Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | PCCW | MPEG4 Updates with Harmonic H.264

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has been advised by US-based, Harmonic Inc. (NASDAQ: HLIT) that today Hong Kong PCCW ( is deploying Harmonic's new MPEG4 DiviCom Electra 5400 standard definition TV (SD) AVC (H.264) encoders for its entire 'now TV' IPTV channel lineup. Harmonic's Electra 5000 MPEG-2 encoders were also recently added to PCCW's broadcast distribution centre.

PCCW, the world's largest IPTV operator with more than 700,000 subscribers can now add more TV channels to its line up in its Hong Kong service area.

PCCW's 'now TV service' is part of group's comprehensive quadruple platform offering that includes also telephony, broadband Internet access and mobile services.

Bandwidth improvements available with H.264 also enable PCCW to significantly increase the number of subscribers that can access the service over the DSL network in comparison to MPEG-2.

"The Harmonic Electra 5400 encoders deliver the performance and picture quality we needed for our new H.264 service," said Dominic Leung, Managing Director, Television & Content at PCCW.

Harmonic says its IP-based Electra 5400 offers PCCW superior MPEG-4 video quality at ultra-low bit-rates to improve bandwidth efficiency, while also providing a dense one rack-unit platform that supports up to four channels of simultaneous full resolution video.

Digital Broadcasters | PCCW | Harmonic MPEG4 Press Release

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News could not believe a press release dated January 31, 2007 from Harmonic Inc. (NASDAQ: HLIT) on a routine sale of digital MPEG-4 encoders to PCCW Hong Kong (0008.HK).

The release attributes a comment to a Mr Dominic Leung, Managing Director, Television & Content at PCCW.

Now call us old fashioned if you like. But for us, a "Managing Director" is head of a firm with major decision making powers. But head of a department or division? In this case, to be named Managing Director of a division, beggers belief.

Come off it Hong Kong PCCW you are viewed negatively enough by your shareholders. Why do you like to irritate everyone further by your larger than life job titles?

Or has Digital Broadcasters Vendor News got it all wrong and Mr Leung is soon to rise to the number one spot at PCCW Hong Kong?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | Vietnam | VoV promoting AIDS Awareness

State broadcaster, Voice of Vietnam radio (VoV) this week starts a major promotion campaign to educate Vietnamese on the dangers of HIV/ AIDS using a radio soap opera to bring home the message. Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has learnt that funding is coming from the Danish NGO, the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) amounting to US$770,000.

Voice of Vietnam is collaborating with DANIDA and the United Nations Population Fund for the program project.

The objective of the effort and long-term goal is to promote increased access to and improve the quality of reproductive health services.

The soap opera is aimed to educate young people about HIV/AIDS seeking to change behaviors to prevent HIV transmission.

Voice of Vietnam is broadcasting the radio soap drama in all 64 provinces in the country and in several ethnic language versions.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News notes that the Scandinavians are quietly working away in Indo-China in various NGO funded radio broadcast projects for Asian state broadcasters. The DANIDA funding in Vietnam ends in December 2009 and will underwrite all 104-episodes of the HIV/AIDS awareness radio series.

Digital Broadcasters | Sydney | 2GB Breached ACMA Regulation

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has informed Digital Broadcasters Vendor News of its decision on a breach of the Australian Broadcasting Code. The breach refers to soon-to-be digital radio station, 2GB Sydney that breached the code by broadcasting material on The "Open-Line" Show that was likely to vilify people of Lebanese background on the basis of ethnicity. The programme was aired by 2GB presenter, Brian Wilshire, on December 15, 2005.

While ACMA found the material was presented for a purpose in the public interest, being discussion of factors contributing to unrest in southern Sydney, ACMA was not persuaded that the comments were presented reasonably and in good faith for this purpose.

ACMA found 2GB breached clause 1.3(e) of the code. Under this clause, a licensee must not broadcast a program which is likely to incite or perpetuate hatred against or vilify any person or group on the basis of a number of attributes, including ethnicity.

