebih interaktif dengan pendengar.

Untuk mendengarkan silakan masukkan (Winamp/RealOne (Windows Media)

Untuk bergabung dengan I-Mania, silakan kirim email kosong ke mailto:i-mania-subscribe @, untuk request lagu silakan kirim ke mailto:request @


Stations that have either live radio, but restricted to listening in Indonesia or they have interactive sites including chat rooms, forums, guest books etc include the following stations:

* Ramako FM Batam 101.5/100.7 * Bigs FM Batam 104.7 * CBB FM Jakarta * M97FM Jakarta * Classy FM, Padang * Delta FM, Jakarta * FeMale, Jakarta * GCD FM, Yogyakarta * Genta FM, Bali * Geronimo FM, Yogyakarta * Indo, Palembang * Megaswara, Bogor * Radio A 96.7FM Jakarta * * Pas FM Jakarta * Sonora, Jakarta * Ardan FM, Bandung * Lemana FM, Bogor * Mercury FM, Surabaya * Mesra FM, Samarinda * MS TRI FM, Jakarta * Nikoya FM, Aceh (yes, on air) * Padang FM, Padang * PAS FM, Pati * Prambors, Jakarta (but Surabaya Prambors is online live) * 68H, Jakarta * Mercurius, Makassar * Rama Swara, Cianjur * Retjo Buntung, Yogyakarta * Ria FM, Solo * Ronggolawe, Tuban * Salvatore, Surabaya

It appears that Radio Republik Indonesia blocks online access to its live feeds of Pro1 RRI, Jakarta, Pro2 RRI, Jakarta Pro3 RRI, Jakarta if your ISP is outside of Indonesia. Check the RRI wseb site - http://

There may be several reasons for not being able to access. The most important is the protection of music copyright. If this is the reason, then radio stations stop broadcasting on the Internet outside of Indonesia because their fees to the copyright and performing rights agencies would be prohiobitively expensive. The performing rights agencies collect the money on behalf of the musicians, authors and composers of the music played on the radio stations online etc.


Also remember that Radio Singapore International broadcasts daily in Bahasa Indonesia with availability of podcast downloading and online listening. Their web site is

You can listen in Bahasa Indonesia broadcasts also as follows:

* The RSI Segment in Malay on Warna 94.2 FM, Mon - Fri, 2123 - 2133, Singapore time ( ) * KEI-RIA Ceria bersama RSI, 'live' chat show on RIA 89.7 FM (streaming and podcasting in Singapore and KEI FM 102.3 Batam, Mon, 1600 - 1700 Singapore time.

Selected RSI programs in Bahasa Indonesia can be heard in Indonesia on the following stations:

* Jakarta PAS FM 92.4 1900 - 1915 WIB * Jakarta PELITA KASIH FM 96.3 1900 - 1915 WIB * Surabaya PAS FM 104.3 1900 - 1915 WIB * Semarang PAS FM 106 1900 -1915 WIB * Solo PAS FM 90.9 1900 - 1915 WIB * Pekanbaru Bharabas FM 97.5 1900 - 1915 WIB * Pekanbaru Aditya FM 87.6 1900 - 1915 WIB * Banyuwangi FM 89.7, East Java 1900 - 1930 WIB * Batam KEI FM 102.3 1800 - 1830 WIB (in Malay) * Medan Lite FM 92.8 1900 - 1915 WIB

* RSI Bahasa Indonesia Shortwave Service heard across Southeast Asia 6120 kHz / 49 mb 7235 kHz / 41 mb Time of broadcast 1200 - 1400 UTC 1900 - 2100 WIB

There are of course many other broadcasters in Bahasa Indonesia including VOA and ABC Australia to listen online. A number of christian radio stations also but not listed here.

Voice of America

ABC Melbourne

BBC London (also see latest news in Bahasa Indonesia at )

PTS Taiwan Orders Jampro Antennas

The Public Television Service Foundation (PTS) in Taiwan has placed orders for UHF digital antennas from Jampro Antenna / RF Systems of Sacramento, California in preparedness for the start of DVB-T standard, digital broadcasting on the island. Specifically, the Jampro JUHD panel antenna is DTV-ready and can be either side or top-mounted. It is based on a modular design that can be configured to provide various azimuth and elevation patterns for UHF bands IV and V. By using optional beam tilt and null fill, the elevation pattern of PTS's antenna can be shaped to maximise transmission coverage area across the island. Jampro's low power UHF constant Impedance DVB-T combining module is a compact unit in the Company’s RCCC-211-DTV/DVB-T series. The combiner module and filter provides excellent results in the bandpass and channel combining application. PTS started in 1998 as the first independent public broadcasting institution in Taipei. Its two terrestrial television channels broadcast under the names of PTS 300 k and PTS 34 k. Originally, Taiwan adopted the American ATSC digital standard for terrestrial TV broadcasts but later changed to the European rival, Digital Video Broadcasting. Pressure came from within the broadcast and Cable TV industry and manufacturers for the change.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Broadcaster TVB Renews AsiaSat

TVB Pay Vision Limited, the satellite broadcast subsidiary of terrestrial broadcaster, Television Broadcasts Limited ( has renewed a lease for C-band capacity on AsiaSat 3S satellite to continue to provide broadcast TV services across the Asia Pacific region using an MCPC platform.

Four Mandarin language television channels including TVB Xing He Channel, MATV Movies & Entertainment Channel, Tian Ying Movie Channel and Horizon Channel are on this platform.

TVB PAY VISION Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TVB PAY VISION Holdings Limited, which is 49% owned by TVB Satellite TV Holdings Limited.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

DVB-T broadcasting in 114 territories

Hong Kong -- From the recently concluded ITU’s Regional Radiocommunication Conference (RRC-06) the Digital Video Broadcasting project based in Geneva is able to tally the status of DVB-T, the terrestrial standard for television in territories across the world.

