Thursday, August 31, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | Live TV on Qatar Airways

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has learned that the Qatar Airways has become the latest airline to offer live digital satellite TV on flights.

The first five Airbus A330 aircraft on the Middle East Europe flights have been equipped with the new Rockwell Collins Tailwind 560 satellite television system with moveable multi-directional parabolic antenna.

Partner distributor of the TV programming is Showtime Arabia.

Passengers have a choice of one set of TV programming in Arabic and another in English.

TV Channel selection depends on satellite used. In the Middle East, passengers have access to Al Jazeera, BBC World, EuroNews, CNN International, TV5, EuroSport News, MBC and Disney Channel. Within the European region, channels available are Al Jazeera, BBC World, EuroNews, CNN International, TV5, EuroSport 2, Future TV and Bloomberg. Essentially, coverage should be smooth moving between satellites giving uninterrupted viewing as flights pass from Middle Eastern into European airspace and vice versa.

By the end of the year, 14 Qatar Airways aircraft, including the airline’s brand new Airbus A340-60 will have been equipped with the new Rockwell Collins satellite television system.

By the end of 2007, all of Qatar Airways aircraft will be equipped with the Satellite TV system. Qatar Airways’ entertainment system onboard its widebody A330 fleet is fully interactive offering Audio Video On-Demand which gives passengers greater viewing and listening options.

Qatar Airways, based in Dubai is among an elite group of international airlines ranked with a Five Star status for service and excellence by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Qatar Airways is also one of the fastest growing carriers. It plans to more than double its fleet size to 110 aircraft by 2015.

**The first airline believed to have introduced live satellite TV was JetBlue Airways in 2000. The US low cost airline owns LiveTV, an innovative provider of in-flight entertainment products and services such as DIRECTV, Bell ExpressVu, XM Satellite Radio, wireless aircraft data link services, Digital Servers for stored content, and cabin surveillance systems for commercial aircraft. (

Last year, LiveTV contracted with Virgin Blue Airlines to provide in- flight satellite television on the Australian low-fare carrier's fleet. There is a choice of 24 FOXTEL and AUSTAR channels of satellite programming at every seatback.

LiveTV is shortly to install LiveTV satellite TV systems on aircraft of Italy's low cost airline, Air One. From 4Q 2006, Air One passengers will be offered an array of Italian language channels.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Digital MPEG-4 | ATEME at IBC 2006

ATEME New Products, the MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 encoding solutions at IBC 2006, Amsterdam

The MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 encoding technology will be the focus for Ateme, the specialist French vendor of video compression software for digital broadcasters and broadband content delivery.

The MPEG-4 embedded SD and HD real-time encoding software is ideal for high-end live TV network transmissions and new media markets, as well as storage encoding or transcoding for video-on-demand, motion picture mastering, news gathering and other content production applications.

ATEME offers the most advanced compression efficiency for the broadband and broadcast industries, with widely proven interoperability and outstanding picture. ATEME’s technology is now broadly adopted by OEMs and will be at the heart of many products to be showcased at IBC 2006. Fast product development cycles, increased channel capacity, and highly compact designs are ATEME’s key contribution to the industry’s fast adoption of MPEG-4.

One recent survey among broadcasters in Europe said that ATEME is the first vendor to provide an MPEG-4 solution that reduces the bitrate by 50% compared to the very best commercial MPEG-2 encoders.

ATEME has built an digital broadcast industry reputation for supplying MPEG-4 video compression solutions with superior quality of its encoding technology. These are usable across many production / transmission activities from demanding mobile to HDTV applications.

Digital Camera | Shotoku at IBC 2006

Shotoku New products at IBC 2006, Amsterdam

Shotoku Broadcast Systems, the leading Japanese vendor of TV camera supports for the television broadcast industry, will introduce its newest manual and robotic products to the European market at IBC 2006.

In focus will be the Shotoku Broadcast TP-90 Pneumatic Pedestal with its matching TE-23 pan / tilt head. The TP-90 and TE-23, designed to accommodate a wide range of camera configurations, joins the company’s comprehensive range of pedestals with matching pan / tilt heads. The pedestal, built on the success of the award-winning TP-80 pneumatic pedestal, incorporates design elements of its predecessor’s column that ensures its rigidity and facilitates very light and smooth up/down movement.

In addition, the SH-100 lightweight aluminum head with a series of companion tripods is being shown. The versatile SH-100 perfect balance ENG fluid head will be shown with the TDA100 2-stage, TSA100 single stage, and TT-66 4-stage aluminum tripods.

In robotic controls, Shotoku will unveil the TG-19 pan / tilt head, and TI-12 Height Drive. Supporting a maximum payload of 70kg (154 lbs), the new TG-19 pan / tilt head allows large lens, camera and teleprompter combinations to be controlled smoothly and reliably. Following in the footsteps of it’s sister model - the TG-18 - the TG-19 is capable of manual control and has the ability to ‘learn’ the movements of its studio operator allowing them to be replayed exactly and as often as required.

Like the Company’s entire robotic range of camera pan / tilt heads, high-resolution intelligent optical encoders are used allowing Virtual Reality outputs without modification to the TV camera support head itself.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | CCTV's 5 Networks Plus One HDTV for Beijing Olympics

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News brings you here some notable quotations from some of the digital broadcasters TV sports summit held in Beijing on August 24.

Here is what was said:

1. Sun Yu Sheng, CCTV network Vice President:

“Our biggest advantage is that we have between 300 to 400 million TV sets and one billion viewers in China. Meanwhile, I can assure you that China will have five dedicated Olympic TV channels as well as a channel for High Definition TV for 2008, allowing us to screen some 3,800 hours of Olympic programming.”

2. Alex Gilady, member, International Olympics Committee and the Vice President,NBC Sport:

“Sports remains the premium content that viewers have proven they are willing to pay for. In 25 years time, we are not sure whether commercial free-to-air programming will still exist. But we do know that pay-TV (and premium sports TV) will still be around.”

3. Phil Lines, the Head of International Broadcasting & Media Operations, FA Premier League:

“In 2003, our total revenue from overseas broadcast rights went up from just over 170 million pounds to more than 300 million pounds for three years. We sell the rights to 25 countries in Asia providing 31% of our total worldwide audience. Given that we are nearly always shown on pay TV channels in Asia this is a remarkable feat.”

**Figures given by Phil Lines were for 2003 - a bit old aren't they? What about 2004 or 2005? Oops sorry, perhaps I should not ask.

4. Ma Guo Li, the COO of Beijing Olympic Broadcasting, the official Host Broadcaster, Beijing Olympics 2008:

“We are in a very important time right now. But the true outcome of the Beijing Olympics won’t be felt until long afterwards. Then we will see what we have achieved and how it will change China’s sports TV industry forever.”

The Sports TV Summit is all part of the well-oiled propaganda machine in the lead up to the Beijing Olympics 2008, which was discussed of course by the 400 delegates, along with the potential for the Asian Sports TV industry.

The official Host was SARFT (State Administration for Radio Film and Television) and organised by the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) with media partner CCTV-5, the sports network of Chinese state broadcaster, CCTV and CITV (China International Television).

Roll on 2007 and the next CASBAA Sports TV Summit in China, no doubt this time next year.

Digital Broadcasters | Fiji Media Controversy

There is broadcasting news from Fiji.

Broadcasters in Fiji answer to the watchdog authority, named the Fiji Media Council ( but that could all change.

But first let me re-emphasise, the Fiji Media Council is a pinnacle of media independence, which is comprised of its FIVE stated principles:

- To Enhance the media's image; - To Safeguard the Media's Independence; - To Uphold Freedom of speech and expression; - To promote a Code of Ethics and Practice for Journalists and Media organisations; - To Promote an independent and effective Complaints Committee.

Digital broadcasters Vendor News has been informed by 'Reporters without borders' / 'Reporters sans frontières' that a bill currently before the Fijian parliament for the creation of a Broadcast Licensing Authority would replace the autonomous Fiji Media Council and give the government of Fiji a way to control the news media.

"By replacing the existing regulatory body, the Fiji Media Council, by a new entity whose members who would all be named by the information ministry, the government is trying to equip itself with a mechanism for controlling the media," Reporters without borders / Reporters sans frontières states.

"The management of broadcast licences should not be entrusted to an offshoot of the government," Reporters Without Borders continued. "We call for a revision of the bill to ensure that the media regulatory body is independent of the government."

According to the bill currently before a parliamentary select committee, the information minister would appoint all six members of the proposed Broadcast Licensing Authority, which would have the power to assign and withdraw broadcast licences, a role currently played by the independent Fiji Media Council. The proposed BLA would also have a say as regards programme content.

The Fijian media, which for the most part did not get a copy of the bill until a few days before its submission to parliament, has condemned the government's failure to consult them. An editorial in the Fiji Sun on 24 August called it a "gagging tool."

The Fiji Government says through Simione Kaitani who chairs the parliamentary select committee that is currently examining the bill, that the proposed authority was needed 'to ensure the independence of Fiji's media'.

Kaitani called on the public to support it.

Is it a co-incidence that if you go to the home page of the Fiji Media Council's web site and click on the link to access the Fiji Media Council Forum, that the forum page http:// is not to be found. A 404 page pops up instead. That means there is no such page on the Fiji Media Council server or it has been deleted or turned off?