The licensee advised ACMA that it took immediate action after the broadcast. An apology was aired on the day following the broadcast on the Channel 10 TV news and on radio station 2GB itself.

Station 2GB staff including all presenters and production staff have undergone "compliance training" since the broadcast and been briefed ‘about the importance of ensuring that in discussing current affairs, criticisms of particular types of conduct is reasonable, but criticisms that are based on persons having any of the attributes listed in code 1.3(e) are not’.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News as a public service brings this matter to a wider audience to heighten the point that broadcasters in democracies like Australia have clearly defined responsibilities as set out by law.

Digital Broadcasters | Saudi Arabia | TV Survey Favours Terrestrial TV

The مجموعة المرشدين العرب Arab Advisors Group has told Digital Broadcasters Vendor News that its research shows that 93.9% of Saudi Arabia’s households have satellite TV, yet, some 48.4 % of households still tune into terrestrial broadcast TV.

Equally important is the high share of households that have Pay TV. Some 30% of the urban households surveyed indicated that they have Pay TV services.

Moreover, 73.7% of people in Saudi Arabia also listen to Radio Programs, with over half of them tuning to Radio on a daily basis.

مجموعة المرشدين العرب Arab Advisors Group’s major analytical survey of Saudi Arabia’s main cities’ population was scientifically done. The survey involved face to face interviews with 674 respondents, 15 years old and up mobile phone users; from different households in the Western region of the country (Makkah - Mecca, Jeddah, Medina), Riyadh City, Dammam and Dhahran, and selected randomly in a manner proportionate to the estimated population size of the different areas.

For television viewing habits, the same survey showed audiences of TV news programs were from all age groups particularly the older groups. A larger percentage of the younger generation watch TV game shows and TV quiz shows, along with fashion TV and music-based programming.

Saudi viewers of higher (masters degree?) education levels were more attuned to political genres of programs.

High school and university level students watch more sports TV and health and fitness programs.

The survey results in full: “Saudi Arabia Media Survey 2007” by the مجموعة المرشدين العرب Arab Advisors Group, January 20, 2007. The major survey probed each household’s media consumption habits and patterns related to Satellite TV, Terrestrial TV and Radio. The survey’s fieldwork was conducted in October and November 2006.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News backgrounder: The مجموعة المرشدين العرب Arab Advisors Group’s team of analysts in the region has already produced over more than 710 reports on the Arab World’s communications and media markets. مجموعة المرشدين العرب Arab Advisors Group provides research, analysis and forecasts of Arab communications, media, technology and financial markets.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | Thailand | iTV Near Bankruptcy

A comment from Digital Broadcasters Vendor News -- There is going to be a lot of near brand new second hand digital broadcast equipment available if Thailand's beleaguered network, iTV faces bankruptcy.

You may recall that the iTV network, based in Bangkok was closely associated with the deposed Thai prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The publicly-listed network is heading towards possible bankruptcy after the country's military-run government rejected its latest offer to settle a fine of almost 100 billion Thai Baht fine (US$2.8bn) out of court. Time is running out fast.

A Supreme Court ruling in December restated a previous Central Administrative Court decision against the iTV network for manipulating the terms of its original operating concession with the Prime Minister's Office.

The court decisions against iTV are significant. It appears to be the first major attempt to dismantle Thaksin's once highly profitable telecommunications and media empire, sold to a Singapore Government company, Temasek Holdings before the Military ousted Thaksin.

Digital broadcasters Vendor News says that the Thai Military, with the removal of iTV UHF network will regain control as the dominant terrestrial broadcaster in the country. (in Thai)

Digital Broadcasters | Dubai | UK Pavilion Largest at CABSAT

UK-based, Tradefair, the event management company for the British technology industry, has informed Digital Broadcasters Vendor News that that they have doubled the size of the UK Pavilion at CABSAT (Cable and Satellite Exhibition) Dubai, United Arab Emirates (6th – 8th March 2007).