Worldwide some 114 countries have launched DVB-T or plan to.

The RRC-06 conference aimed to create a frequency plan and associated coordination agreements for an all digital environment based exclusively on DVB-T.

To date, there are numerous broadcast services using DVB standards. There are hundreds of manufacturers offering DVB compliant equipment, which is already in use around the world. DVB dominates the digital broadcasting world.

DVB-T Status By Country

DVB-T Launched

Albania Andorra Australia Belgium Croatia Czech Republic Faroe Islands Finland France Germany Greece Italy Lithuania Malta Mauritius Namibia Netherlands Russian Federation Singapore Spain Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom

DVB-T Launch Imminent Austria Denmark Norway

DVB-T Formally Adopted

Bosnia and Herzegovina Brunei Bulgaria Burma (Myanmar) Cyprus Hungary Iceland India Iran Ireland Latvia Luxembourg Macedonia Malaysia New Zealand Poland Portugal Romania Serbia and Montenegro Slovakia Slovenia Sri Lanka Turkey Vietnam

DVB-T Pilot Broadcasts On-going

Azerbaijan Belarus China Estonia Israel Moldova South Africa Thailand

Commercial Trials Argentina

RRC'06 Participant - DVB-T in future

Algeria Angola Armenia Azerbaijan Bahrain Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad Comoros Union Congo (Republic of) Côte d'Ivoire Democratic Rep of Congo Djibouti Egypt Gabonese Republic Gambia Ghana Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kuwait Kyrgyz Republic Lebanon Lesotho Libya Liechtenstein Madagascar Malawi Mali Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nigeria Oman Qatar Rwanda San Marino Saudi Arabia Senegal Somalia Sudan Swaziland Syria Tanzania Togolese Republic Tunisia Turkey Ukraine United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe

The DVB Project

The Digital Video Broadcasting Project (DVB) is an industry-led consortium of over 250 broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators, software developers, regulatory bodies and others in over 35 countries committed to designing global standards for the delivery of digital television and data services. The DVB standards cover all aspects of digital television from transmission through interfacing, conditional access and interactivity for digital video, audio and data. The consortium came together in 1993 to create unity in the march towards global standardisation, interoperability and future proofing.

[It is worthwhile noting that ATSC is in use in the USA; Canada and South Korea. ISDB-T in is Japan and Brazil. Taiwan committed to ATSC, but is supportive of DVB.]

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Broadcaster RTB Brunei Revamps News

Brunei -- From July 15, aas part of the celebrations to mark the 60th birthday of the Sultan of Brunei, terrestrial state broadcaster, Radio Televisyen Brunei (RTB) revamped its daily news broadcasts and gone digital in the process.

Apart from a new image, and new camera, helped by non linear editing, an extra news broadcast has been started at 6.30am daily (Hot News), a longer 5.45pm News to 15 minutes, and the News at Ten extended 40- minutes.

Beijing TV Buys SRS Labs Audio system

July 13, Hong Kong: Ricky Wong, regional director - Greater China for SRS Labs,Inc (NASDAQ:SRSL) the US audio broadcast equipment supplier says that Beijing TV has selected the SRS Circle Surround encoded system.

Beijing TV, has adopted the surround sound broadcast format for the weekly TV program, "Community Music Tonight." In addition, the company plans to use the format in additional programming to extend their offering of content with high-quality surround sound.

The SRS Labs system was designed and delivered by Jolly ProAudio Broadcast Engineering Ltd in a very short time frame.

Wong says that since the system can be delivered over any two-channel path, broadcasters who use the format are able to leverage their surround-enabled programming beyond the television to new application such as hand held devices such as mobile phones and portable media players.

Beijing TV is part of the Beijing Broadcasting, Film, and Television Group Set up on May 28, 2001 as a business unit, as part of restructuring of the radio and television industry across China.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

[Diary Alert] MIPCOM Mobile TV Focus October 11

Cannes: Mobile TV takes center stage at MIPCOM exhibition and Conference for a day on October 11.

Keynote address will be given by Sanjiv Ahuja, CEO of Europe's biggest integrated operator Orange (now a French Telecom owned company). Ahuja will share his vision of the tremendous potential for mobile TV entertainment and explore the opportunities offered by mobile broadband in the always-on, anytime, any-place era.

Ahuja will also outline the most recent initiatives taken by Orange through service and network convergence to provide a pocket-sized entertainment centre.

It is worthwhile noting that other top industry professionals will give speeches: Anne Sweeney, Disney Media Networks/Disney-ABC Television Group; Harry Sloan MGM; Beth Comstock NBC Universal and George Bodenheimer ESPN/ABC Sports.

An integral part of MIPCOM 2006 focus on Mobile (DVB-H and T-DMB) are the Mobile TV Screenings & Awards. Last year 220 entries, from 110 companies came from 28 countries. For the second consecutive year the contest will recognise and reward innovation and creativity in made-for-mobile formats.

Organizer, Reed MIDEM says its commitment to Mobile TV is to help the creative industry move forward as a new medium for entertainment content. It says that awards last year had generated great business opportunities for the companies who entered the competition.

[To note how segmentised the industry is becoming, just look at the award categories: Best Original Made-for-Mobile Film or Video Content, Best Repurposed Content from existing Film or TV Property, Best Made-for-Mobile TV Channel, Best Format for Interactive Mobile TV and Best Mobile Format for User-Generated Content.]

Contact MIPCOM for award entry procedures and deadline for submissons.