Fiji is a small Commonwealth country in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a small population.

According to the Fiji Media Council web site, present members include:

A chairman and executive secretary and a representative from each of: Ministry of Information, Communications & Media Relations; Sun (Fiji) News Ltd; USP School of Journalism; Communications Fiji Ltd; Islands Business International Ltd; Fiji Times Ltd; Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Ltd; Fiji Television Ltd

Is seems from this list that the Council members are already taking care of their own interests!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | India Broadband Heads to 2m

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has learned from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that at the end of July, Broadband connections across India reached 1.7 million, having added 150,000 in July.

These figures are for connections with download speeds of 256 Kbps or less.

TRAI says that Broadband connections have been growing steadily since the beginning of 2006.

The news is even better for fixed and mobile phones where TRAI reported a milestone has been reached.

For the first time for a single month, more than 5 million subscribers were added in July. To be exact 5.22 million.

The figure compares to 4.8 million net additions during June.

At the end of July 2006, Fixed Lines totalled 47.36 million connections while Mobiles reached 111.23 million in operation.

Tele-density is still at a low of just 14.4 per 1000 of the total population of India.

Digital Broadcasters | Al Manar TV Chased Off-Air

Did you know that watching video tapes of TV programs of digital broadcaster, Al-Manar TV of the Lebanon could be wrong?

It is not allowed in the United States of America.

That may be the same where you live.

By definition of the US Government, viewing such TV programs could foster support for a terrorist organisation.

So, selling them is serious.

Look, the USA is the land of the free with all the laws that say it is. Until it comes to individuals or countries, the US Government doesn't like.

Al Manar Television cannot be viewed in America.

The US Government designated Hezbollah (aka Hizbollah) a foreign terrorist organisation by the State Department in 1997.

Hezbollah owns Al Manar Television.

Beirut-based, Al-Manar TV was itself designated a global terrorist entity by the United States Treasury Department in March 2006.

That is why Al-manar cannot be seen in any place in the United States of America or its Possessions or have commercial transactions of any kind in the territory.

Much of Europe is the same by the way....In fact, France twisted the arm of the European Eutelsat satellite operator and were forced to drop Al-Manar from its transponders last year.

So Al Manar TV is not seen in Europe, well not officially. It is on Middle East satellites that do have a footprint into Europe.

Back to America.

Javed Iqbal, a businessman of Pakistani origin, living close to New York provided taped satellite programming for households from all over, with programming content equally varied and not purely Arabic or Muslim.

Mr. Iqbal made a mistake. He provided customers with services that included some Al-Manar TV programming.

A "No-No" according to US Federal Law.

Question: "Who would know about Mr Iqbal, a local businessman and would want to put a stop to Mr Iqbal's distribution of Al Manar programs? (I understand, taped off air?)."

It appears that a 'Mark Dubowitz' did.

Mr Dobowitz heads a Washington-based advocacy group, Coalition Against Terrorist Media. He alerted the US security agencies over Mr Iqbal.

Mr Dubowitz campaigns for Al Manar TV Network to be taken off-the-air wherever it broadcasts.

His advocacy group is linked to Jewish (Zionist) organisations.

Dubowitz is a Jewish name (according to wikipedia references).

Does that mean if any TV station, covering the recent 34 day war on Lebanon, showed TV news footage, or interviewed a spokesman or woman of Al-Manar TV, then they too are also liable to prosecution?

That is also why Al Manar was one of the earliest 'targets' to be hit during the hostilities in Lebanon. Yes it did go off air on some of its terrestrial transmitters for a while, but stayed on-air on satellite TV.

Its news broadcasts went on with a very minor disruption due to several TV studio facilities being used in addition to its main TV news studio.

Anyway, back to Mr. Iqbal.

He is facing a jail sentence.

From all media accounts, Mr Iqbal is a regular guy, with a regular family and got along well with neighbours, just making a regular living.

Post Script: There are some sane citizens in America.

Donna Libermann executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement: “It appears that the statute under which Mr. Iqbal is being prosecuted includes a First Amendment exemption that prevents the government from punishing people for importing news communications. Such an exemption is constitutionally necessary, and the fact that the government is proceeding with the prosecution in spite of it, raises serious questions about how free our marketplace of ideas is.”

Broadcasting is a delicate business at the best of times.

[To give balance to this story, an even hand so to speak, , and to know the background, you need to refer to the web site link below, it is VERY interesting from a broadcasting perspective. You will need to copy and paste into your header the following: article.asp?key=6910 ]

Please note that Digital Broadcasters Vendor News does not have any connection with any of the parties mentioned in this article.

Digital Broadcasters | Star News India in 'Pole Position'

Digital television broadcaster, STAR News India is launching a new half hour TV program to cater to 'the growing list of car enthusiasts' to be aired Sundays in the 5.30pm time slot.

It is true that vehicle sales in India are growing at a rate of 8-10 per cent year-on-year and several international auto majors are introducing their automobiles to India.

A simple enough reason for the introduction of the show. Right?

According to Star News, the automobile sector in India is currently undergoing a dynamic transformation.

"A few years ago, a buyer didn’t have many choices. All he had to do was to choose between the ever-trustworthy 'Ambassador', the tried and tested 'Fiat Premier Padmini' and the 'Maruti 800'. But today, the scenario has changed drastically; the average disposable income of an individual has increased, city dwellers have adopted a more demonstrative lifestyle and car manufacturers from all across the world are looking at India as a key market. The auto show will aid the viewer with hard facts and expert opinions before he sets off to purchase a brand new set of wheels.”

But guys, you have chosen the name of the TV program as "Top Speed"!

Now that is a bit too close for my liking to the name of BBC World TV's, innovative and highly successful "Top Gear" series.

I just hope Top Speed gets a good 'pole position' in the viewing stakes.

I hope ‘Top Speed’ lives up to the Star India publicity machine's description, that the show "promises to delve into facts to separate fact from fiction". I just hope it is not "pulp fiction"

No more 'Digital Broadcasters Vendor News' going into over drive. For now!

Digital Broadcasters | Tata Sky DTH Clarification

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News notes that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been busy this month with several directives. One of which covers DTH direct-to-home satellite broadcasting.

TRAI's recommendations relating to DTH are based on meetings with stakeholders and had consultations with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Those recommendations include: clarification to certain provisions of the Licensing conditions; fresh guidelines to be followed in the adoption of the MDU technology, which is basically in the interest of consumers; to protect consumers when multiple service providers enter the same premises, and to ensure fair competition of the cable TV operators and other competitors to the DTH operators, who would also be protected.

In practice there is now clarification that when a DTH subscriber changes the service, he might lose advanced features in his set top box (STBs) like private video recording (PVR) and digital video recording (DVR). Thus, the telecom regulator has kept the advanced features of STBs out of normal interoperability between service suppliers, leaving just basic TV viewing as interoperable.

TRAI has also recommended allowing commercial interoperability through which DTH players can provide STBs on rental, as under Conditional Access System (CAS) circumstances.

At present, this is not allowed.

Consumers won’t be forced to buy STBs with advanced features so have to be aware of what STB features may be lost in changeover between service suppliers.

Finally, it will be easier for apartment residents to access DTH service through a single common dish for the building as a whole rather than using individual dishes for each residence in the block.

These recommendations were originally queried in the Spring by the major DTH digital pay-tv broadcaster, Tata Sky, which sought changes in the then existing DTH regime. The Telecoms Authority issued a Consultation Paper on Licensing Issues on June 5, which led to the current set of DTH, STB recommendations.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | Akashvani Stations - What is in a Name?

India's state digital broadcaster, Akashvani (All India Radio as it is known in Hindi) last year started to rename its radio stations, in face of commercial FM radio station competition to be more friendly sounding.

They started in the state of Rajasthan.

Do you think it worked?

"Akashvani Jaipur" became corporately known as "Radio Amer" while the AIR FM station in the city became "FM Radio Pink City" (After the Fabulous deep pink stone of the city).

Incidentally, AIR Jaipur has completely converted from analog to digital so the new local AIR production center is the first on the vast AIR network outside of New Delhi to do so.

"Akashvani Udaipur" is now "Radio Lake City". (Famous city for the Maharaja's palace on the lake).

The western Rajasthan town of Jodhpur is "Radio Sun City". ( a desert like climate for much of the year)

Sawai Madhopur Radio, serves the area where the famous tiger reserve - Project Tiger National Park (Ranthambhore) is located. But as "The Hindu" newspaper commented, surprisingly "Radio Ranthambhore" was the name chosen. Radio Tiger has a better ring to it.

Akashvani station in Suratgarh, a western border town with Pakistan is aptly named, "Radio Cotton City". Cotton is the local staple crop.

In Bikaner, the AIR station has been named after the legendary lovers of the desert, Dhola and Maru, as Radio Dhola Maru. The names are found all over the city, on buildings and hotels, so why not the radio station?

Dharampal Malick, station director, Radio Amer in Jaipur told the Hindu newspaper that AIR took into consideration the historical and cultural background of the areas concerned while re-christening the radio stations.

Digital Broadcasters | AIR FM Kolkata To Increase ERP

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News notes from the web site that Kolkata's FM Gold network radio station, operated by All India Radio on 100.2 FM is soon to increase its effective radiated power from from 5 kw mono to 20 kw stereo.

