Sunday, April 11, 2010

India:: 11th Plan Spends US$350m on Radio and TV Networks

Indian Government Spends More on National Radio and TV Networks in Face of Growing Commercial Broadcaster Competition - Move to Benefit Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturers Digital Broadcast Vendor News Asia (DBVNA) has been following India's development of its terrestrial digital broadcasting under the country's 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012). On April 8, 2010 the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI) approved proposals from the Ministry of Broadcasting for Doordarshan (TV) and Akashvani (All India Radio) to digitise its transmitter networks, and studio output. The move costing Rs 1,540 crore (nearly US$350 million) is to help maintain the state radio and TV broadcasters leading role in light of increasing challenges from the private broadcasters. This move will likely prove a true bonanza for digital broadcast equipment manufacturers. The Minister for Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ms Ambika Soni said that the expansion program was to bring people in the remotest regions of the country more program choice and highest quality of transmission, including HDTV. Some 60 per cent of the budget would go to AIR and the rest to DD. DD would see 40 new digital transmitters installed linked by satellite that would increase the choice from eight DD channels to 10 for most viewers. The liberalization of commercial radio has reached Phase III - bringing radio to towns with populations of around 100,000 population. Digital Broadcast Vendor News Asia notes that Minister Ambika sees Radio Phase III as posing a serious challenge to the current role of AIR in these areas/markets. This has prompted more urgent development of the Akashvani radio network to face head on the new market circumstances. The spending under the 11th Plan will involve replacement of Medium Wave transmitters with digital transmitters, digitalisation of studio operations and network links, establishment of regional digital archives and further newsroom automation.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

PRC Research on Cable Platform Shows IP Driven Growth in Domestic Demand

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News Asia (DBVNA) has learnt that latest IP research in the People's Republic of China (PRC) shows that demand for new TV services on its cable platform is driving increased replacement of standard definition (SD) "1-way set-top boxes" with high definition (HD) "cable+IP 2-way set-top boxes".
Authors of an upcoming report, IMS Research predicts that more than half of cable set-top boxes (STB's) produced for the Chinese PRC domestic market by the end of 2011 will be in HD as a result of government initiatives and increased competition with other platforms.
Recent directives by the Beijing Central Government for cable TV operators to converge voice and video networks has resulted in a boom for cable operators with the IP upgrades.
The IMS Research news release to Digital Broadcasters Vendor News Asia (DBVNA) stated that in some urban areas, 2-way cable networks utilize last mile IP and use cable set-top boxes with an IP back channel. In general, in major urban areas such as Shanghai and Beijing, cable operators compete with IPTV services where the current business model lacks HD content and high bandwidth, and it is hoped that greater availability of HD content and a “catch-up TV” mentality will encourage further digitization and customer retention. “Conversion of China’s cable infrastructure to 2-way, IP-based, HD-capable networks will occur gradually over many years,” emphasizes analyst IMS Research, Anna Maxbauer, co-author of an upcoming report: The World Market for Digital Set-top Boxes & iDTVs – 2010 Edition. Ms Maxbauer noted that the costs of infrastructure and equipment upgrades will likely fall to operators and the government. Why? Because: "most consumers are interested in new features but are unwilling to pay extra for them,” she says. DBVNA does not have a business connection nor paid by IMS Research, which is a UK-based research house and a consultancy for a wide range of global electronics markets with offices in Austin, Texas and Shanghai, China. The PRC research above was issued from IMS Research in Austin, Texas.