Radio must deliver program content in shorter bursts says Pacific Radio Chief

Broadcast Asia 2006 review

At the Asia Radio 2006 Conference held in conjunction with Broadcast Asia 2006, June 20-23, Singapore, Francis Herman, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation CEO told conference attendees in a speech that radio program content must be made more relevant to its audience to preserve its media market share.

This relevance becomes more critical with the advancing popularity of television, podcasting, Internet and mobile phones which are stealing audience away from the traditional radio broadcasts.

Mr Herman's speech was reviewing the past 100 years of radio.

[Is Radio really 100 year's old yet? - Ed]

While refusing to accept that radio is a dying breed, Herman argued that the traditional “block programming” format of radio stations is no longer attractive to listeners and must be replaced by shorter bursts of “relevant” information.

“None listens to radio out of a sense of loyalty and with the rapid advances in technology, other mediums threaten the popularity of radio which in turn affects its viability”, he said

Mr Herman added that traditional radio is forced to embrace new technology to enhance content offerings.

He noted that among the changes include live audio streaming, radio on demand, television simulcasts, and interactive radio with greater audience participation.

Radio stations, Mr Herman argues, can no longer work in isolation and must secure new alliances with telecommunication companies, including mobile phone operators and internet providers.

[This message emulates the posture of regional advocates who are telling terrestrial broadcasters adapt to the changing times, adopt new technologies or die away for being irrelevent.]

The Radio Asia 2006 conference sponsors included UNESCO and the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU).

Guangdong T-DMB First in China for Mobile TV

Guangzhou -- China is thought to be the second country to implement digital multimedia broadcasting (T-DMB)technology outside of Korea. The country's first system is currently being supplied and installed by Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) as a dual-channel mobile TV service to Guangdong Province to be operated by Guangdong Mobile Television Media Co. Ltd (GMTM).

The 42 separate antennae system arrays are being implemented in three stages by mid-2007.

The first stage of eight antenna arrays were ready in May in time for the World Cup 2006 from Germany. They were installed in the major centers of Guangzhou, Foshan, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Shenzhen and Zhuhai.

Stage two will be ready by the end of 2006 adding a further 13 antenna systems. The third stage will complete the project with a further 21 systems by mid-2007.

Designed, installed and commissioned by RFS, the broadband antenna systems allows the transmission of two Band III VHF channels, delivering mobile TV to the handsets of both urban and rural citizens.

RFS says when completed, the Guangdong T-DMB will be the largest commercial mobile television network in the world to-date, and predicted to attract over three million viewers.

It is worthwhile noting that the Chinese government has yet to announce a national terrestrial digital transmission standard. It has to do so before the Beijing Summer Olympics 2008 as it has promised the world coverage will be all in HDTV. The odds are shortening on the country adopting the European DVB standard or a hybrid version. An announcement is expected any time.

Australia ABC Supports Digital TV Moves

Sydney, Australia -- The Australian Broadcasting Corporation for once is in tune with a Government policy relating to broadcasting.

ABC Managing Director Mark Scott says that the country's national broadcaster, welcomes the government's commitment to remove genre restrictions on the ABC's digital channel ABC2.

Mr Scott is referring to the Australian Government proposals announced July 13 to make Digital TV more attractive for consumer uptake as part of a major policy shift including media ownership rules.

Mr Scott said the decision affirms the key role of the ABC in helping to drive the switch to digital television by providing attractive new digital content. That content requires consumers to buy a set top box or to receive the digital channel via a pay-TV platform.

Mr Scott says that digital TV channel ABC2 is offering new programming content from regional Australia, where the ABC is a key player, and where it guarantees diversity, local news broadcasts and community information, accessing archival content, and bringing stories from outside the capital cities to the whole nation.

The ABC says its initiatives such as ABC2, content for broadband and podcasting services show also how it is at the forefront of the digital (broadcaster) media changes.

Chunghwa Telecom, Not my Investment Choice

Chunghwa Telecom (NYSE:CHT) is Taiwan's most important telecoms operator. I wrote to them as a fully fledged member of the international press corps requesting to be added to their press distribution list.

They are not a very user friendly bunch, and certainly a place I would think twice about placing my money if their attitude across the company is in line with their email response to my request which read:


Dear Sir,

We apologize that we only include institutional investors onto our distributing list. You may go to our website to check our press releases.

Sincerely yours,

Investor Relation, Chunghwa Telecom

end quote

Just imagine how you would feel if were a 'small' investor making the same request as I did!

Chunghwa is in much need of some media relations guidance not to mention on how to handle investors.

PS. Taipei, July 10 Reuters reported that Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd., Taiwan's largest telecommunications firm, first-half net profit was T $22.2 billion (US$687 million), or T$2.32 per share DOWN 8.6 percent from the same period a year earlier. (US$=T$32.3)

[Is that a surprise?]

Australia - Analog TV SwitchOff Delayed

Faced with a slow consumer take up of digital TV, Australia has delayed the analog switch off date for terrestrial broadcasting in the capital cities. The major metropolitan areas were to be first with the country stations at undefined later dates.

That is now all out of the window. The Government is saying something different though. They say they are addressing the major electronic media changes and keeping terrestrial TV broadcasting competitive and to move with the times.

The original date for metro TV stations was December 31, 2008, now says Communications Minister Helen Coonan is to fall in a flexible window between 2010 and 2012.

Reviewing the direction of the TV industry, Senator Coonan unveiled government plans to release frequencies to provide the main commercial terrestrial networks, Seven Nine and Ten to have a multicasting channel each. The set target date is 2009. The Minister also said the Government had dropped plans to restrict the type of content the channels would carry.

The rationale for the multicasting move was to enable an element of experimenting with new programming content concepts and to utilise valuable program archives.

This all looks like part of the deal struck with the industry as part of liberalizing ownership and opening up.