Animesh Chakrabarty, superintending engineer of AIR Kolkata, is quoted as saying said the entire station will be 'digital' (converting from analog broadcast).

Asim Kumar Rej, station director of AIR Kolkata, said the popularity of radio continues to grow because it is the only source of infotainment for those who are illiterate or too poor to afford TV sets or denied access to steady electricity supply. AIR officials quoted a survey conducted by the AIR in-house audience research unit to claim that the entry of private FM broadcasters has not affected the popularity of AIR’s FM channels.

In Kolkata, All India Radio operates Radio 1 (Rainbow FM)mainly in Hindi and Radio 2 (Gold FM) in Bengali and other dialects.

From AIR's own survey results, listenership to AIR FM in Kolkata has gone up by 30% and Akashvani (All India Radio name in Hindi) is most popular among Kolkatans with a 59% marketshare, according to the survey. On the other hand, the survey results of IRS and IMRB says that Radio Mirchi is the most popular FM radio broadcaster in Kolkata.

The AIR in-house results show that some 67% of respondents say they listen to AIR FM stations at home, while some 66% of respondents say they listen while driving in their cars. That clearly is a middle class overlap between house and car listening.

Kolkata is the Hindi name for Calcutta.

Some of the article sourced from: <>

Digital Broadcasters | Siemens at IBC 2006

Siemens new Digital TV and Gigaset Products at IBC 2006 Amsterdam Sept 8-12

Digital vendor, Siemens Home and Office Communication Devices will be showcasing their home media portfolio including set-top boxes (STB) for digital TV (DVB-S, DVB-C and DVB-T), IPTV and HDTV as well as integrated solutions for triple play services.

In addition to digital TV, [Gigaset] products enable the easy, convenient use of integrated services, which bundle Voice over IP Telephony, Internet access as well as TV and video offerings over a broadband connection.

For the reception of digital TV via Internet (IPTV), Siemens presents a viable solution for the future with the Gigaset HD860 IP: The IPTV set-top box allows not only extensive applications like video on demand, time-shift TV or Internet surfing, but also supports high definition television (HDTV). Gateways such as the Gigaset SX551 are complete home networking solutions and can connect to TV set-top boxes, VoIP-Telephony, and PCs via cable or WLAN. The triple play scenario is complete with the hybrid telephone Gigaset C450 IP for fixed network and VoIP Telephony.

"The range of digital television and of integrated services is constantly growing. That means extensive, but also more individual and custom-made entertainment and communications for customers at home," explained Harald Sendlinger, Head of Product Management for Home Media Division at Siemens Home and Office Communication Devices.

The DVB devices relate to whether reception is by terrestrial digital broadcast (DVB-T), Cable TV (DVB-C), and digital satellite broadcast (DVB-S).

Those are the Siemens product lines to be seen at IBC 2006.

Digital Broadcasters | MediaCorp Profits Up 31 per cent

Digital broadcaster, MediaCorp, which owns Singapore's most comprehensive range of media assets, has announced a net profit after tax of SGD161.2 million (USD102 million) for the year ended 31 March 2006.

Earnings more than trebled the previous year's, boosted by a one-off gain of SGD107.3 (USD68 million) million from the partial disposal of MediaCorp's stake in Singapore-listed StarHub. At the operating level, earnings were up about 31% from the previous year as revenue of its television, radio and print businesses all posted double-digit growth.

MediaCorp (owned by Singapore Government State investment vehicle, Temasek Holdings) has declared a net dividend payout of $80.7 (USD51 million). MediaCorp plans to distribute $320 million (USD203 million) cash to its sole shareholder, Temasek which will result in a capital reduction.

MediaCorp's statement says after the large payout, this will still leave its balance sheet in a strong position.

Significantly, MediaCorp intends to "pursue overseas expansion".

I see this as a logical move, where locally in Singapore, the media offer only organic growth and a limited market place. I would suggest that India is one potential market being considered. A number of Indian Networks already use Singapore as a satellite uplink and transmission base for program content to be received and viewed by audiences in India.

Lucas Chow, CEO of MediaCorp, re-affirms that MediaCorp will "focus on quality content production which can travel, strategic investments as well as acquisition of media infrastructure for our push into HD (high definition TV) and new media."

If you have read recent editions of Digital Broadcasters Vendor News you'll be aware that I am an aggressive advocate of terrestrial broadcasters embracing new technologies with a vengeance if they wish to survive the dramatic shift in time the average time a person is willing to sit passively in front of the television set. Today's generation wants to be entertained anywhere anytime, when they want.

Digital Broadcasters | ESPN-STAR Renews Primera Liga

Digital TV sports broadcaster, ESPN-STAR Sports in India has renewed its rights agreement to transmit Spanish League Football - the Spanish Primera Liga until 2009.

The Spanish TV Football package is part of ESPN-STAR Sports soccer programming line-up that includes English Premier League, other FA English football and Asian Football Confederation coverage.

The deal comes on the back of ESPN-STAR Sports bringing the FIFA World Cup 2006 live and exclusive on its network in India. While cricket is still the dominant sport in India, this year's World Cup has spurred interest in soccer and a national program by the government to promote the sport is being pursued.

The Spanish Primera Liga boasts of two of the best-known clubs in world – Real Madrid and Barcelona fielding stars such as Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi, David Beckham and captain of the World Cup winning Italian team Cannavaro all playing the league. , viewers will be treated to

Some 38 weeks of soccer programming is factored into the 2006-2007 soccer season.

ESPN-STAR Sports continuing partner to bring Spanish Primera Liga is SportFive Asia Ltd.

No contract price was disclosed.

Digital Broadcasters | Kudelski Asia Pacific Revenue Up 62 per cent

Digital broadcast vendor, Kudelski Group of Switzerland, listed on the Swiss Market Index (SWX:KUD) ) announced first half 2006 revenues of CHF 305.1 million and a net gain from the sale of Ticketcorner of CHF 59.2 million.

Kudelski, world leader in conditional access systems for the pay television market had total revenues, other operating income and net gain on the TicketCorner sale amount to CHF 364.3 million, a growth of 8.6% compared to the first half of 2005.

In Asia

Asia-Pacific saw Kudelski's Digital TV revenue growth up by 62% to CHF 35.4 million. This is thanks to servicing contracts at digital pay-TV broadcaster, 'Astro' in Malaysia and Indonesia as well as the deployment of a complete TV solution suite at digital cable TV broadcaster, 'Starhub' in Singapore.

Europe But in in absolute terms, Europe was the key driver of the Digital TV segment performance. Net sales increased by 19% to CHF 137.9 million.

The Americas

In the Americas, Digital TV generated CHF 65.9 million of sales, roughly in line with last year’s revenues net of swap-outs. Brazilian operators Net and TVA developed particularly well both in terms of smart cards and CAS equipment sales.

Focus on Mobile TV products

The Kudelski Group launched its Mobile TV products in 2005. Nagravision's 'Nagra' Mobile solutions are gaining momentum within the mobile TV industry, emerging as the solution of choice of top tier Mobile Network Operators and technology partners.

The Group has completed the integration of its conditional access with DVB-H mobile phone suppliers such as BenQ, LG, Motorola, Sagem and Samsung, and SIM card suppliers such as Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Oberthur, Sagem Orga and ST Incard, providing already at this early market development stage an open platform supporting a wealth of devices.

In the second half of the year of the financial year, the Kudelski Group says it expects a less favourable second half but expects an increase in its Digital TV revenues.

The Kudelski Group ( is a world leader in digital media security. Its technologies are used in a wide range of applications requiring access control and rights management, whether for securing transfer of information (digital television, broadband Internet, video-on-demand, interactive applications, etc.) or to control and manage access of people or vehicles to sites and events. The Kudelski Group is headquartered in Cheseaux-sur-Lausanne.

'Nagravision' (, probably the most well known name brand in the Kudelski Group, is the world's leading independent supplier of open conditional access systems (CAS), DRM and integrated on-demand solutions for content providers and digital TV operators over broadcast and broadband platforms. Its pay television oriented technologies are currently being used by more than 100 leading Pay-TV operators worldwide securing content delivered to over 60 million active smart cards and devices.

Digital Broadcasters |TV18 on Internet Buying Spree

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News reported awhile back that Television Eighteen India Ltd (BOM:532299) Internet subsidiary WEb18 had bought substantial stakes in web sites, and

Now Web18 buys three more Internet companies,, and Urban Eye, a web design and technology firm.

TV 18 says the acquisitions will help the Group consolidate its focus on the Internet business further before it goes for an initial public offering of Web18. is one of India’s leading sports portals, Compareindia is a product comparison site offering a comprehensive product comparison engine in over 50 categories.

Web site anchors to the Web 18 group are and (a joint venture with CNN).

Urban Eye is one of India’s leading web design and technology firm with over 50 highly specialised Internet technology professionals, which will help Web18 scale up its operations rapidly.

As Haresh Chawla, TV 18 Group CEO said: “These acquisitions are in line with our strategy to strengthen our position in the consumer Internet space. Web18’s vision is to be the leader in the consumer Internet space. We expect consumer focused services like online recruitment, financial services, travel services, product comparisons and home shopping, sports, etc., to drive the growth of Internet in India.”