Tradefair says that with over 52 leading and innovative British companies already registered as exhibitors in this digital broadcast sector , the UK Pavilion represents one third of the total numbers of companies exhibiting at CABSAT this year.

Expertise being demonstrated in the UK Pavilion includes cable & satellite communications, infrastructure technology, video & audio, digital broadcast & production solutions and online / offline editing devices.

Mark Birchall, Tradefair MD notes that his company started out in 2001 with six companies at CABSAT today totals 52. He says this means better prices for premium space and back up full logistical support.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News notes that Tradefair also co- ordinates groups of UK companies at major trade exhibitions for the professional broadcasting sector: IBC - Amsterdam, NAB - Las Vegas, BroadcastAsia - Singapore, SATIS - Paris and BIRTV - Beijing.

Digital Broadcasters | MEASAT-3 Satellite | Competes with AsiaSat and ThaiSat

Digitial Broadcasters Vendor News has been wondering what happened to the plans of Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) to expand an international satellite television service in digital announced well over a year ago.

The answer came publicly on January 25 when RTM director-general, Datuk Abdul Rahman Hamid told the Bernama News Agency that it (RTM) was reviewing its plan to open the RTM international satellite channel following the migration of its transponder channels to the MEASAT-3 satellite from MEASAT-1.

Datuk Hamid said through MEASAT-3, RTM channels would be able to broadcast to 110 countries across Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa from 25 countries currently.

"We have been planning the international channel but were forced to hold back due to the cost. With MEASAT-3, we are proposing to review the plan," he added.

The RTM chief was in Cyberjaya (Malaysia's Silicon Valley) where MEASAT Satellite System Sdn Bhd, which provides satellite communication services, officially announced that MEASAT-3 had completed commissioning and entered commercial service with Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) as the satellite's first customer.

Launched on Dec 12, 2006, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, the MEASAT-3 satellite had undergone extensive in-orbit tests conducted by 15 Boeing space engineers stationed on-site at the MEASAT Teleport and Broadcast Centre here.

MEASAT CEO Paul I. Brown-Kenyon said the successful deployment of MEASAT-3 at the 91.5 degrees East orbital location boosted the company's satellite capacity by over 300 percent.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News notes that the MEASAT-3 satellite footprint similarly matches those of Asiasat and Thaisat, spanning 70 percent of the world's population.

Digital Broadcasters | RTM Malaysia | Short Film Winners 2006

Malaysia: Digital Broadcasters Vendor News notes that the Short Film Awards jointly organised by state broadcaster, Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) and 'Filem Negara Malaysia', will be made an annual event.

The announcement was made at the 2006 event held in Kuala Lumpur, January 27.

"Geng:The Beginning" a short movie, directed by Mohd Anas Abdul Aziz, was named as the overall winner of the Short Film Award 2006.

It also won the Best Animation Film category, and Mohd Anas was named the Best Animation Director in the inaugural AFP awards meant to recognise young talents and nurture their creativity.

A total of 30 films were shortlisted for the nominations from 227 films.

The awards were presented by Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin at the Angkasapuri's Auditorium Perdana and telecast live over the TV1 channel of Radio Television Malaysia (RTM).

The AFP 2006 recognised excellence in seven aspects of short film making, namely length, cinematography, lighting, arts, editing, sound and music score, in addition to giving awards to six film categories, experimental, documentary, animation, advertisement, public service and comedy.

As informed to Digital Broadcasters Vendor News: a Bernama New Agency report said that the original idea for the Malaysia Short Film Awards came from Malaysia Information Minister, Zainuddin.

Digital Broadcasters | Afghan Radio and TV | Roshan Resigns

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has received a notice to say that the Director General of state run Afghanistan Radio and Television, Najib Roshan has submitted his resignation to President Hamid Karzai.

Najib Roshan cited the need to bring reforms to the organisation.

