The ABU Digital Broadcasting Symposium on 11 March, closed having aired a number of important broadcast issues including WorldDMB, online TV and the importance of a ‘green’ agenda.

WorldDMB

WorldDMB launched a revamped Asia-Pacific Committee (WAPC) during the symposium, which took place in Kuala Lumpur. Led by Joan Warner, the Asia-Pacific Committee will work with broadcasters, regulators and industry bodies on digital broadcasting issues and promote the roll-out of DAB digital broadcast in the region.

It was these standards that prompted establishing the WAPC committee, and it will extend membership to broadcasters in the Asia-Pacific region considering adopting digital radio or mobile TV. The WAPC will serve as a multifunction committee assisting with and exploring issues around trials of the DAB family, marketing, technical and regulatory strategy.

The committee will meet regularly throughout the region, usually aligned with major conferences to reduce travel costs for committee members and interested broadcasters.

Online TV

A broadcaster planning to launch online TV should rent, rather than buy, the infrastructure – according to Viocorp CEO, Rachel Dixon. She believes that this will enable a quicker response to the launch of a new device such as the iPad. Renting should also make it easier to accommodate changes in customer demand.

Ms Dixon, who is also Vice Chair of Australian consumer organisation Choice, identified content, infrastructure and salaries as the largest costs involved in launching online TV, and that a broadcaster should provide content on as many platforms as possible and have a number of revenue streams.

Going green

Picking up on a regular Fast-and-Wide theme, the symposium was also told that ‘going green makes good business sense’ and that broadcasters should look at what can be done to make their operations more environmentally friendly.

‘It actually pays to be green,’ said Yeo Kim Pow of MediaCorp, explaining that in replacing compressors in itsair conditioners the Singapore broadcast operation quickly recouped the cost through reduced power consumption.

Peter Graf, of project management consultant Optima Eurl, said broadcasters should think economic, not green, because environmentally friendly operations are also economically sound. Several speakers noted that switching from analogue to digital transmissions enabled broadcasters to become greener, particularly when it came to transmitters, and Ludo Maes of Belgian firm TDP pointed out that the power consumption of digital transmitters can be as little as one third that of analogue transmitters covering the same area.

Hal Kneller of transmitter manufacturer Nautel said web-based monitoring now enabled fewer engineers to take care of more sites, including those in remote areas. This requires engineers to make fewer visits to sites, saving on transport and other costs.

Pramote Chokesirikulchai of Thai TV3 suggested the ABU introduce an award for green technology and share information on environmentally friendly equipment.

More: www.abu.org.my

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