Television Eighteen (TV18) is India's No.1 News and Information Network, operating in the Television and Internet media space. TV18 broadcasts five round-the-clock TV and video and audio news channels and deploys content across multiple platforms like Television, Internet, Mobile and Voice.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | MediaSys Dubai, New Quantel Partner

Digital broadcasters Vendor News has been informed by digital vendor, Quantel that it has signed an agreement with MediaSys Fz-LLC ( http:// ) based in Dubai Media City to become Quantel's distribution partner for the countries that comprise the Gulf Co-operation Council - the GCC Gulf states. They are the United Arab Emirates, State of Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar and State of Kuwait.

MediaSys has built a strong reputation as a television post production systems specialist reseller and integrator with the GCC and the Middle East generally.

Of the agreement, Bejoy George, MediaSys Managing Director says, "We’ve been actively looking for high-end post products to complete our portfolio and with the anticipated growth in DI and the Post market in the GCC, Quantel’s products have everything that’s needed for state-of-the-art editing, effects, color grading and deliverables – all delivered at breathtaking pace. Their ability to work seamlessly with mixed resolutions, backed up by quality support, will be key elements in helping us expand the Quantel client base in the region. We’re very much looking forward to working closely with one of the great names in the business.”

In their mutual back-slapping, Quantel Area Manager, Jerry Webb says of MediaSys, “They have an enviable reputation for representing and supporting leading edge post production equipment, which makes them a perfect fit for our market-leading eQ, iQ and Pablo post production, DI and color grading systems, and their highly proactive approach to the market will help us to greatly increase our market share in the GCC region.”

The timing of this announcement is appropriate at two levels for digital broadcasting.

The first is that the Gulf Cooperation Council celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

Secondly, the International Telecommunications Union earlier this summer set the timetable for all Middle Eastern countries to convert from analog-to-digital television broadcasting. The United Arab Emirates Ministries were central to co-ordinating on behalf of the Gulf States with the ITU in drawing up the conversion to digital, transmission timetable.

The GCC is heading towards a frontier-free customs union among the GCC states - another incentive for digital broadcast equipment and software manufacturers and vendors to have regional bases in the UAE with its simple free trade zone facilities. Dubai Media City is regarded as one such FTZ area.

UK_based, Quantel is dedicated to creating the most powerful and efficient tools for television and video content creation and production in the digital age. Quantel systems combine industry- leading performance with total scalability in both hardware and software across post production, graphics, digital intermediate, news and sports production for multiple resolution, team-working environments.

Digital Broadcasters | CASBAA 2006 Conference, Speakers Finalised

Digital broadcast grouping - CASBAA, The Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia in announcing the guest speaker line up at the forthcoming conference program for the CASBAA Convention 2006 in Hong Kong, uses a description that sounded more of a headline for an International One Day Sports event rather than a conference!

"Heavy hitter line-up for CASBAA Convention 2006" is how the conference “From Bandwidth to Brandwidth” is tagged. (Note the catchy conference labelalong with which, CASBAA has created a new word: "brandwidth")

In the same vernacular, CASBAA goes on to list the "global heavyweight speakers" as follows:

Charlie Ergen, Chairman and Founder of US DTH pioneer, Echostar; Michael Fries, CEO of multi-national pay-TV platform operator Liberty Global; Ho-Chen Tan, Chairman of Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom; Irwin Gotlieb, Global CEO of ad agency GroupM; Kip Meek, Chief Policy Partner of trend-setting UK regulator OFCOM; Randall Dark, President, HD Vision Studios; Sofyan Djalil, Minister of State for Information & Communications, Indonesia; and Wei Wen Bin, President of Hunan Satellite.

So now you know. You make your mind up as to how big a punch they pull!

CASBAA Chairman, Marcel Fenez also has a way with words when he said of the event: “While the market is rightly dazzled by the promise of the new technologies, our most urgent task is to identify new business models and the most creative content as we develop a better understanding of what is achievable within the diverse Asian marketplace. That’s the theme for CASBAA 2006.”

While featuring dedicated sessions on South Asia (India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) and a look at the key emerging markets of Indonesia and Vietnam, along with special Forums on IPTV, Mobile Video and HDTV, “the annual CASBAA Convention is an unparalleled meeting place and a ‘Must Attend’ date for everyone’s diary,” said Mr Fenez.

As ever, CASBAA’s “must have” markets of China and India will be heavily featured, along with a special Session on Japan.

There will of course be the CASBAA TV Advertising Awards 2006.

Reading between the lines -- this announcement from CASBAA is talking one big exercise to find out all the new feasible revenue streams for developing technologies coming into use, such as DVB-H and T-DMB video applications.

Pity they just can't say it in plain simple English!

Just a reminder as to who are some of the members of CASBAA: Australia Network, ABN AMRO, AETN International (History Channel), AsiaSat, Astro, Bloomberg Television, China Entertainment Television, Chunghwa Telecom, Comverse, Discovery Networks Asia, EMC, HBO Asia, IBM, Macquarie, MTV Networks Asia Pacific, Nokia, now TV, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sony Pictures Television International, STAR Group, Sun Microsystems, Turner International Asia Pacific, UBC, Walt Disney Television International, Zone Vision, Anytime, Measat, Asian Food Channel, BBC Prime, ESPN STAR Sports, Eurosport, Granada Hallmark Channel, Hong Kong Cable, HSBC Bank, Lovells, National Geographic, Paul Weiss, Sky News Australia, Synovate and Time Warner.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News reminds you the dates of play for the CASBAA Convention 2006 event - October 24-27 - in Hong Kong. Plan to meet the larger than life speakers who will be appearing without their knee pads and bats.

Digital Broadcasters | Harris Hong Kong Appoints Peter Martin

Digital broadcast equipment vendor, Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) has appointed Peter Martin to be marketing manager for its Broadcast Communications Division in the Asia-Pacific region.

Well known in Hong Kong broadcasting circles, and to be based there in this new post, Martin will work closely with the Broadcast Communications sales force and product management team to promote awareness of the Harris brand and its end-to-end product portfolio, while building and strengthening customer relationships.

Martin has more than 14 years of international experience in strategic sales and marketing, channel distribution, branding, and regional business and partnership development with companies including Tektronix (Hong Kong) Ltd., Grass Valley Group and Headstrong, a global IT, application outsourcing and systems integration consultancy.

Digital Broadcasters | Barco at IBC 2006

Barco New products at IBC 2006, Amsterdam

Digital broadcast vendor, Barco, a specialist in solutions of visualization and image technology for broadcasters, will be presenting at IBC 2006 a host of different solutions for the broadcast industry from set backdrop displays to its next generation Networked Broadcast Monitoring System for facility-wide, monitoring.

The Networked Broadcast Monitoring System offers a solution to view multiple sources simultaneously, preferably within a limited viewing field on one screen that ensures more accurate, exciting, and up-to- date coverage of events.

This is visualised with Barco’s OverView D series integrates unrivalled cutting edge DLP technology into 50" Display Wall systems that are designed and optimized for use in any 24/7 environment.

Barco will also debut its new IB-6 LED backdrop solution at IBC. The IB-6 delivers a stunning image to the television viewers at home. Furthermore The IB-6 combines high brightness with an excellent image uniformity and superb color gamut. By combining well proven LED technology with screen knowledge, interference between the camera and the LED pixel matrix, which can lead to Moiré patterns, is avoided. With its slim, sleek design, the IB-6 allows build up of almost any shape and size display and is ideal for installation in TV production studios.

Also at IBC, Barco will present its latest LCD innovations with 42" & 47" LCD displays for use in digital broadcast environments.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | Bharat Electronics India Under Scrutiny

Domestic, Indian radio and television broadcast equipment vendor, Bharat Electronics Limited has come under strutiny in a recent Financial Express article.

The article suggested that under the Indian government's FM-II expansion plan in opening up commercial FM radio stations, the network owners have bypassed Bharat and have placed orders worth nearly 500 crore Indian Rupees (USD50 million) for transmitters and broadcast equipment with European and US manufacturers.

Some 280 new FM radio stations are being set up across 91 cities.

Bharat Electronics is the only Indian manufacturer of FM transmitters.

Well placed sources said that Harris Corporation and Nautel Limited of the United States have already received FM transmitter orders from Adlabs and Radio Mirchi Networks.

Rohde & Schwarz of Germany and Ecreso from France are reported to be also in the final stages of negotiations with other FM broadcasters.

The Indian FM radio equipment market was estimated to grow to over 2,000 crore Indian Rupees (USD200 million) by 2008.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has planned already a roll out for FM-III. This program is expected to see a further 700 new FM stations being offered for tender in smaller cities across India.

The Financial Express quoted Rajiv Mishra, President of the Association of Radio Operators of India (AROI) as saying: "India has become a hub for these manufacturers as nowhere in the world 300 new FM stations are coming up in such a short span of time".

The article did not speculate as to why Bharat Electronics was not invited to tender for FM radio transmitter and associated equipment.

Digital Broadcasters | Lemar TV Kabul Starts

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has learned that on August 19, Afghanistan's National Day, Lemar TV launched terrestrial TV transmissions in Kabul on UHF Channel 31.