In his one year in the job, Roshan had instituted changes to reflect Afghanistan under a democratic government, but it is suspected that he found it too tough going with traditionalists.

Pajhwak news agency was the first to carry the news of Najib Roshan's resignation at Afghan Radio and TV.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | Vietnam Television | New Transmitters Installed

Rohde & Schwarz, the German television broadcast transmitter specialist is rapidly installing 19 high-power UHF (ultra high frequency)analog transmitters of the R&S NH7000C antenna series to Vietnam Television, Digital Broadcasters Vendor News can report.

Rohde & Schwarz was commissioned to provide analog terrestrial TV coverage for state broadcaster, Vietnam Television to improve patchy transmission coverage particularly for VTV2 and VTV3. The flagship channel is VTV1.

R&S says that the liquid-cooled transmitters have an effective radiated power (ERP) of between 5 kW and 10 kW. They operate in a combined amplifier mode, and are designed to be easily converted to a digital standard at a later date.

The transmitters are being installed at eleven locations throughout Vietnam.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has learnt that Rohde & Schwarz will also support Vietnam Television with respect to project management and maintenance of the transmitters. The German manufacturer maintains sales office in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Digital Broadcasters | GMA Pinoy TV | Expands with Harris Automation

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News was asked the other day if GMA Network in the Philippines had adopted a new digital broadcast Playout Automation System from Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS).

A Harris release November 21, 2006 reported that Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) had supplied and installed an upgrade to the Harris H- Class D-Series Playout Automation application at GMA Network for its playout of its GMA Pinoy TV Network seen around the world by 100,000 subscribers.

The D-Series Automation fits GMA Pinoy TV needs as it offers direct- to-home satellite delivery services platforms.That was enough for Jay V. Fuentes, assistant vice president for the Technical Operations Center and On-Air Operations Division at GMA Network to commit to the system. “When we decided to expand our international channel, ensuring we had the right automation was a critical element of the necessary upgrades. After our assessment, we concluded that upgrading our D-Series Playout Automation application was the best solution, as it has proven to be highly flexible and reliable, and it met all our expansion criteria, said Fuentes.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News notes how GMA Pinoy TV has a growing network. It is currently available in the United States in various California locations with sizeable Filipino populations and serving Philippine overseas workers in the Middle East, Malaysia, Japan, as well as in Guam and Saipan. Pinoy TV is also carried on both DIRECTV and cable TV in Hawaii.

Digital Broadcasters | TVNZ | Helped By Omnibus in Newsroom Expansion

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has received from Omnibus news of their latest software sale to Television New Zealand. This was not the usual 'who sold what to whom' release but how Omnibus products actually contribute to TVNZ's profit.

The actual announcement was how UK-based, OmniBus Systems is helping TVNZ to extend and upgrade its 'Digiknow' server-based newsroom system in Auckland, New Zealand, and extend it to its regional news- gathering bureaux in Wellington and Christchurch.

TVNZ is New Zealand's state-owned public-service broadcaster and is required under the terms of its charter to make a profit. 'Digiknow', an inspiration system combining Quantel servers and craft edit stations with OmniBus automation and media management, has been in operation since 2002.

The new system is based around OmniBus Systems' modular G3 automation technology and OPUS asset management system, integrated with the latest Quantel Q series video servers and edit stations to provide full file-sharing between all three sites. There are three separate Quantel server zones, with OmniBus MAM operating as a single domain.

The Digiknow system introduced a tapeless production system as a means of increasing the efficiency of TVNZ's news operation, the ratings driver for the broadcaster's TVONE channel.

Don Cunningham, head of news operations at TVNZ said that the Digiknow system has delivered the benefits TVNZ were looking for, making its operation much more productive.

