Friday, September 01, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | Stake Holders told Unite for DAB, Say Broadcast Australia

Broadcast Australia, wholly-owned subsidiary of the Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group (ASX:MCG) reports that digital radio broadcasters in Asia-Pacific no longer view digital radio as just an audio platform and recognize that the medium is in a fast track change to benefit from new digital media technologies.

As a leading broadcast transmission provider, Broadcast Australia sees multi-media functionality -- the use of colour graphics, video as well as program-associated data as enabling faster convergence between digital radio, TV and mobile technologies across Asia-Pacific.

These views were outlined by Broadcast Australia at the mid-August Digital Radio Convention in Kuala Lumpur, hosted by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU).

Peter Kepreotes, Broadcast Australia Business Development Manager for Digital Broadcast Systems, says the ABU Convention presented the ideal forum to discuss the direction and rapid evolution of digital radio in the Asia-Pacific region.

Kepreotes outlined three highlights of the convention: the discussing at length DMB and DA-IP which are the key development drivers in Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) and uniting stakeholders for the common good of the future of digital radio broadcasting.

[Note: A stream-mode application of DAB, DMB uses the MPEG transport stream to carry video information, while DAB-IP, a packet-mode application of DAB, employs internet protocol (IP) technology to deliver the multimedia value added services.]

Kepreotes noted the choice is increasing in digital platforms with multimedia value added services. DAB, Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld (DVB-H) and others all compete side by side for the airwaves.

Kepreotes advised that the diverse range of economical and social circumstances in Asia-Pacific countries predicated the type of broadcast solutions that must be tailored to the local broadcast environment.

A technology-neutral company, Broadcast Australia draws upon its own extensive experience in a broad range of digital radio technologies, including its UK-based sister company, Arqiva--allowing it to share the latest information regarding trials, as well as technical developments.

But the technological challenges to establish successful digital radio broadcasting only constitute half the battle. "The real challenge is getting the broadcast environment right," said Kepreotes.

He said that can only be done through bringing together all the stakeholders together, as was typified in Kuala Lumpur at the ABU Conference.

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