Its programming line up is comprised wholly, of news and current affairs - a first for Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s newest TV station, is the first to dedicate its programming to news and current affairs.

Afghan owned and operated, Lemar is part of the growing independent media Group, comprising Arman FM and Tolo TV broadcast operations.

From September 1, Lemar TV is due to broadcast free-to-air by satellite.

“Lemar’s inception is recognition of the growing information needs of Afghan audiences. We know from our experience with ARMAN and TOLO that Afghan’s are hungry for apolitical, independent and reliable coverage of news and events,” said Saad Mohseni, Director of Lemar.

The word "Lemar" is taken from the Pashto word for Sun and will broadcast news services in Pashto, Dari, Urdu and English, the only station to offer such inclusive programming in the ethnically diverse region.

Lemar TV's first broadcast included an Afghan Independence Day special, incorporating President Karzai’s national address to mark the day.

Digital Broadcasters | Omnibus at IBC 2006

OmniBus Systems, New IPTV Products at IBC 2006, Amsterdam

UK-based broadcast vendor, Omnibus Systems known for its comprehensive automation and content management solutions to the broadcast industry has added to its product line, the iTX intelligent transmission software for IPTV applications.

By replicating all the functions of TV master control to a very high level of sophistication, iTX enables IPTV service providers, online broadcasters, mobile TV services, content aggregators, and media portals to launch new services quickly, simply, and cost-effectively via a single software-based transmission solution.

"The entry of iTX into the IPTV world changes everything, opening the broadcast scene to newcomers from markets such as content providers, digital signage and IPTV services," said Jay Schwartzberg, OmniBus Systems, VP worldwide sales for iTX. "The cost and complexity of traditional broadcast infrastructures previously was an obstacle to the launch of new channels and services. iTX eliminates that stumbling block, replacing the unwieldy broadcast infrastructure with an elegant, affordable, and infinitely scalable all-in-one transmission solution."

Omnibus notes that it can be challenging an expensive for modern broadcast infrastructures to enable transmission require a substantial amount of dedicated hardware, and coordination of all of the systems and related protocols. This is where the iTX software solves this issue, serving as video server, master control, graphics, and logo inserter with functionality including automation, ingest, editing, and basic content management.

iTX is full-featured, format-independent, and bit rate-agnostic solution that can mix DV, MPEG1, 2 & 4, AVI, and WMV formats freely and will scale incoming media of any resolution to the appropriate output format, enabling SD and HD content to be mixed on the same playlist.

Omnibus says that non-traditional TV broadcasters are aware of the value proposition of an IP-based transmission solution, and they embrace Omnibus' technology because they understand they can gain the benefits of traditional broadcast functionality by leveraging the very network infrastructures in which they already have invested millions or even billions.

As more and more broadcast content is distributed through various platforms, it becomes increasingly important that programming is well constructed, with an appealing look and feel made possible through sophisticated branding and smooth transitions between clips. iTX provides all of this functionality from a single flexible and intuitive drag-and-drop interface that allows operators to monitor and control multiple channels and schedules on-screen simultaneously.

OmniBus Systems provides TV broadcasters, cable TV , and satellite organizations with comprehensive automation and media content management solutions that address every area of television-related operations.

Its TV newsroom, content, and workflow automation solutions include acquisition and recording of rich media material, low-resolution editing, media asset management and playout.

The Asia office of broadcast equipment vendor, OmniBus is located in Singapore.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | Australian Radio Links with

Last week, launched Now digital broadcasters grouping, Commercial Radio Australia has linked up with the world's most popular web site, as have CRA members Austereo, NOVA, ARN (Australia Radio Network) and Macquarie Regional Radio network stations.

Known as a social networking phenomena, in Australia claims already over one million Australian members as part of its 100 million members worldwide.

Why the synergies between Commercial Radio Australia and MySpace?

They are working together to discover tomorrow’s music chart-toppers, through its annual event, "New Artists to Radio" or "NA2R".

Are you one of them?

"NA2R", to be held on October 13 at Sydney’s Luna Park, aims to discover the next 'big music star' to be played on commercial radio stations throughout the country and has been running for four years. This year the young performer event is open to unsigned Australian vocal artists – acts that do not have a record deal but may or may not have an independent distribution deal.

Joan Warner, CEO of Commercial Radio Australia said it was great to have MySpace on board to help attract unsigned artists, and submissions would now be accepted until August 30.

“Australia's broadcasters want to hear from artists and bands - performers who have at least two songs ready to be played on commercial radio but who have not yet been signed by a record label. The submissions will be judged by a panel of commercial radio network program and music directors, with four acts chosen to perform at "NA2R", based on their commercial radio play potential,” Ms Warner said.

The overall winner will be chosen from the acts performing at the "NA2R" by a combination of the judging panel scores on the night and sms votes from the radio industry audience present at the event. The winner will be then invited to perform the following evening at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) in front of 850 Australian radio industry executives and on-air program presenters.

For the first time this year, the winning performer also will receive a prize of A$100,000 for radio advertising across the four major radio networks down the east coast of Australia.

The advertising, run over two weeks, will be provided on terrestrial radio networks, Austereo, NOVA, ARN (Australia Radio Network) and Macquarie Regional Radio network stations down the east coast of Australia in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Central Coast, Sydney and Melbourne.

Ms Warner said unearthing new talent has always been one of the key roles played by commercial radio in Australia and was one of the ways in which the commercial radio industry supported Australian music and artists.

“This is an industry-wide initiative which has helped launch some very successful music careers in the four years it has been operating including artists like Delta Goodrem, Kid Courageous, Sarah Blasko, Nessa Morgan, Thirsty Merc, Jade MacRae and last year’s winner Figgkidd.

MySpace will feature the event on its homepage and provide a link: to a dedicated page on its .

Digital Broadcasters | Pharos at IBC 2006, Amsterdam

Pharos Communications' New Products at IBC 2006, Amsterdam

Digital broadcast equipment vendor, Pharos takes the view that the efficient flow of rich media files throughout a broadcast operation is vital when material is not available on tape during the process. This is where Pharos provides solutions to electronic file-based operations:

* Automated robotic ingest, a fast ingest process enabling existing broadcast libraries to be ingested and cataloged very quickly for archive and preservation. A content-presence confidence check to ensure successful digitising can be made from the desktop (in browse resolution) or on a broadcast monitor (in high resolution).

* Management of asset components, providing the ability to upload components to an asset, such as uploading audio to a video base track. Assets can be further enhanced, for example by the addition of audio files to add further languages.

* The Mediator library can be segregated to support multiple clients, providing security and privacy without needing separate databases.

* Automated processing control. Mediator automatically controls all transfers between servers and archives. Mediator now has the ability to manage media file transcoding and file re-wrapping, ensuring content is in the desired format for delivery to playout, outgest or archive. This includes the ability to ISO-tag audio files in multi- language environments.

* A reporting framework to allow specific management reports to be generated.

* Configuration administration - Pharos Mediator provides Broadcast IT managers with the ability to add users and control the way they work, add client libraries and modify workflow requirements.

Pharos will be demonstrating at IBC 2006 its ability to deliver systems that affect operational working practice changes and management information reporting when working in client partnerships for digital broadcasters.

A reminder that Pharos Communications is based in Reading, England, Pharos Communications (http:

The focus is on software architecture for broadcast process management.

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

Digital Broadcasters | PWC Says Asia-Pacific to Lead Media Growth

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News Asia highlights on Asia Pacific here from the new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers on the Entertainment and Media industry worldwide issued on August 8, 2006.

PWC says the worldwide industry will grow 6.6% annually to $1.8 trillion in 2010, with digital, mobile and broadband becoming increasingly lucrative distribution channels. New revenue streams are growing rapidly, the growth of physical formats has slowed, and availability of licensed digital distribution now provides consumers alternatives to piracy, the report says.

Digital technologies, chiefly broadband Internet and mobile, are becoming established and increasingly lucrative distribution channels that 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.

Digital technologies consist of five categories: online rental subscriptions and digital streaming in filmed entertainment, licensed digital downloads and mobile music in recorded music, online and wireless video games, electronic books, and online casino gaming.

"We expect that Asia Pacific will remain the fastest-growing region for the industry, reflecting both the underlying economic growth and local developments and initiatives. The growth will be led by double- digit increases in Internet, TV distribution, casino and other regulated gaming and video games," said Marcel Fenez, Asia Pacific leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers' Entertainment & Media Practice. "Significantly, we also expect that the People’s Republic of China will pass Japan in 2009 to become the largest market in Asia Pacific."

Asia Pacific remains the fastest-growing region worldwide, led by explosive growth in the People’s Republic of China and India. Spending in Asia Pacific will average 9.2 percent compound annual growth—the highest of all of the regions—reaching $425 billion in 2010.

Television Distribution: Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific will witness large increases in the number of subscription TV households showing double-digit gains. Continued piracy problems in Asia Pacific, however, will limit market potential in that region. Video-on-demand will expand in all regions, contributing to overall market growth.

The introduction of IPTV will contribute to subscriber growth, and the migration of subscribers to higher-priced digital services will increase revenue per subscriber. The market will reach $230.3 billion in 2010 from $154.4 billion in 2005.