Sen. Helen Coonan said the government's proposed reforms will allow the Australian media sector to move from the old analog-based regime into the dynamic new world of digital content, where traditional media co-exist and compete with new delivery platforms.

Should this all come to pass a single company will be able to own TV, radio and print assets in one market. Cross media ownership is currently not permitted. The new environment would permit five independent media groups to operate in Australia's main metropolitan areas and four elsewhere.

Australia's current Labour opposition party see the moves as a recipe for disaster where key media assets in radio, TV and newspapers will come under the same ownership, concentrating rather than allowing more market players.

Friday, July 14, 2006

2HHH Hornsby 100.1FM License Renewed

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has renewed the licence for Sydney suburb community broadcasting radio station, 2HHH Hornsby, 100.1FM for 5 years.

The ACMA made the renewal after the New South Wales community station was able to satisfy concerns raised by the Authority, over membership provisions and financial aspects of its broadcasting operations.

The procedures for renewing a community broadcasting licence are set out in section 90 and section 91 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the Act). The Act was amended in December 2002 to give the Authority more discretion to review a community broadcasting licence at the time that it is due for renewal.

Hornsby is a Sydney suburb where a number of broadcasters are located including some of the facilities of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

PHAROS AT IBC 2006 Broadcast Exhibition

Asian and Middle East digital broadcasters update. News of IBC Amsterdam Exhibition and Conference September 8-12.

WIDENING THE BROADCAST HORIZON: Pharos Communications of Reading Berkshire is expanding its powerful broadcast process management system, enabling television networks to widen their business horizons without increased cost. While file- based management systems bring many operational efficiencies to television broadcaster businesses but the technologies and formats can hinder a work flow if not handled correctly. Pharos will demonstrate the integration of both broadcast and commodity IT systems and show how to make workflow easy to control and manage. Pharos will announce recently installed and deployed large systems at IBC.

Since its formation in 1997, Pharos has developed a wide range of systems for automating the flow of material through broadcast facilities including playout presentation, media asset management, archiving, and facility management.

[Note: If your company is attending IBC Amsterdam, September 8-12, please send us your product or service information for our readers. Ed]

Network Nine and SBS to Broadcast National Soccer in 2007?

The Australian newspaper is today reporting that post-World Cup 2006 euphoria is expected to prompt Football Federation Australia to exploit an opening in its A$120million (US$490 million approx) broadcast rights contract with pay-TV operator Fox Sports to develop a highlights package (for terrestrial TV broadcasts - Ed). Such a deal would allow large sections of Asian Cup soccer matches featuring the Australian national side to be shown on free to air in 2007.

Industry sources said Nine Network CEO, Eddie McGuire and World Cup rightsholding broadcaster, SBS Television would be interested in such a deal, although Nine's sports department is believed to be waiting for the dust to settle after a round of retrenchments and cost- cutting, says the newspaper in its report.

[Traditional soccer has seen a comeback in interest in Australia following the intense radio and TV coverage of FIFA World Cup in Germany this past month heightened by the digital television technical on screen quality viewers have watched. Australian Rules Football (more akin to Rugby) has had a headway for several years. Traditional soccer interest however is strongest amongst Australia's multi-cultural and new immigrant groups. SBS Television programming is targeted at these groups. - Ed]

Hong Kong PCCW to Change Leadership

Hong Kong. Richard Li, younger son of Li Ka Shing, Hong Kong's richest man, has sold 22.7 per cent of his interest in PCCW, the SAR's main telecomms player for US$1.2 billion to Frances Leung, friend of Li Ka Shing and China. The sale will be concluded in December at which time Richard will step down as CEO, but retain a 3 per cent share in PCCW. The deal ends weeks of speculation over the young Li and PCCW.

PCCW is the main fixed line operator, and key broadband player ("now" service) in Hong Kong amongst its media investments. But for all his panache and style since starting out, Richard has managed to upset both China (for trying to sell PCCW to foreign investors) and Hong Kong's multitude of small investors (Richard's failure to turn PCCW into a regional telecomms powerhouse sending shares plummeting as a result). His departure will leave a bad taste even now even though he is offering a special dividend pay out for the sale of most of his shares in PCCW.

It is thought that Li senior stepped in to choose the course for the younger son.

Richard (39) started out working at the Li family's satellite TV station STAR. In 1993, he sold STARTV to media mogul, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. for US$950 million. Li then used the proceeds from the sale of Star to set up Pacific Century Group, which later launched PCCW.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

SmartRadio DAB Radio Singapore, Geared Up for Civil Emergencies

My friends at SmartRadio in the island-republic of Singapore are right on the ball. Public service/emergency service preparedness is all set on digital radio there.

From their site, if a litle paraphrased for international reading....

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Public Warning System (PWS) messages now go out on SmartRadio.

During SCDF's monthly testing of the PWS warning siren, a text message is also transmitted simultaneously on SmartRadio's Dynamic Segment Label (DLS) service and broadcast island-wide. DLS service enables SCDF to disseminate PWS related and other messages to all DAB radios when the need arises.

DLS, one of SmartRadio data services, is a scrolling text message that appears across the LCD screen that is available on all DAB radios. Besides transmitting Singapore Civil Defence Force PWS messages, it also carries many useful infos like synchronized song titles & artist name, traffic situations, weather conditions, ads & promos, etc. Because of its free-to-air broadcast nature, messages can be reliably delivered as it is not subjected to any network bottleneck's condition.

It is worthwhile noting that Singapore seems to be well ahead of Hong Kong its friendly rival when it comes to digital audio broadcasting.

Check out DAB in Singapore at:

INSAT-4C Satellite Failure Big Blow to Indian Broadcasters

July 11. The Business Standard of India is today reporting the failure of the launch of the INSAT-4C by the Indian Space Research Organisation.

