To-be launched HD channels prove its relevance

MUMBAI: High Definition is the way forward - the pitch for the same was made at technology seminar organised by FICCI, NASSCOM, TIE and e-Entertainment alliance held one day before the official inauguration of Frames 2003. On 13, March 2003, Avid Technologies' Dan Germaine pointed out the increasing relevance of HD in the future scenario wherein HD TV channels will become the order of the day.

"There is a huge demand for HD from broadcasters particularly NHK and Discovery. Next year in Europe a completely HD dedicated channel Euro 1080 will launch," Germaine stated. The company provides digital tools for film, video, audio, and broadcast.


Germaine started his presentation saying: " Nearly 20 per cent of BBC's production is being done in HD. More than 50 per cent of Avid's revenue comes from HD. The good thing about it is that it gets back film tools for the filmmaker. One of the challenges I face is trying to demystify the technical aspects of the concept. I often find that many clients are not fully aware of what it involves."

Germaine illustrated his viewpoint by showing a picture where the aspect ratio was 16:9. "The pixels are square and so it was possible to drag and drop them. While HD can work with less brightness, you cannot get away with just lights in the background and then hope that the foreground will be illuminated as well, " pointed out Germaine. "HD brings out the best in the worlds of film and television. It gives you the sleek look of film with the speed of processing of television," he added.

Germaine also mentioned that with HD camcorders are becoming more accessible to many people and emerging as the new trend. In fact at next month's NAB exhibition, there will be a huge variety of HD products on display which can be used both for recreational and business purposes. He said that the Thomson Viper Camera was an excellent example of a top end HD product.

He also elaborated on the advantages of HD saying: " It is no longer restricted to seven mm rolls, It also allows instant playback of final media. It also allows facilitates a complete digital post-production process.

"Do you want be a part of the audience or would you prefer writing the script?" was the pitch made by an executive from Cohezia. The company works in the areas of entertainment, business and technology.

The UK based company helps its clients in the different areas increase profits through the use of the latest technology. It combines the technical skills of a software house, the design skills of a creative agency, the business skills of a management consultancy and the cost effectiveness of an offshore outsourcing unit to create a new form of 'hybrid' company designed ground up for the new digital age.

"Previously technology was seen as expensive and cumbersome. The industry had a hands-off approach and it was mainly driven by technologists. It was also not easy to define the ROI (Return On Investment). Today, technology has entered a new world where you have smart phones. There are game consoles, which can be networked. So if one is stick in a traffic jam one can play a game on the mobile phone with a friend sitting in the next vehicle.. The infrastructure is growing at an incredibly rapid pace. Now you have PC tablets that recognise handwriting," the executive said.

The executive also pointed out that in the UK, several homes have ethernet cable installed beforehand which allows for telephony, gaming through a single gateway. He went on to elaborate on why technologists have to embrace change.

"Change is not a villain, You can run from it but you cannot hide. Rest assured you will be affected. Customers minds are being influenced all the time and the direction in towards which their inclinations go will determine you future. Therefore for profit to be rescued, the customer has to be monitored."

He spoke about the roles of technology in an ever changing world. " In this new world technology has a dual role. The content area has experienced a major boom. There are more television channels, films but at the same time the time span has reduced. Therefore the first goal is to constantly create richer environment experiences. The second is to lower the cost base as this will keep profit in good shape. Products must be able to harness the unique technologies being developed through research. The trick lies in knowing how to balance quality and risk. While the risk of a project shouldn't go up it is imperative that quality not be compromised upon."

He mentioned wireless and broadband technology as areas where he saw significant potential for revenue growth. India has 12 million mobile phone users with a growth rate of 95 per cent. China is the leader with 150 million users. In fact, in China online gaming is driving more than half PC penetration.

"My advice to clients is that they should start with an integrated multi-platform strategy. It is extremely important to have a broad view keeping in mind different environments. For instance, it is not enough to just throw video onto the mobile phone. Service providers need to realise that viewing patterns, for someone on the go, are quite different from the person relaxing at home."

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