Television Networks (Broadcast and Cable): Digital platforms will support new channels and fuel multi-channel advertising, which will be the principal driver during the next five years. New analog channels, digital broadcasting, and HDTV will increase the appeal of free-to-air channels. Distribution to mobile phones will further expand viewing and advertising. Public TV license fees in EMEA and Asia Pacific will continue to be slow-growing components of the market. Spending will increase to reach $227 billion in 2010 from $164 billion in 2005.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | Diary Date - SPORTELMonaco 2006

[Diary Date] SPORTELMonaco 2006

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News Asia reminds you that the SPORTELMonaco 2006 is taking place October 16-19 in the Grimaldi Forum, Monte Carlo.


According to organisers, program and content buyers already scheduled to attend are registered from 37 countries, including: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States.

SPORTELMonaco 2006 will continue to focus on exciting new TV technologies involving the reception of sports content on mobile receivers, along with our traditional base of international TV sports.

As always, SPORTELMonaco 2006 will bring together the highest level of international sports executives representing digital broadcasters, cable and satellite services, program distributors, acquisitions executives, sports marketing content vendors and agents, sponsorship and investment groups, event organizers, professional leagues and teams, producers, hardware, software and facilities providers, sports federations, new media and international press from around the world.

Digital Broadcasters | FPD at IBC 2006

Front Porch Digital Broadcaster Products Featured at IBC 2006 Amsterdam

DIVArchive The focus of continuous investment and innovation, and now protected by three U.S. patents, DIVArchive has become the archive management application preferred by the world’s leading media companies. DIVArchive continues to deliver powerful functionality to meet the evolving needs of global broadcasters. Key enhancements include broader interoperability with Front Porch Digital’s key partners’ emerging technologies, enhanced performance for network-based API clients, file-system-interface refinements, and enhanced error messaging.

DIVAdirector This distributed, Web-based content management application addresses the most fundamental asset management requirements for global broadcasters. It enables active tracking of all assets in the DIVArchive system, low-bit-rate proxy browsing, frame-accurate EDL generation and export, and robust metadata search and management capabilities, among others.

DIVAworks Front Porch has assembled this robust plug-and-play archive management appliance to include a server and near-line storage with a 10-cassette data tape library, all operating under the control of DIVArchive. This turnkey single-chassis unit is offered at prices tailored to the needs of broadcasters making first-time investments in basic archive systems. It was designed specifically to meet the independent digital broadcaster’s need for a high-performance system at an economical price point.

Front Porch Digital is a specialist market leader in total digital archive management and transcoding solutions. The company has long been an innovator in delivering unique software, services, and integrated hardware solutions for digital archive management to broadcasters and media companies worldwide.

Today, Front Porch Digital's patented archiving technologies are found in more than 140 installations in more than 40 countries, representing 4.5 million hours of content and more than 30 PB of data under management distinguished for superior functionality, scalability, performance, and customer satisfaction.

Front Porch Digital's award-winning DIVArchive technology manages the largest broadcasting archives in operation for the world's best-known media brands.

Digital Broadcasters | SysMedia at IBC 2006

Sysmedia New products at IBC 2006

Digital broadcast subtitling vendor, SysMedia of the UK will be demonstrating how its latest product developments extend further its capabilities covering any subtitling format on any platform, including HD, NLE and Digital Cinema, enhanced by the company’s recent productivity breakthroughs using automated speech-text alignment.

* AUTOTIME – AutoTime uses on-the-fly text-to-speech alignment to reduce subtitle production time for recorded programming significantly. AutoTime matches the timing of each caption automatically to the equivalent spoken text within the digitised video or audio file. Speech presence detection techniques integrated into AutoTime can also assist subtitle timing even when the subtitle text is in a different language to that of the audio track.

* SCRIPT ALIGN – Using the same core SysMedia technology as AutoTime, new product Script Align can take a digitised audio/video file and the related script text to generate a complete timed subtitle file.

* NEW OUTPUT PLATFORMS (NLE, HD, DCI & MXF) – WinCAPS now includes new exports for NLE (such as Final Cut Pro), Digital Cinema and MXF as well as HD formats. The latest generation of SysMedia’s InVISION caption generator now also includes full HD capability with support for file-based workflows.

* AUTO TX –Auto TX deploys SysMedia’s recently announced Speech Follower technology to track the progress of one or more TV presenters through a prepared script, providing automatic subtitle TV transmission for short scripted programs. A prime application for Auto TX is the automated subtitle playout of regional TV news bulletins, enabling cost effective subtitling where it has previously been uneconomic.

SysMedia is known for specialising in subtitling and content creation and distribution systems for teletext and interactive TV services, with an emphasis on workflow automation and optimum productivity. It has over 30 years’ experience in the television broadcast market. Customers include digital broadcasters, the BBC and BSkyB, both of which are moving into HDTV high definition television.

Digital Broadcasters | China TV Foreign Cartoon Ban Just Days Away

From September 1, a new regime of censorship at China's broadcasters takes effect when all foreign cartoons are banned from the TV airwaves between 5pm and 8pm, regarded as prime viewing time for the country's youth.

The move by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television is aimed at protecting the domestic animation industry.

Home grown TV cartoons tend to mimic the Japanese TV originals, but with less humorous appreciation by the audience.

If "Shanghai Oriental Children's TV Channel", or "Haha TV" as it is commonly known by local kids, is typical, it won't have to change much, as it only plays one or two cartoons during prime time each night.

With 75 per cent of China's advertising budget going on television, there seems, for now, little concern for the impact of the ban.

Advertisers appear to be be adopting a 'wait and see' attitude.

For Chinese animation studios the foreign TV cartoon ban is welcomed.

Zhou Jun, deputy director of Shanghai Animation Film Studio has been quoted in local media as saying: "It is inspiring news - many countries have similar preferential policies to protect their own cultural industries. Now we feel much more responsible for generating better-quality cartoons for our kids."

It will be interesting to see how digital TV broadcasters and the animation studios in China handle this new edict. Even more importantly will there be a drop in the kid's viewing audience?

Digital Broadcasters | Chinese 'Mobile TV' in USA

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News Asia has learned that smarTVideo Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: SMVD) and Content Asia Network (CAN) have jointly launched the first Chinese language Mobile TV channel in the U.S over mobile phones.

Since August 19, through three live feeds to Content Asia Network's channel, mobile phone subscribers to the smarTVideo 'Mobile TV' network now have real-time access to premium Asian content including TV shows, movies, videos, sports, news, comedy, drama, and cultural programming. This means US viewers can see the programming the same day it is broadcast in Asia, or through smarTVideo's easy on-demand option.

New CAN channels will also feature the best content from Asian countries such as China, Korea, Japan, and the Philippines, including China's top rated television series, "The Mr. Na Show," a funny cooking and travel talk show watched by over 60 million people per week in China.

It is worth noting that Bill Reilly, CEO of Content Asia Network says that the smarTVideo deal is bringing premium Asian content to the technically savvy, yet underserved Asian audience in the U.S.

In support of the new channel, CAN is using a multi-pronged national marketing campaign that will include a print component as well as television commercials and infomercials that will run on selected Chinese language networks such as Phoenix TV, Skylink TV, LA-18 TV and ICN channels all around the country. CAN also plans to trigger a pervasive on-line ad campaign on global Asian-interest websites including Tyloon, the leading Chinese search engine.

smarTVideo says that shortly Content Asia Network's channel will have an even wider audience following its beta testing using J2ME handsets.

Recognising this is a "niche" market, David Ross, President of smarTVideo said that the deal with Content Asia Network allows smarTVideo to target the extensive network of Asian mobile users in the U.S. interested in information and entertainment from their native countries.

Mr Ross noted the "niche" offered potential benefits of viral marketing: "The 'jungle drums' communication system has already netted a number of subscribers during our soft Beta test period.

Details of which digital broadcasters in Asia has content deals with this project can be found from their web sites.

Digital Broadcasters | India Neo Sports on Track

India-based, Digital broadcaster to be, content producer and sports rights holder, Nimbus Communications Ltd has named the first of its three planned TV sports networks scheduled to commence transmissions, as Neo Sports. Launch date, October 2006.

A new company has been formed to be the holding company for the company's sports broadcast business in India, Nimbus Sports Broadcast Limited.

Meanwhile, according to a Nimbus statement obtained by Digital Broadcasters Vendor News Asia, the international broadcast TV operations of Nimbus will be centered on Singapore. There the company has been registered as Nimbus Media Private Limited.

The COO has been named as Scott Ferguson, who had been heading sports broadcasting at PayTV operator Orbit serving the Middle East out of Rome.

Earlier this year, Nimbus Communications surprised the broadcasting industry by bidding USD612 million for four years of exclusive rights to ICC India Cricket rights.

Nimbus needed its own TV networks to carry the Cricket and other programming.

As a result, Neo Sports will be the flagship cricket centric sports channel.

The second channel will focus on sports entertainment, not restricting itself to merely sports events but also broadcasting sports-themed entertainment programs, and is scheduled to commence broadcasting from April 2007.

The third channel will be a sports news service and will launch September 2007.

Nimbus believes that the introduction in India in 2006 of three new DTH platforms in addition to the existing DishTV (not counting Doordarshan's service) will provide a major new thrust to cricket channels to help drive subscription revenues. This will be in addition to revenues from cableTV distribution.