The much-hyped communications satellite is a setback to the broadcasting companies in India, which would have otherwise benefited in delivering direct-to-home TV (DTH) broadcasting.

Also, this is likely to delay the launch of some other satellites originally planned by the ISRO.

The newspaper says the blow to the DTH industry could not be estimated but the broadcasting industry believes that it could delay the launch schedule of operators like Tata Sky DTH and Sun TV DTH platforms.

Similarly, for existing broadcasters and DTH services providers, who were planning to launch new digital broadcast channels and services the INSAT-4C could spell bad news. The satellite was to have boosted DTH and VSAT sectors with additional transmission facilities and bandwidth.

“The existing players like Doordarshan that could have migrated, would have to continue on their current satellite. The plans of DTH entrants like Sun TV would certainly get delayed until they put together arrangements for another private satellite or until the government hires another one,” said an expert.

Sun TV is believed to be depending heavily on INSAT-4C, the heaviest satellite India has ever attempted to put in space — to roll out its DTH venture. The second entrant that could be affected is Tata Sky, the 80:20 joint venture between the Tata Group and STAR. A Tata Sky official refused to comment while Sun TV executives could not be reached for comments.

Zee TV with its Dish TV, which currently has a viewership of 1.2 million, does not foresee any negative impact on its DTH business. “We have not booked any bandwidth on the satellite. We’ll continue operating through out current satellites,” said Sunil Khanna, chief executive officer, Dish TV.

INSAT-4C, which was equipped with 12 high power Ku-band transponders, was expected to provide India with a capacity primarily for direct-to- home TV broadcasting. It had a design life of 10 years.

Besides DTH, the 2.2 tonne satellite was also designed to provide services like digital satellite news gathering, digital picture transmission, meteorological imaging and services for the National Informatics Service.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

RadioCity FM Airs in Chennai

In India, the RadioCity FM network operated by Music Broadcast Private Limited (MBPL) launched its Chennai FM station 105.8FM on July 10. It recently launched in Hyderabad. The network also includes Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi.

Ms Apruva Purohit, CEO of RadioCity told reporters in Chennai that the rest of the FM stations (16) would be on air before March 2007. Ms Purohit has been in the job a year.

The radio network was awarded the licenses under the government Phase ll expansion into commercial FM Radio.

RadioCity FM was earlier part of the Star Group of Hong Kong. Now it is owned by GW Capital, retaining the brand name "RadioCity".

HIV/AIDS TV Asia Awarded Asia Broadcasters $5,000 for Campaign Awarenesss

The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), and UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) Regional HIV and Development Program for Asia based in Colombo under the 'Broadcast Content Development Initiative’ 2006 has awarded up to US$ 5,000 in grants and technical support to produce high quality documentaries, vignettes and Public Service Announcements.

The recipients are producers from Radio Television of Afghanistan, Bangladesh Television, China Central Television, Asia Television Limited, Radio Television Hong Kong, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Doordarshan, Prasar Bharati, Indosiar Visual Mandiri, Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Berhad, Nepal Television, Media Niugini Ptd. Ltd (EMTV), Geo Television (Independent Media Corporation Pvt Ltd), ABS-CBN Broadcasting Network, Television of Thailand Channel 11 and Vietnam Television.

The project is designed to increase public awareness and generate informed debates on critical issues related to HIV/AIDS and human development in the Asia-Pacific region and to build the capacity and commitment of television producers on HIV/AIDS and related issues.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Arabsat BADR-6 to Use Arianespace as launch vehicle

Riyadh -- Arabsat has contracted Arianespace to launch of its BADR-6 satellite in the January to June period, 2008. BADR-6 (technically, Arabsat-4AR) will be launched by from the Guiana Space Center, Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Arabsat since launching the Arabsat-1A satellite in 1985 has used Arianespace for its launch operations.

BADR-6, a fourth-generation satellite, will be built jointly by EADS- Astrium and AlcatelAleniaSpace with a design life of about 15 years. BADR-6 is to be used to primarily provide video broadcasting services for the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region from Arabsat's 26° East.

Technorati Profile

Saturday, July 08, 2006

IPTV For Indian Diaspora

US headquartered, Archer Entertainment Media Communications Inc(OTC: ACRM - News) has just signed two major agreements. The first, is the purchase of 10 million minutes of VoIP time for India and 10 million minutes of VoIP time for China on an ongoing basis from Thai-based, Buzz Technologies, Inc. (OTC: BZTG - News)Buzz.

Buzz will assist Archer in the integration of the software into Archer related sites in conjunction with existing IPTV infrastructure and expansion into new sites in both countries.

The Archer move pursues the company goal of providing consumers and businesses in Southeast and South Asia the same access available in the West.

Archer's extensive commercial operations include digitalization of cinemas in China and India, with attendant real estate development, its GETonline world data base, the launch of IndiaBroadcastLive (IBL), Indiads, and ChinaBroadcastLive (CBL).

The second contract is celebrating an Indian first. In Anaheim, California, Archer has launched the first Indian IPTV platform in the world,

The site streams Indian Radio, TV and internet content to subscribers over IPTV.

This is a significant political move as witnessed by the presence of the Honorable Vyalar Ravi, India's Union Cabinet Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs at the openignceremonies in Anaheim, California on June 29.

The event was organized by the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) and attended by more than 300 leaders of the Indian community in Southern California; Mr. Ravi formally launched the IPTV service. Present with the Indian Union Cabinet Minister were Abhesh Verma, CEO of India Broadcast Live, LLC, an Archer supported company, and Munish Gupta, COO, Archer Entertainment, the two men responsible for conceiving and putting together the first such multiple television channel platform. is the first of its kind platform that will enable all Indian media via IP to deliver television and radio channels real time, live and direct from India in as good as high definition television quality on wired, WI-fi and cellular devices worldwide. The content will comprise news, sports and entertainment in all languages of India.