OPUS MAM tools and G3 controls are integrated with, or replace, existing G2 devices. The new G3 Feed Manager provides enhanced recording control of live feeds for recurring, scheduled, and non- scheduled bookings. To assist efficient use and repurposing of archive material, OPUS Logging lets operators add custom-indexed metadata throughout the production process to provide powerful searching in OPUS PinPoint using synonym, phonetic, and proximity search criteria. OPUS and the OmniBus Desktop Control are integrated into the Quantel SQ View X client, allowing journalists to locate, view, and edit material rapidly.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News recalls when Cunningham was successfully heading the technical operations of CNBC Asia in Singapore.

Digital Broadcasters | DVB-H | Future is Bright Says Report

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has received advanced notice of a new report from Frost & Sullivan on the DVB-H Technology-Market and Potential Analysis that reveals that revenues in this market totalled US$60 million in 2006 and is likely to reach US$2.04 billion in 2010. F&S state that DVB-H is set to be the future of Mobile Television.

The announcement was released from San Antonio, Texas but did not mention if it refers to worldwide or just the United States. A case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing for this F&S report, I suspect.

Importantly, the report summerizes that the concept of providing television services on a mobile device is generating much enthusiasm among the wireless industry, in turn driving the growth and development of digital video broadcasting-handheld (DVB-H) open standard technology.

Furthermore, F&S says that DVB-H delivers an improved end-user experience over current video streaming services that utilize cellular networks, while also providing, broadcasters, cellular operators, handset manufacturers and silicon providers with tremendous growth opportunities.

This apart, the quality of service (QoS) is likely to be better due to the use of a dedicated broadcast network. Additionally, though DVB- H claims speeds of 25 frames per second (fps), trials show practical speeds of 15-16 fps, which seem to be sufficient for existing screen sizes and resolutions. However, in future, these speeds are likely to increase to 20-25 fps for fixed digital TV in Europe.

Despite the promise of a bright future for DVB-H, one of the biggest challenges to adoption of DVB-H by mobile operators is the issue of business and revenue models.

With DVB-H, mobile operators are likely to prefer to continue operating in their area of domain expertise, service provisioning, billing, and customer care and therefore, broadcasters would have ownership of the content and the overall visual experience.

“Hence, mobile operators would need to differentiate their offerings and provide value to ensure customer loyalty and remain profitable,” says the F&S report. “This also means that mobile operators are likely to serve only as a link to customers and would not be in a position to negotiate for better revenue splits with others in the value chain.“

Service providers would be required to work very closely with content creators, aggregators, and broadcasters, and ensure secure content and support digital rights management in an effort to protect copyrighted content. While revenue issues could be addressed through subscription models, event-based, pay per view, and even interactive services, the most important challenge is likely to be the optimizing of battery life of the handsets.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News reckons that F&S are on the right path with their prognoses.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | Middle East | Autocue Links with UBMS

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has been informed by Autocue the UK- Based, TV teleprompting and newsroom automation solutions provider that it is cementing its relationship with the Middle East distributor, United Broadcast & Media Solutions (UBMS) based in the United Arab Emirates.

Founded in 1997, UBMS represents already a number of broadcast manufacturers and software companies.

The UBMS will cover the following TV broadcast markets for Autocue: UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Yemen.

The launch pad for the new business arrangement will be CABSAT Broadcast Exhibition, in March 2007 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

At CABSAT, UBMS will represent Autocue.

Hero Bhatia UBMS, SVP - notching a up a few brownie points says that UBMS is the only player in the broadcast industry that has a state-of- the-art broadcast showroom in the Middle East and a very experienced team of technical experts that offer customised solutions.

Frank Hyman, Autocue’s Sales & Marketing Director reckons the move with UBMS further strengthens Autocue’s commitment to the Middle East broadcast market.


Digital Broadcasters | Lebanon | LBC Interviews Condoleezza Rice

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News says people in the business world want to know where Lebanon is going?

US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice gave an exclusive interview with Marcel Ghanem of Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation on January 25, 2007. (LBC is generally supportive of the present government.)

Make up your mind if Lebanon will continue to be a good place for those in the digital media arena after you read the following.

The interview, which took place in Paris is taken from the US State Department web site.