Nimbus plans to provide separate TV network feeds to DTH (HDTV, interactive, multiple languages), cable (SDTV customised, English/ Hindi) and DD (basic feed).

Phase One of the three channels TV project is costing over 3 billion rupees (approximately USD67 million) with a further Rs 1.5 billion ($ 33 million) in Phase 2.

As of April, Nimbus’ largest outside investor was 3i Group plc, listed on the London Stock Exchange (III.L). The UK-based private equity and venture capital fund has a 33% holding. Harish Thawani, Nimbus founder & executive chairman holds 54%.

Anil Ahuja, MD and co-head Asia, 3i Group said in April that 3i was not interested in raising its stake (USD45 million) it took out in August 2005. “We have no plans of raising any fresh equity in Nimbus,” Mr Ahuja added. Nimbus plans to start a sports channel to capitalise on the cricket rights. It wants to ensure that any funds it might raise now will be enough to cover initial losses the channel could suffer. A further USD30 million was raised from Deutsche Bank, with the option of a further USD30 million.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Nimbus has commissioned Singapore-based, broadcast design company, Brandspeed to design the image and branding for Nimbus Sports so that Neo Sports can be launched as planned.

Digital Broadcasters | BE HD Radio in Asia Pacific

Digital transmitter vendor, Broadcast Electronics (BE) has been busy this past year putting HD Radio on the Asia-Pacific map, including digital installations in Thailand, New Zealand and Philippines.

“The reception of BE and HD Radio around the world has been overwhelmingly positive. The audio performance, low cost of implementation, and the opportunities for multicasting have made HD Radio the next big thing in many countries,” commented Chuck Kelly, Broadcast Electronics Director International Sales.

“HD Radio technology offers tremendous benefits to broadcasters throughout the world and we have Broadcast Electronics to thank for demonstrating those benefits to so many broadcasters around the globe," said Robert Struble, President and CEO of iBiquity Digital Corporation, the developer of "HD Radio" technology.

Recent BE installations mark the entrance of HD Radio in Asia:

New Zealand: On October 19, 2005, a BE HD Radio system delivered the first HD Radio signals heard in New Zealand. Transmitting on 106.1 MHz from the Skytower in Auckland, the broadcast is under a special demonstration license from the Radio Spectrum Management division of the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development.

Philippines: Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo inaugurated HD Radio broadcasts in Baguio City on November 9, 2005 after Broadcast Electronics turned on the country’s first HD Radio station during a conference there.

Thailand: In yet another digital radio first, Broadcast Electronics (BE) installed an HD Radio system for a public radio network targeting mass transit commuters in Bangkok. The system was acquired by RNT Television Plc, which has a contract to broadcast to buses in Thailand using a portion of existing licensed FM frequencies.

(A separate story in Digital Broadcast Vendor News)

Indonesia: In April 2006, BE delivered the first AM HD Radio system in Asia. AM HD Radio went on the air in Surabaya, Indonesia, on 1062 kHz using a BE AM 10A transmitter.

(A separate story in Digital Broadcast Vendor News)

Indonesia: Also in April, BE installed HD Radio FM on radio station, JDFI-FM 101.8 MHz, part of the Prambors Radio Group in Jakarta.

(A separate story in Digital Broadcast Vendor News)

Digital Broadcasters | Asia's 1st AM HD Radio Station

We have to dig into history here, but broadcast transmitter vendor Broadcast Electronics has issued a release dated August 8, talking about a broadcast revival event in April, to coincide with the IBC 2006 Exhibition.

Essentially, Broadcast Electronics has helped a religious broadcaster restore AM radio with FM quality to the airwaves in HD Radio.

This past April, Radio Sangkakala, some 15 years after private AM stations in Indonesia migrated to the FM waveband, started transmissions on 1062kHz in Surabaya on the central island of Java.

Radio Sangkakala is a religious radio station, affiliated with the Bethany Assembly of God, which purchased three adjacent frequencies and began broadcasting HD Radio in hybrid mode from the middle frequency - 1062 kHz.

Radio Sangkakala's owner and operator, Pohan E. Harliman reported excellent medium-wave analog coverage and exceptional FM quality signals.

BE’s representative in Indonesia, Catur Mitra Adhikara, installed the Radio Sangkakala Broadcast Electronics AM 10A transmitter with an AS 10 HD signal generator. BE says that this is the first known AM HD Radio system in Asia.

“It was a great honor to bring FM quality to the AM band in Indonesia,” said Ronny Gozali of Catur Mitra Adhikara.

Digital Broadcasters | Harris Broadcast at IBC 2006

Harris Broadcast New Products at IBC 2006 Amsterdam. Digital broadcast vendor, Harris Corporation (NYSE: HRS) goes to IBC 2006 this year with a vast display of transmission, audio networking and studio technology that the company says will solidify its position as the global leader in digital radio.

Harris will offer digital radio transmission displays for the three leading international standards (DAB, DRM, and HD Radio) as well as a joint radio/video DAB transmission demonstration.

The company will also showcase Intraplex, NetXpress, the radio industry’s most advanced audio over IP managed network platform; plus a studio systems and consoles display featuring VistaMax Envoy studio audio networking, a NetWave digital on-air console, and Harris NeuStar 5.1 surround sound technology as designed by Neural Audio.

Debra Huttenburg, VP and GM Harris Broadcast Communications says that Harris is the only radio transmitter vendor that supports all three digital radio standards (DAB, DRM, and HD Radio). And, as the global leader in digital radio, Harris is actively working with customers and technology partners to innovate and develop new applications that enable our customers worldwide to leverage this new technology.

Richard Redmond, director of strategic marketing for Harris Broadcast noted that DAB is catching on, as radio broadcasters discover they can expand their program offerings beyond digital audio to Mobile TV, potentially capturing a wider audience through new revenue-generating opportunities.

DRM continues to gain interest as the simulcasting capability catches fire for AM radio internationally. With several thousand Harris DAX, DX and 3DX AM transmitter installations worldwide, Harris is well- positioned to deliver fast and cost-effective DRM upgrades within our current installation base. And HD Radio is gaining momentum outside the U.S. as countries discover the benefits of offering multilingual program streams over the same channel on the FM band.

DAB - Digital Audio Broadcasting

As one of the market leaders and pioneers in DAB, Harris has a full line of VHF and L-Band DAB transmitters that can be used to deliver mobile TV over DAB. In the Mobile Zone, Harris will demonstrate the receipt of digital radio channels and multichannel TV on a T-DMB handset from a Harris DAB-660 transmitter. The Harris radio team will demonstrate how the standard’s highly efficient audio encoding allows for transmission of multiple digital radio and video channels using the same transmitter — a differentiating factor from the HD Radio and DRM digital radio standards.

DRM - Digital Radio Mondiale

Harris also will demonstrate its new simulcast capability for the DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) standard. Simulcasting allows DRM broadcasters to produce analog and digital signals simultaneously using the same transmitter, whereas the signals were previously produced and transmitted separately. Visitors can see a Harris DAX AM transmitter outfitted with the company’s DRM On-Air Upgrade Kit, which features a DRM modulator and exciter to create the digital signal.

HD Radio

IBC2006 marks the company’s first international HD Radio demonstration, which will feature its new low-power ZX transmitter and the entire FlexStar family of HD Radio products. Visitors can hear an HD Radio signal transmitted by the ZX transmitter and see a complete multicasting demonstration using the FlexStar HDI-100 Importer, HDE-100 Exporter and HDx-FM exciter architecture. Multicasting allows radio broadcasters to transmit two or more digital program streams over the same channel using the HD Radio standard. The same HD Radio demonstration will also include the new Harris DATAplus system, which allows for "rich text display" of artist/title information, news, weather, and other information over the HD Radio receiver. The text signal is prepared and transmitted alongside digital audio within the HD Radio signal.

It seems that innovations in digital radio transmission, IP transport and studio systems continue to create international momentum for Harris Corporation.

Digital Broadcasters | SARFT Restricts Video Streaming Online

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has learned from Reporters Without Borders that RSF has condemned the imminent restrictions on online video reported on 15 August 2006 by the official news media, which said websites would soon need permission from the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) in order to post video clips and short films.

"These new measures are likely to drastically limit the ability to express oneself online through video," the press freedom organisation said. "As well as spoofs of classic films or artistic creations, it will soon be impossible to use one's website to disseminate independently-made video reports that stray from the official line."

The new restrictions will complement the 2004 Measures for the Administration of the Dissemination of Audiovisual Programmes by Internet or Other Communication Networks. Referred to by media professionals as SARFT "Directive 39," its main goal was to regulate the circulation of radio and TV programmes online. The new measures will therefore complete the process of integrating the Internet into the system for regulating the traditional media.

Websites that want to post video clips will have to be registered with the authorities, who will have to approve video content before it can go online. The SARFT has already decided that the major Chinese web portals such as Sina, Sohu, Netease, QQ and Tom will be allowed to disseminate video, but these companies already comply with the rules of self-censorship. To apply the new rules, the SARFT will set up a nationwide monitoring system with centres in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Video clips have become popular in China on the Internet in recent months, especially after a 20-minute film by Hu Ge, entitled "Murder Over a Steamed Bun" was posted online in February. A parody of movie director Chen Kaige's film "The Promise," it satirised the monotonous speech of state (CCTV) TV presenters.