Abhesh Verma is also CEO of, a strategic partner of Archer. is the Number 1 Indian entertainment portal in the world and typically ranks among the top 300 of all portals globally. averages 1 million unique daily visitors. Verma also heads, the only one of its kind advertising agency/portal that aggregates and distributes Internet advertising on its group websites as well as many other Indian websites.'s content and marketing partners include Shama Broadcast & Content Service India Pvt. Ltd. and Creative Content Services India Pvt. Ltd., owned and operated by Mr. Kedar Nath Gupta, a veteran Indian journalist based in New Delhi who retired as the News Editor of The Economic Times (of India) and is the President of GOPIO India.

Full-time broadcasting, in every Indian language, to 40 million Indians living outside of India and 1.2 billion Indian subscribers in India via, and begin by August 15th, 2006, marking the 59th anniversary of India's independence.

The Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Honorable Vyalar Ravi said his Ministry that looks after the interests of the 40 million people of Indian origin and Non-Resident Indians who reside overseas was "delighted that this new (IPTV) platform will connect expatriates with instantaneous news and information from India," thereby "making our job simpler." Mr. Ravi said he was particularly confident of the success of the service since "I personally know both the promoters, father (Kedar Nath Gupta) and son (Munish Gupta), and their hard and consistent work in media and for the community." The Indian Minister said the ( service could further enhance the fast- growing relationship and investment by overseas Indians into India."'s CEO Verma said, "The platform provides us the extremely lucrative opportunity to reach both inside and outside of India. Overseas Indians represent the most affluent ethnic consumers of any expatriate group. Within India, we will target a whopping 500 million consumer class with a steadily rising broadband connectivity. This is both enticing and exciting. Teaming up with longtime friend Munish and Archer, a resourceful and aggressive global company, and using the very latest technology, there's no doubt we will become the voice of India and Indians across the globe."

Archer Entertainment provided the initial funding for the launch and marketing of Archer Entertainment CEO Michael Selsman said, "We remain committed to growing and diversifying the ( platform."

Taiwan Mobile TV Trials Being Arranged

Trial operations for digital mobile TV are due to start in Taiwan once the National Communications Commission (NCC) comes up with a plan, expected any day now and to call for interested companies to make submissions for a trial and have a public hearing.

The NCC has allocated two radio frequency bands, Channel 51 at 692-698MHz and Channel 53 at 704-710MHz, for the trial operation, according to the agency.

Decisions will be required on the technological standards to be adopted, assignment of the two channels to different regions in Taiwan; the trial period and which companies will participate.

Currently in Taiwan, operators of 3G mobile communication services have offered or are capable of offering unicast point-to-point mobile TV services but are unable to offer MBMS (multimedia broadcast multicast services).

Satellite Podcasts Launch Next Month

It had to come. The first network to broadcast an all-podcast format to satellite radio listeners starts next month in the United States.

Behind the project is The Podcast Satellite Network which has been created to serve the needs of podcasters looking for exposure to a significant second audience.

PSN, through plans to meet that need by broadcasting its all-podcast lineup to all of North America via free to air (FTA) satellite radio.

During the pre-launch phase now underway FTA satellite radio airtime is being offered by PSN to podcasters at a low promotional rate.

PodSat.Net General Manager, Michael McBride said that the whole idea is to provide simple and affordable access by podcasters to the gigantic broadcast footprint of FTA satellite radio ( in the US). He added that research suggests that the FTA satellite radio audience will love the podcast content, opening up a significant new second audience to podcasters.

Another advantage is that a local AM and FM stations may also freely rebroadcast the podcast satellite feed as it is free-to-air.

FTA satellite radio is much less well known than subscription satellite radio, such as Sirius or XM, but is now growing in popularity. FTA offers both radio and TV digital broadcasts. It is called Free To Air because listeners in North America may access FTA programming legally at no cost. Listening requires the use of a Ku band satellite setup that can sell for less than US$150 with no subscription fees following, making FTA programming attractive to a growing number of consumers.

Who will be first in Asia-Pacific?

Hong Kong facesTV Piracy Scrutiny over World Cup

On July 6, CASBAA - the Asian Cable and Satellite lobbyist association - has come out publicly and rebuked those bars and clubs and other venues in Hong Kong that have been screening unlicensed broadcasts of the World Cup from Germany.

CASBAA says that such blatant breaches of copyright are a worrying issue and a significant hurdle for Hong Kong in its efforts to position itself as a genuine “World City”.

According to the Ming Pao Daily - a respective Chinese language newspaper in Hong Kong, the World Cup has boosted Hong Kong bar revenues by up to 50 per cent.

Independent estimates suggest that at least one-third of the cash has been generated by screening pirated TV programming from markets such as the Philippines and South Africa.

Marcel Fenez, Chairman of The Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia says that when it comes to the basics of sports and entertainment intellectual property rights protection, the Hong Kong SAR still lags behind other media hubs such as Singapore, Sydney, Seoul and Tokyo.

According to The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Ranking 2005-2006, Hong Kong dropped seven places to 28 out of the 117 economies measured in the study. A weakening in the protection of intellectual property rights was partially attributable to the decline in Hong Kong’s ranking.

Mr Fenez is calling for collaboration on all fronts between the government, industry, bar and club owners and the general public to protect intellectual property rights.

Under Hong Kong law, bars and clubs may only display pay-TV channels under an appropriate subscription from Hong Kong licensed pay-TV operators such as Hong Kong Cable TV, "now Television" and TVB Pay Vision.

