BroadcastAsia2005 ended on a high note with mobile broadcasting and high-definition technologies taking the spotlight

MUMBAI:The regions most prominent electronic media event ended on a vibrant and positive note last week, attracting over 12,500 attendees as well as top honchos from the broadcasting industry.

The exhibition at the Singapore Expo showcased 748 exhibiting companies from 41 countries and included 10 group pavilions and feature areas highlighting emerging digital technologies including digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB), digital video broadcasting (DVB) and digital audio broadcasting (DAB). 430 delegates and speakers were at the BroadcastAsia2005 International Conference.

Both the show and conference surpassed our expectations, said Mr Stephen Tan, Chief Executive of organiser Singapore Exhibition Services Pte Ltd (SES). BroadcastAsia2005 drew praise and favourable comments from exhibitors, visitors, conference speakers and delegates alike.

Ms June Kim, Manager of Marketing Communication, Irdeto Access  a leader in conditional access solutions and an exhibitor at the event, said, Overall, the show has been good. The area where our booth is located was quite crowded and the quality of visitors was high. We met a lot of good customers, secured good leads and met up with a number of the media. We have secured quite a number of deals and it was indeed a productive and rewarding time for us.

Another exhibitor specialising in audio solutions, echoed the positive feedback. The show had been good and so far, we met many of our customers. We managed to secure some projects during the exhibition and we have seen many visitors from India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia, said Mr Ho Swee Fook, Managing Director, Sennheiser Electronic Asia.

Emerging trends at BroadcastAsia2005: HD and mobile broadcasting

As mobile broadcasting emerges as a key trend amid the growing convergence between IT, communications and broadcasting, Mr Peter MacAvock, Executive Director of DVB (Switzerland) led an insightful discussion into the international development of this technology at the BroadcastAsia International Conference.

Speaking on his expectations of mobile TV, Mr MacAvock said, Over the next couple of years, the multimedia features that are standard on mobile phones now will become video  at least part of it. As technology improves, you will have a phone that becomes a television and an MP3 player with significant storage for video files. Media companies will need to invest in new infrastructures to support the service. (They) have to think about how to get a return on their investment.

On the positive side, this is going to generate an enormous demand for new mobile phones. Analysts expect demand for 100 million mobile receivers within the first three years of its release.

Complementing the conference was the DVB and DMB showcase on the exhibition floor. Mr Kim Hyun-Dong, Deputy Manager, Technology Policy Division of the Korea Broadcasting Commission that led the DMB feature area, said, We had a lot of visitors coming by our booth to find out more about DMB and their level of interest was very high. This aligned with our objective of joining the exhibition as we wanted to build greater awareness of DMB across the Asian region. Through the exhibition, we met a lot of visitors from Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Singapore and Australia.

Another key technology evident in both the conference and the exhibition was high-definition (HD) technology. According to industry players, HD and digital terrestrial television are going to be the big drivers in broadcasting this year.

"If you want multi-channel television, not just five or six local services, you have to have digital TV. People now want to have 50, 100, 200 services in their home, not just five or six channels. That's going to be the key thing," said Mr Roger Bolton, Business Development Director for Tandberg Television.

Visitors to the event were pleased with the showcase and the business opportunities provided. Mr John Raadgeep, Director of Dutch company Alphatron Broadcast Electronics BV, said, I have been to BroadcastAsia many times. The exhibition is a great place for me to meet up with my contacts, friends and partners, and to meet new people in the industry. The standard of the exhibitors is good and I am particularly interested in the Korean exhibitors as we are planning to get products and software from them. It is a great show and I will be back again next year.

An Iranian visitor to the event, Mr Javad Ahmadi, Technical Purchase Manager of IRIB (Islamic Republic of Broadcasting)s TV Technical & Production Centre, spoke of his fruitful time at BroadcastAsia2005. He said, IRIB has just gone into digitisation and we may look into HD in two years time. This is my first visit to BroadcastAsia and I am looking for studio cameras and audio mixers in particular. The exhibition has been useful and is a good sourcing event.

As I am in the filming industry, my interest would be cameras, editing systems and audio engineering. BroadcastAsia is a one-stop platform of whats happening in the industry. It is overflowing with options and answers,commented Mr Chris Humphrey from Singapore-based production company Firewire Films.

Held in conjunction with BroadcastAsia this year were two brand new events  the RadioAsia Conference and X|Media|Lab Professional Day Conference and Masterclass.

RadioAsia Conference 2005 was the first of a planned annual conference on radio in Asia examining hot topics such as Digital Radio, and how radio can continue to play a vital role in reaching out to the masses and in being the voice of the people. RadioAsia is organised by the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) and the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) in partnership with SES.

Ms Joan Warner, CEO of Commercial Radio Australia and Mr Ed Cunningham, CEO of Clear Channel Entertainment China were two of the key industry leaders who spoke at the conference.

The X|Media|Lab Professional Day Conference and Masterclass drew acclaim from the speakers, mentors, delegates and project teams. Conference delegate Mr Ping Cheng, China manager of Omake Interactive Services said that the conference was excellent with very good presenters addressing the most current issues in the industry. According to him, the conference well integrated TV, film, animation, graphics, gaming and 3G technologies.

The first X|Media|Lab Singapore Masterclass successfully wrapped up with a total of 10 projects being mentored throughout the two-day Lab  six from Singapore, two from Australia, and two from Indonesia. Mentor Mr Siddharth Jain, Creative Director of Singapore-based Playware Studios, called it a "mind blowing experience; UK-based animation consultant Mr Mike Robinson said "I think I've just seen the future"; and Mr Neeraj Roy, CEO of India's Hungama called the Lab "an amazing amalgamation of creativity and technology".

The conference and masterclass were organised by X|Media|Lab, a project of the Australian Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

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