January 25, 2007

Marcel Ghanem, LBC: Dr. Rice, good afternoon and thank you for joining us in this exclusive interview. Do you think that the support provided to Lebanon is a kind of delay to avoid the collapse of Lebanon until a final settlement of its internal crisis is reached?

SECRETARY RICE: I think that the show of support today for Lebanon is a show of support for the democratic process in Lebanon, for the reform process and for the people of Lebanon. Every speaker spoke about the tremendous burdens that have been put on Lebanon by the tragedy this summer coming out of the war, but also by the political crisis. But this is a show of support because people believe in Lebanon's future.

Marcel Ghanem, LBC: Yes, but the Lebanese opposition scored a point before yesterday. They (inaudible) be canceled. How do you deal with this?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, you look at the difference of people burning tires to keep people from going to work, and today an expression that the public sector -- private sector ought to be providing jobs for Lebanese people, ought to be providing housing for Lebanese people. That's where the leadership is, in providing for the needs of people, not somehow burning tires so they can't go to work.

And so I would hope that the Lebanese people understand that this conference is for all Lebanese. Prime Minister Siniora made very clear that he is here representing all of Lebanon and that the money that is pledged here will be used to help the poorest in Lebanon and also to help Lebanon's economy develop.

Marcel Ghanem, LBC: Dr. Rice, is Lebanon at the brink of a new civil war?

SECRETARY RICE: Lebanese people do not want to have a violent confrontation. That is very clear. There are those, I think, who would like to see violence in Lebanon.

Marcel Ghanem, LBC: Like?

SECRETARY RICE: But -- well, perhaps those from the outside that don't want to see a successful Lebanon, or those from the outside who after years of intimidation of the Lebanese people, of occupation of Lebanese country -- of the Lebanese country, do not really want to see Lebanon independent and sovereign.

But the Lebanese people want to live in peace. They want to live in economic prosperity. And I hope that all political elements will really represent now the desires of the Lebanese people. You have a democratically elected government. That government should be allowed to govern and it should be allowed to move forward with this kind of strong international support.

Marcel Ghanem, LBC: But what is the role of Syria and Iran?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I don't think that the role of Syria and Iran has frankly been very constructive. In fact, Syria, which is a neighbor of Lebanon and there should be no problem with it, will not even recognize Lebanon to send an ambassador to Lebanon, as you should do with any neighboring state, because Syria appears not to want to recognize the full sovereignty of Lebanon. But the international community represents and recognizes the full sovereignty of Lebanon. Resolution 1701, which ended the conflict this summer, is precisely to help Lebanon extend its sovereignty throughout the country, and that is going to continue to be the goal of the international community.

Marcel Ghanem, LBC: But also, as you know, Dr. Rice, Hezbollah doesn't seem to be willing to give up its weapons. No one seems to have the will nor capacity to disarm Hezbollah. How do you see a potential solution for this problem, like a new UN resolution under Chapter 7?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, there is already a UN resolution, first 1559 and then 1701, because ultimately all arms need to be in the hands of the Lebanese Government and the Lebanese security forces, which are being reformed, which are being supported. The United States and Europe are supporting the reform of the Lebanese armed forces. No democracy can exist with militias that operate outside of the governmental process. We saw the problem with that this summer when Hezbollah, as a state within a state, launched an attack across an international line.

But it's going to have to be a Lebanese process that comes to terms with this issue. What we are doing right now is to support Lebanon, support the Lebanese people. The United States pledged today $770 million to support Lebanon. The world is pledging funding. But it's more than funding. People are pledging political support, and Lebanon will have the international community as a friend.

Marcel Ghanem, LBC: Dr. Rice, the stability in Lebanon is based on the region and balance of power. Don't you think that a dialogue with Syria and Iran is a must, especially after the deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think that it's fine for people to have regional dialogues if they see fit. From our point of view, we have given an opportunity to Iran for dialogue. I was prepared to change 27 years of policy and to talk with my Iranian counterpart if they will just abandon their path toward a nuclear weapon.