CASBAA said that overseas pay-TV operators such as Dream of the Philippines, MultiChoice of South Africa and UBC True of Thailand are authorised to offer pay-TV subscriptions only in their respective jurisdictions and they cannot, and indeed "do not" offer subscriptions in Hong Kong.

The display of overseas pay-TV channels in Hong Kong by bars and club owners, using special decoders is illegal.

[On the general topic of piracy of satellite TV channels in Hong Kong, it is hardly surprising that with a large Filipino expatriate community - over 250,000, pirated cards are on the market. They are readily available from HK$50 (US$6.00). There is no TV service provider targeting Tagalog speakers in the HKSAR. Ed.]

DVB-H Mobile TV Projections by Texas Instruments and Nokia

from World Cup, Germany.

Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) hosted a July 4 press event on the potential of mobile digital TV. They used appropriately, a venue in the "FC Bayern Muenchen" headquarters in Munich.

TI was assisted by Nokia.

Some facts from TI:

Texas Instruments said there are approximately 16 countries with DVB- H (Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld) mobile TV networks in place. The standard is an open standard developed by The DVB Project in Geneva with broad industry support among hundreds of companies worldwide.

The advantages of DVB-H compared to other mobile TV standards were addressed in a panel discussion led by David McQueen, principal analyst for Informa Telecoms & Media, with representatives from TI and Nokia.

The panel also discussed the potential of the emerging mobile Digital TV (DTV) market with on-the-go consumers who are hungry for content to fit their interests. Following the panel, attendees were able to experience how sports fans' lives are changing with mobile TV from demonstrations of TI's HollywoodTM DVB-H single chip and Nokia's N92 mobile device.

"2006 is the year the mobile DTV picture will start to become clear with strong industry traction and international sporting events serving as the catalyst for mobile DTV growth," said McQueen. "In fact, Informa expects $300 million in operator revenue to come just from users accessing streaming and broadcast services in June and early July to watch their favorite team play in international competition."

In order for mobile DTV handsets to be embraced by the mass market, the service and the technology must be affordable. "At Nokia we firmly believe mobile DTV will deploy beyond the initial uptake the market is currently experiencing," said Harri Mannisto, Director, Multimedia, Nokia. "From the numerous consumer pilots in which Nokia has been involved, it has become clear that mobile TV is a very exciting and interesting mobile service which consumers are ready to pay for."

Christian Dupont, of TI's Wireless Terminals Business Unit, indicated that while the real growth in the market will take place in the next five years, major international sporting events are sparking shorter term development.

Dupont said, "This year we expect a substantial increase in consumer awareness for mobile broadcast TV that will in turn drive broader adoption of mobile DTV with DVB-H," he said. "We are seeing the impact the first live mobile TV broadcast of a major global sporting event is having which is evidence that the entire ecosystem has taken a major step together to bring mobile TV to consumers worldwide outside of initial trials."

At every level of the mobile DTV value-chain, carriers, handset providers, infrastructure owners, content providers, broadcasters and semiconductor suppliers are putting increased efforts behind their mobile DTV plans supporting DVB-H.

Informa predicts 210 million mobile TV subscribers by 2011 and that by then ten percent of all mobile handsets sold will have a broadcast receiver, with DVB-H accounting for 63 percent of broadcast receiver sales.

ATG and Digistar of Malaysia to go Asiawide

Kuala Lumpur - ATG Broadcast of the UK is extending cooperation with its Malaysia partner, integrator Digistar Corporation into a a more committed arrangement to jointly offer combined service to digital television networks and production facilities in the Asia-Pacific region.

The move follows a successful venture of working together on the construction of the new 65-channel ASTRO Broadcast Centre in Cyberjaya, Malaysia.

ATG engineers designed all the broadcast areas including satellite downlinking, 50 incoming lines, tape ingest, a compliance editing and versioning area, a multi-channel transmission area and reactive transmission suites for locally originated channels plus a master control room (MCR) capable of monitoring up to 96 output channels.

For its part, Digistar engineers and wiremen then installed the systems and assisted the ATG engineers with testing and commissioning.

The ATG partnership choice was based on the proven competence and experience of Digistar.

In 2005, Digistar completed a TV news automation project for Radio Television Malaysia. This, says ATG is the largest news automation installation in the entire region.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Thai Broadcaster's Exhibition Ventures

Bangkok, Thailand - The media group, TV Channel 3 and Virgin BEC-Tero Radio (Thailand) - (the Branson Thai connection) are leveraging their broadcast assets in the form of on-air performers and advertising/ promotion for several lifestyle exhibitions with sister company, BEC- Tero Exhibitions Company Limited.

The move is part of the media group's objective to help make Thailand as a premier international exhibitions hub.

The first exhibition will be for woman, August 10-14 and cover five distinct areas of interest: Health & Wellness, Mobile Communications & IT, Weddings & Parties, Active Lives & Self-Improvement and Beauty & Fashion.

The second consumer exhibition, named the Hip Hip Show runs from September 28 to October 1. It will target modern Thai individuals who are seeking the latest solutions to contemporary Lifestyle in hi- tech, fashion, home decor, hobbies, toys cars and things to do.

The on-air radio and TV broadcasting exposure is expected to be the main driver of interest in these two exhibitions.

[Diary] AIMIA Australia 28-29/8 Sydney

AIMIA National Summit 2006 28 & 29 August 2006 - Rydges Jamison, Sydney

The 2nd Annual AIMIA National Summit of the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association takes place on August 28/29 at the Rydges Jamison Complex in Sydney.

The event brings together the leading minds on where interactive media is going in Australia.

Australians' acceptance and advocacy of new media has presented the Interactive industry with a myriad of opportunities. It has also issued some challenges. These will be discussed and debated at the AIMIA National Summit.

