Broadcasters feel need for diversifying TV content, want level-playing field for growth

NEW DELHI: Mobile TV is going to be popular but there is a need to address compatibility issues by using a single chip on the hand held device. That is what was stressed in the `International Conference on Multifaceted Broadcasting - Present and Future' held as part of the BES Expo 2007 - the 13th Exhibition on Terrestrial and Satellite Broadcasting.

Speaking on the last day, speakers - including LD Mandloi of Doordarshan, Brajeshwar Singh of All India Radio, Ashok Ogra of Discovery channel, and retired Prasar Bharati official MP Lele - admitted that there was need to diversify content on TV and mobile TV but said viewership appeared to be driven by some accepted formats.

However, this made niche channels like Discovery and National Geographic very important. They also agreed that the content on news channels was driven only by sensationalism.

Referring to some government actions like banning of the AXN channel while letting Fashion TV to continue its telecasts, they felt there was need for a level-playing field for growth of the media.

The three-day event - inaugurated on 1 February by information and broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi at Pragati Maidan, was organized by Broadcast Engineering Society (India). It was approved by the Union government and endorsed by International Association of Broadcasting Equipment Manufacturers (IABM), and supported by Prasar Bharati (AIR and Doordarshan), Unesco, Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), DIT and IGNOU.

Speakers said IP-based delivery systems - DVB-IP and IPTV for television and DAB-IP for radio - were going to be very popular. Mobile TV on the Hand held devices is already here.

Keeping in view the large rate of growth of mobile cells in the country, Mobile TV was going to be very popular. Some speakers stressed the need to bring provisions of Emergency Warning Broadcast Systems (EWBS).

It was accepted that there was a marked shift in the consumer behaviour pattern, with people wanting 'any time anywhere interactive access' which can be achieved only by the convergence of broadcasting, wireless and mobile technology. The consumer will decide the primetime and the platform.

Some of the speakers stressed the need to permit private players to set up Community Radio stations instead of keeping this low-cost technology confined to some niche institutions.

Digital Radio and High Definition TV (HDTV), which provide much better quality, were going to be introduced in the country in the very near future.

Around 40 speakers from India and abroad explained the latest technological development in areas like Mobile TV- Anytime Anywhere, Digital Radio - emerging scenario, Role of broadcasting in Warning and Disaster Management, Digital media life cycle, Content creation - cutting edge technology, interactive broadcasting, broadcasting in India: Challenges ahead, and assuring audio and video quality.

Sixty-five exhibitors from India and abroad displayed the latest broadcast equipment systems and services in the field of radio, television, satellite, internet and interactive broadcasting.

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