Another short spoofed the propaganda film "Sparkling Red Star," turning its patriotic hero into a TV singing contest participant. Some commentators have said the satire was going too far and that its distortion of China's revolutionary history was "immoral and unacceptable."

Online video streaming (Internet broadcasts) has been growing exponentially in China. For example, , a Chinese video hosting service, had more than 150,000 registered users in January. In December, its servers received 8,000 videos that were viewed 3 million times. In April, they received 35,000 videos that were video streamed 35 million times.

The State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) is China's broadcasting watchdog.

Digital Broadcasters | Telairity at IBC 2006

Telairity New Products at IBC 2006, Amsterdam

TM8000 - OEM Board for HD H.264 video encoding At its IBC2006 stand, digital broadcast vendor, Telairity will make the first public demonstrations of its real time HD H.264 video encoding board solution, the TM8000. Giving OEMs the ability to deliver a wide range of differentiated end user products, the TM8000 can be customized using mezzanine add-in cards for various I/O and audio encoding standards as needed for video servers and video distribution via satellite, cable, terrestrial, and IPTV applications. The TM8000 motherboard accepts 720p, 1080i, and 1080p (4:2:2) uncompressed HD-SDI video inputs and encodes in compliance with the H.264 Main profile, Level 4 standard. The compressed video is output via DVB ASI with low latency and low bit rates of 6-10 Mbps for typical high motion sequences.

BE8000 1-RU OEM HD Broadcast-Quality Encoder Occupying just 1 RU, the Telairity BE8000 is a scalable, fully programmable broadcast encoder for HD video compression using the state-of-the-art Main profile, Level 4 H.264/AVC standard. Delivering real time performance, the BE8000 features the company’s AVClairity compression, which is software-upgradeable to enable future quality, feature, and FRext standard enhancements. The BE8000 accepts 720p, 1080i, and 1080p (4:2:2) uncompressed HD video and up to four channels of embedded HD-SDI audio inputs. The system features MPEG4 AAC audio encoding for the highest quality audio at the lowest compressed bit rate. Users can select between constant bit rate (CBR) or variable bit rate (VBR) encoding options with bit rates ranging up to 20 Mbps. Compressed video and audio is output on an MPEG2 transport stream via DVB ASI or 100 Base-T Ethernet.

Since IBC2005, Telairity has evolved its original mission of supplying processor chips for H.264 HD compression and has now emerged as a supplier of board-level and rack-mountable video compression products to OEMs in the digital broadcast and professional video markets.

Telairity is based in Santa Clara, California

Digital Broadcasters | Lebanon TV and Radio in UXO Awareness

Since August 16, digital television broadcasters in the Lebanon have been active with on-air awareness campaigns, alerting citizens, particularly children to the dangers of unexploded ordnance, referred to as UXO. This is the result of 34 days of war.

The radio and television campaign was produced in collaboration with the National De-mining Office, the Lebanese Army, the University of Balamand, the National steering committee for Mine Risk Education and World Rehabilitation, UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and UNDP.

UNICEF Syria has printed 50,000 pamphlets for distribution among migrating populations.

UNICEF provided the television spots - announcements of public interest (API)that promote the UXO awareness campaign to the Beirut headquartered, TV networks, Lebanon Broadcasting Corporation International (LBCI), Future TV, NBN, New TV, and Tele-Liban. All stations are transmittting the API's in their regular broadcast day.

From the radio station perspective, national Lebanon networks, Radio One, Lubnan Al-Horr, and Sawt Lubnan are transmitting UXO campaign API messages in their broadcasts.

UNIFIL estimates that approximately 2,600 ordnance struck Lebanon every day during the recent conflict, of which 10 percent -- or approximately 8,500 -- may remain unexploded.

A similar publicity campaign is under way in Gaza.

Lebanon's digital broadcasters, the same radio and TV networks that suffered under Israeli attacks have shown a healthy civic responsibility to their citizen's needs in wholeheartedly supporting UNICEF's efforts.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | Al-jazeera Used by Philippines Government

The web site quoting Philippine government sources, reports that the Foreign Ministry is using the services of satellite digital broadcaster, Al Jazeera television network in Qatar to reach out to Filipino Overseas Foreign Workers in Lebanon it wants to repatriate.

Only about 5,500 of the estimated 30,000 Filipinos in Lebanon have been repatriated.

The Philippine government will either place an advertisement or buy airtime from the popular Arab television network to appeal to Filipinos to heed the call to return home since the situation in Lebanon remains volatile even with a UN-brokered ceasefire in place.

The Philippine government previously tapped the services of Al Jazeera TV over a kidnapped Filipino truck driver in Iraq.

Al-jazeera, is regarded as the premier international news network and website in the Middle East. also reported that The Filipino Channel, the international satellite digital network of ABS-CBN, the Philippines' largest terrestrial broadcaster, will be used to broadcast to OFWs.

No mention was made of Pinoy TV, the international satellite network, also serving the Middle East that belongs to GMA 7, the most popular terrestrial television broadcaster in the Philippines. is part of the GMA Group of companies.

Digital Broadcasters | MRC Opens Hong Kong TV Service Depot

MRC Expands into the Far East

Digital broadcast vendor, "Microwave Radio Corporation", or now, its new shortform name of "MRC" says that it has opened a Service Depot in Hong Kong.

We understand the brand new service facility will provide quick and effective broadcast equipment repairs and technical support for MRC customers across the Far East Region.

This support will include, but not be limited to, customer telephone support, in house repair, field service and onsite customer equipment evaluation and repair.

"The Hong Kong Depot provides a valuable service for our Far East Customers," stated

Tony Finizio, President of MRC said that the company is working towards building its worldwide network of sales and support offices.

The Hong Kong Depot adds to MRC's growing list of service centers with more to open in 2007, mainly in the United States.

As the television industry continues its transition from analog to digital transmission, Microwave Radio Communications (MRC) provides broadcasters with flexibility in implementing digital video transport strategies.

MRC delivers a comprehensive line of microwave radio products for portable and fixed digital and analog video transport operations. Since the early 1960s, broadcast vendor, MRC has served television organizations with point-to-point microwave systems for video transport.

Applications include studio-to-transmitter links (STLs), electronic news gathering (ENG), international TV outside broadcast operations, inter-city relays, satellite transmission back hauls, and regional TV microwave networks. Today the MRC brand is often the product of choice for digital and digital-ready video microwave transport applications.

MRC, based in Massachusetts, USA, also supplies the Defence Industry and Military Establishment with equipment and products. Digital broadcast continues to be a core manufacturing area of its business.

Digital Broadcasters|GMA Invests in TV Transmitters

GMA, the Philippines leading private, digital broadcaster on August 18 reported its half year 2006 business results showing they were flat with 934 million Philippine pesos net income. The reasons given are an industry-wide slowdown in advertising income and the production cost of start-up TV channel, QTV-11. (USD1.00 = P51)

Gross revenues of P5.2 billion did increase however 13% from P4.6 billion in the same period in 2005. GMA says this is due continuing steady airtime sales of Channel 7 and additional subscriptions income from its international Pinoy TV satellite broadcast network.

The cost of maintaining strong ratings are reflecting in the 35% jump in program production costs to P2.8 billion allocated to prime time TV series to maintain its audience share.

The 56 year old, GMA Network is investing in the regions.

Heavy airtime and related promotional activities focused on the cities of Cebu, Davao, and Iloilo.

Terrestrial broadcaster, GMA Network is to invest in more broadcast equipment in the 2Q/2006.

With digital TV in mind, it has allocated more than P168 million for the upgrade of its television transmitters and other facilities in various key areas in the Philippine provinces.

Notably, GMA says it will expand and improve its existing studio production facilities in Cebu, Iloilo and Davao.

It will also be building and installing new radio and TV center in Dagupan City to further improve its coverage in the northern part of the country.

The television transmitter facilities to be upgraded include those that service Baguio, Dagupan City, La Union, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Lipa, Northern Mindoro, Naga, Central Camarines Sur, General Santos, Saranggani, South Cotabato and Davao del Sur.

A new transmitter site will be chosen to cover Cagayan de Oro City and Misamis Oriental. That includes realignment in transmissions to Bukidnon.

GMA is on a fast track for all these installations.

These upgrades include new transmitting equipment, from transmitters to antenna systems and building/tower rehabilitation/construction. The facilities come complete with the essential support equipment for quality, reliable and continuous broadcast operation. The Network expects completion of these projects within the year.

GMA international satellite broadcasts of the subscription-based Pinoy TV channel launched one year ago, continues to grow. As of July 2006, GMA Pinoy TV already has more than 100,000 subscribers.

Pinoy TV is distributed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, and Cerritos in the United States. Recently, both Direct TV and cable TV in Hawaii are carrying Pinoy TV programs.

Pinoy TV is targeted also to the Middle East and Malaysia, Japan, Guam, and Saipan, where it continues to increase its subscriber base.

GMA says that with marked improvement in QTV revenues going into the second half of the year, and the continuous upsurge in subscriber count of Pinoy TV, the Company is expected to hit, if not exceed, the same profit level as last year.