With Syria, we've -- the United States has diplomatic relations with Syria. We've talked and talked and talked. But this isn't about talk. This is about action. And if Iran and Syria adopt policies that are, in fact, stabilizing to the region rather than destabilizing, rather than destabilizing to Lebanon, destabilizing to the Palestinian territories, destabilizing to Iraq, then they can be helpful in the international community. But they know how to do that. They don't need to tell me -- have me tell them.

Marcel Ghanem, LBC: Okay. But is there still room for compromise with the current regime in Syria?

SECRETARY RICE: We want the regime to change its behavior in Syria and we've made that very, very clear. But again, this is not difficult. They know what to do. They simply need to do it.

Marcel Ghanem, LBC: Does any potential agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia to settle the Lebanese crisis have a chance to last and will Washington approve it? And what if Syria is not involved in such agreement?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, from my point of view, this is for the Lebanese to decide. If regional powers can help them, that's fine. But Lebanon has to be in agreement. The Lebanese Government, the democratically elected Lebanese Government, has to be in agreement with how to resolve this crisis.

I would hope that the Arab initiative, Arab League initiative that Amr Moussa has been talking about, that other regional efforts will carry forward. But they must respect the democratic choices that Lebanese people made in their elections more than a year ago and they must respect the international community's demand that there be a tribunal so that those who have perpetrated horrible crimes, including the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, can be brought to justice.

Marcel Ghanem, LBC: Last question, Dr. Rice. How would the U.S. deal with the potential presidential vacancy, especially that the conditions to conduct elections could not be met in September?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I simply hope that the conditions will be met and that Lebanon can elect a president that is a part of its future. It's an important position and it needs to be a part of Lebanon's future.

But I have some confidence in the Lebanese people to resolve these differences among them. If foreign powers will stay out, if those who are a part of the process will not resort to intimidation or to violence, if people will find a way to bring about their differences -- to reconcile their differences peacefully, I have great confidence in the Lebanese Government and in the government of Prime Minister Siniora to overcome this crisis. And I think the response today of the international community suggests that the international community also has confidence in Lebanon.

Marcel Ghanem, LBC: Thank you, Dr. Rice, for granting us this exclusive interview.


Marcel Ghanem, LBC: Thank you very much.

This report is presented here in Digital Broadcasters Vendor News as a service of this website.

Digital Broadcasters | China | Shannxi IPTV Uses UTStarcom

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News notes that Xian, Shannxi Province is the site of the latest contract for UTStarcom, Inc. (Nasdaq: UTSI). The US-based, UTStarcom is to provide China Telecom (CTC) with its 'RollingStream' end-to-end IPTV solution for a new commercial IPTV network there.

The initial deployment, supporting 30,000 subscribers, is planned to include 14 service points covering major metropolitan areas of Xian, the provincial capital city of Shaanxi Province. The service is expected to offer up to 80 channels of live, broadcast television; 24- hour time-shifting capability; approximately 10,000 hours of video-on- demand (VOD) content; and valued-added services including karaoke and gaming.

Ying Wu, CEO, UTStarcom China said that many of our initial IPTV deployments in China are currently undergoing network expansions as demand for the service has grown.

Mr Ying said that UTStarcom China is seeing new deployments emerge as fixed-line operators are realizing the potential for deploying IPTV services to combat subscriber churn and increase average revenue per user.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News contact service: http://

Digital Broadcasters | UK | BBC Uses Wegener for DVB Project

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has learnt that BBC World Service Radio and Television services, as part of transitioning to a DVB (digital video broadcasting) platform has completed the first phase - live transmissions to Middle East and European affiliate stations and networks.

Wegener Corporation(Nasdaq: WGNR) has been contracted by the BBC for this multi-year, multi-phase DVB project encompassing global distribution of digital radio and TV broadcasts.

