Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | UAE | DVB-H planned for Midyear

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has read Middle East reports that in the United Arab Emirates, telco providers "Etisalat" and "du" are eyeing possible co-operative links with satellite TV providers for digital video broadband-handheld technologies.

Currently the telcos are carrying out DVB-H trials. The reports suggest that DVB-H mobile TV services will be launched across the UAE with specially tailored streaming content around the middle of 2007.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News understands that satellite broadcasters with program packages for their subscribers, Orbit Communications and Showtime are reported to be already in talks with the telco operators for the DVB-H services.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | Singapore | Another Omneon HD User

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has been informed that MediaCorp HDTV, 3 months into its trial service in Singapore is another user of Omneon Video Networks' Spectrum high definition (HD) server.

The mirrored system supports a total of six channels of broadcast playout, via a terrestrial transmitter network covering the island state.

MediaCorp HDTV is the first broadcaster in Southeast Asia to undertake such a trial.

Systems integrator, Ascent Media Network Services is handling the technical installation for the MediaCorp HDTV trial project, which was launched on September 1.

Yeo Kim Pow, SVP at MediaCorp said the Omeneon server features a highly scalable architecture that will allow MediaCorp HDTV to expand services when the time is right.

High definition programming content for MediaCorp HDTV focuses mainly on documentary and entertainment material, is being ingested from a tape machine via a Snell & Wilcox Memphis HD encoder.

The 50-Mbps of HD MPEG content is stored on the Omneon server system with a QuickTime wrap around.

Harris D-Series automation controls the Omneon server system.

MediaCorp is Singapore's de facto state broadcaster that runs on commercial lines for its complete range of media business activities: TV, radio, entertainment productions, movie productions, newspapers, magazines, electronic media, and other broadcasting services.

MediaCorp says its vision is to become one of Asia’s top media companies by delivering valued content to the world.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News notes that MediaCorp has one of best self-promotion teams in the broadcast industry in Asia Pacific.


Digital Broadcasters | All India Radio | No More Community Stations

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News reports that in the Rajya Sabha, India's Parliament in a written reply to a question, the Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri P. R. Dasmunsi said on December 8 that five community radio stations have been set up by All India Radio (AIR): two in Meghalaya, two in Nagaland and one in Mizoram.

The Minister said that AIR was not inititing further proposals for community radio stations.

The reason being that the Indian Government had liberalized the policy for granting permission to set up "non-profit" community radio stations.

This category includes any organisation in Civil Society that is a Voluntary such as State Agricultural Universities, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Institutions, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Registered Societies and Autonomous Bodies and Public Trusts registered under the Societies Act or any other such act relevant for the purpose in addition to the educational institutions.

For more details on community radio policy in India, Digital Broadcasters Vendor News recommends you visit the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting website, http://www.mib.nic.in

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Digital Vendors | Taiwan | Chunghwa IPTV Expands

SmartCard vendor, Widevine Technologies of Seattle (funded by Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), Charter Ventures TELUS (NYSE: TU) and others)has informed Digital Broadcasters Vendor News that Taiwan’s state-owned Chunghwa Telecom has purchased a further batch of 300,000 Virtual SmartCards for IPTV premium broadcast and video-on-demand delivery for various consumer devices. Some 500,000 of the same cards were purchased in 2005.

The security embedded cards are usable across many devices, an indication, according to IP Media Research Analyst Colin Dixon of The Diffusion Group that Chunghwa having proven it can scale its IPTV service, so it is beginning to look at bringing those services to multiple consumer devices (including set top boxes, PCs and mobile phones) and resorting to a single security solution such as Widevine’s.

Widevine Cypher is used exclusively to protect the entire Chunghwa multimedia footprint across Taiwan.

Yi-Fong Chang, Chunghwa’s Multimedia Department MD said that by using Widevine’s comprehensive content protection solutions Chunghwa was able to license premium content for its fixed-line business and a further step in its its vision to offer multimedia on demand products to its entire subscriber base.

Chunghwa’s interactive TV service, Multimedia on Demand (MOD), is one of the largest IPTV deployments in the world.

[Digital Broadcasters Vendor News says that by utilising a combination of downloadable conditional access and digital rights management techniques, Widevine enables operators to acquire and license premium studio content and, through unique patented technologies, reduce capital and operational expenditures. It should be noted that Widewine is used by a number of Hollywood studios to secure their entertainment and movie content and is an industry leader.]