*Notable overseas speakers include: Nick Piggott,Digital Content Manager, GCao Media Group PLC, and

*Richard Smith,Executive Producer, Communities Development Group,BBC New Media

Key Contributions are from:

Russell Stendell Head of Radio Development ABC Radio

Mark Bamford Partner Tresscox Lawyers

Hugh Martin Editor

Rene Leger Strategic Director - Interactive Young & Rubicam Brands

Charlie Chan Director Martian Music

Gavin Parry Director of Digital Services Sony BMG

Nic Cola Director - News, Information & Entertainment Fairfax Digital

Scott Johnson Marketing Director News Interactive Chris Grant-Foster CEO Two Way TV

Grahame Stevens General Manager, Datacasting Broadcast Australia

Cliff Rosenberg Managing Director Clear Light Digital

Jane O'Connell Head of Content NineMsn

Jason Nealon Head of Fixed and Mobile Portals Optus

Scott Taylor General Manager Content and Services Hutchison

Louise van Rooyen Asia-Pacific Business Development Manager Massive Incorporated

Michael Padden Group Manager - Content Business Development Telstra


Dr. Dean Economou Domain Director, Health & Media Smart Internet Technology CRC

Not on Asia Broadcasting but Google (NASDAQ-NM:GOOG) itself

This is not the usual post on digital broadcasting in Asia, my normal subject area. Instead, it is an alert for all users of Google Adsense (GOOGLE INC CL A (NASDAQ-NM:GOOG).

Google for security reasons have issued everyone with an Adsense security pin code. Prior to activation your web site will continue to earn income. But that income is frozen until you activate the pin.

There was no prior warning to my knowledge of this security enforcement.

For me the valid date for the "pin" is dated July 5, according to my account online.

If you have a Google Adsense account the pin is being sent by mail to your registered street address.

Google says it will take several days to be sent after the formal date of notification to each Adsense account. Then it will take 3-4 weeks normal postal delivery. (Not registered mail).

Remember the cut off date for each monthly payment is at the end of each month. If you do not receive the pin, you cannot apply for a new one until July 28th (in my case). That will take another 3-4 weeks delivery. You will then have missed this month's payment, and will not get paid until middle of September for August income.

I urge everyone who has AdSense to immediately check their account online and see what conditions have been stipulated by Google.

I sent an email to and asking a number of questions. This is the pre-prepared reply from the UK Google team that arrived within hours of my email:


We have recently sent you a Personal Identification Number (PIN) via standard mail. You should expect to receive it within about 2-4 weeks. Once you receive your PIN, you will need to enter it into your account in order to become eligible to receive AdSense payments. To enter your PIN, simply follow the instructions included with your PIN mailer.

Please note that publishers have 6 months from the original issue date to enter their PIN. If you have not entered your PIN within 4 months, we will start displaying Public Service Ads (PSAs) on your web pages. If you have not entered your PIN within 6 months, your account will be disabled and any unpaid earnings will be refunded to the appropriate advertisers. You can learn more about our PIN policy at .

For additional questions about getting paid, please visit http:// . If you prefer a video presentation of this information, we encourage you to watch our Payment demo (currently available in English only), located at http:// .

Yours sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team end of the reply

As an international account holder, I am surprised that there was no prior warning of this security improvement, which, I none the less applaud and support.

But Google should have warned each and every account holder. They could then been able to prepare for this change. It is after all the holiday season in the Northern hemisphere. Many will miss the July payment because of this imposition, don't let it be you especially if you are an individual and not a company.

And do not confuse this with other security pin(s) being issued related to accounts with Google.

Contact the Google office in your country (if there is one) if you need to have more clarification.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Israel: New Satlink+MTVS One Stop Broadcasters Shop

Tel Aviv: In mid-June, Satlink Communications with its satellite and fibre transmission facilities and the MTVS digital broadcast facility, joined forces in Tel Aviv to provide broadcasters with a one-stop service for productions and programming from Israel.

To achieve this both companies are co-locating digital equipment for ease of operation.

Step one has been for MTVS and Satlink to install fibre optic connectivity between their respective facilities allowing two way content delivery.

In addition, MTVS has co-located its transmission, fiber and satellite gateway at Satlink's premises, while Satlink has co-located its play out facilities at MTVS at the heart of Israel's broadcasting district in Habarzel Street, Tel Aviv.

What this means is that Satlink clients will now have access to the recently launched new automation (Harris D Series) system and archiving (Masstech digital archive technology) for nearline storage.

MTVS clients now have seamless access to Satlink uplinking to worldwide satellite distribution, achieved through parent company, Globecast Global satellite and fibre optic network for worldwide television broadcast distribution.

BNS into Vietnam MPEG-4 Market

Hong Kong-based, Broadband Network Systems through its local partner in Vietnam, Pham Tuan Trading Company Ltd (PTC) Ltd, say they are to supply Envivio H.264 standard definition TV (SD) live encoders and decoders for the commercial launch of broadcast quality video transmission from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City via a telco.

At this point BNS are unwilling to disclose which telecomms operator they are working with? Why?

None the less, BNS CE0 Jeffrey Soong, says that to offer H.264 broadcast quality video transmission (BNS uses the word "transport") will be a significant move in transforming Vietnam’s entertainment landscape.

I never quite understand why new words have to be developed when present day definitions fit the given situation. BNS are referring to audio and video delivery. It is still a 'broadcast' signal, that still 'transmits' no matter the delivery path.

Anyway, be that as it may, BNS sees the MPEG-4 digital broadcast coders as providing highest quality video at the lowest possible bit rate. I suppose they are saying it is delivery of more for less, without loss of definition?

BNS a Hong Kong company, uses advanced IPTV solutions to the telco provider community. Their client name list includes: Chunghwa Telecom (Taiwan), Hanaro Telecom (Korea) and Telekom Malaysia.