Nigel Fry, Head of Transmission & Distribution, BBC World Service stated that BBC World had successfully integrated WEGENER's digital COMPEL Network Control system with the BBC's existing traffic system to manage distribution schedules and satellite receiver groupings.

Fry said that UK operations at the uplink and at the BBC's (international) affiliate stations have been working well and were very pleased with the first phase of our rollout and WEGENER's involvement.

The BBC order was placed in WEGENER's second quarter of fiscal year 2006 and shipments began in fiscal year 2006. Shipments will continue throughout WEGENER's fiscal 2007, as the BBC World Service project roll-out continues.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News notes WEGENER (Wegener Communications, Inc.)(Nasdaq: WGNR) is based in Duluth Georgia. Ned Mountain is President and COO of WEGENER.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | Singapore | TV Developer Ang Hires Agency

"Gregory Ang", Singapore TV entrepreneur and his company, "GANG TV" has informed Digital Broadcasters Vendor News that "Priority Public Relations" is to promote Ang's expanding list of initiatives within the digital media industry.

Ang has built a reputation over 20 years developing Programming and Channel Opportunities in Asia for the World's Foremost Media Brands.

Ang is an active consultant to "Rainbow Media", helping to drive Asian Pacific channel development for the prolific U.S.-based cable pioneer and subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation.

Gang TV was also instrumental in facilitating Mega Media and Rainbow Media’s recent channel package agreement with SingTel, Asia's largest communications group. The offering includes, among others, Rainbow’s global "VOOM HD", a HD TV channel that draws from the world’s largest collection of premiere HDTV programming, and the first made-by- Singapore HDTV channel, "Sling HD", for computer gaming and extreme sports fans who take both reality and virtual reality to the extreme.

In addition to positioning Rainbow’s VOOM HD Networks within the potential reach of viewers in the Asia Pacific, Ang is also charged with introducing the Asian marketplace to Rainbow’s exciting plethora of HD programming—ranging from sports, health and lifestyle to fashion —and programming from Rainbow's other channels, such as WE (Women’s Entertainment), IFC (the Independent Film Channel) and Fuse (interactive music programming).

Further back Ang has worked with ESPN, Discovery Channel and Hallmark Channel Asia.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has learnt that Ang began his TV career with non-commercial Public Broadcaster, KQED Channel 9, San Francisco, while studying in the city.

Digital Broadcasters | Bangladesh | BBC Bengali Feeds on SMS

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has heard from the BBC World Service and its service, has teamed up with "QA Konsortium", a digital mobile content aggregator in Bangladesh and launched a comprehensive SMS news service in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

The cellphone service offers mobile users cricket and football amongst its seven news feeds.

In all the service has seven feeds to start with: Callers just dial 6666 to register. Each service has a syntax code thus: for news on the Asia Pacific "bbc ap"; Breaking News "bbc bn", Cricket "bbc cr"; Entertainment "bbc en"; Football "bbc fb"; South Asia "bbc sa"; and World New "bbc wn".

The Bangladeshi service is part of the BBC Bengali service. Sabir Mustafa, Head of BBC Bengali, said: "News through mobile phones is the newest frontier of today’s broadcasting world, and the BBC is at the forefront of this new media revolution. By combining cutting edge technology with our highest editorial standards and unequalled newsgathering.

BBC Bengali broadcasts are regarded by listeners as a reference point for accuracy and impartiality. BBC bengali boasts bureaux in Dhaka, Kolkata and New Delhi. The Bengali language broadcasts go out in three programming blocks a day and carried 24/7 on

Dhaka based, QA Konsortium was formed with a view to bringing Solutions on Solid Foundations to accelerate the businesses in different industries. QA aims to build and establish itself as the only integrated platform enabling it to meet every single requirement for its valued clients in Bangldesh. QA is currently concentrating in the Telecom Products and Advertising sectors. The company has partnered with TeamtalkMedia, CinemaElectric and FuguMobile to leap frog tec hnology for the benefit of Bangladesh subscribers to services.