Television

BES Expo booming and globally accepted

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NEW DELHI: All the stalls at the BES Expo 2007, to be inaugurated on 1 February, are packed. BES estimates it would need to add 20 per cent more space in the coming year, a significant rise in global visibility for the lone Indian broadcast engineering show, says AS Guin, President, BES at a press conference here today.

Three hundred participants are here this year, among them 16 which are coming here for the first time, Guin, who is also All India Radio's engineer-in-chief, states.

In fact, two major participants, Joseline Josiah of Unesco's adviser in communication and information in Asia and Ed Homan, director of operations, Ideal Systems Asia Pacific, specifically mentioned that it is the phenomenal growth of BES as an organisation, just one among the three broadcast engineering institutes in the world, that made them participate in this year's Expo.

Homan made a brief but sharp point in stating that there were earlier only two major such Expos, IBC and NAB. "The fact that people like us have decided to come here is because BES has earned tremendous respect as an institution and is seen globally for the tremendous work they have done in the field.

Though Josiah's project on community radio is the socially most exciting among the ones to be showcased here during the three-day exposition, Nokia stole the show, as a partner of Doordarshan's project on mobile television project that is under trials at the moment.

In fact, Pawan Gandhi, Nokia's Singapore based head of mobile TV and Video Experience division, was practically mobbed by the media for a dekko at the mobile set he was carrying to demonstrate the ongoing project under trial. The crystal clear image and the easy channel surfing system surprised many.

Gandhi said that the system could carry ten channels per band and in its dialogue with DD, they have felt it necessary to run at least 30 channels. The sets are at the moment not available in India, and the ones launched in Vietnam costs $700 to 800, and is a high-end product.

Guin added that, as in the case of DD's DTH, DD Direct Plus, which initially cost a packet per household, so in the case of DD's mobile TV project, "prices are bound to come down as the demand rises," hence, those who want will be able to afford this equipment in the coming days.

Ashish Bhatnagar, honourary secretary of BES, said: "The government has silently ushered in a revolution in the form of community radio to be operated by NGOs." He said that this is among the most promising projects in hand and will see thousands of radio centres coming up across the country.

The government's programme with Unesco is to make people aware and empower and train them to handle radio stations on their way, Adhikary added.

Josiah, asked to address the media, spoke of an amazing range of products, especially those with multiple facilities, including what she described as "more than a radio", rather a community multimedia centre with provisions for radio, Internet and other forms of communication.

Josiah said that Unesco has been working for the past 30 years in the field of community radio and developed models relevant to various countries and cultures. These will be on show at the pavilion and there will be presentations and demonstrations.

Another advancement BES is seeking to make is to help launch broadcast engineering courses in universities, under affiliation to the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, the apex body in the region.

Dialogue is going on this, Guin said, and the BES hopes to see this happen very soon. Guin also said that though the BEShas been holding these Expos for the past 12 years, from this 13th year, they would send reports to the government about participation and developments and results achieved at the fairs.

The expo will be inaugurated by information and broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Das Munshi tomorrow, at Hall No. 7D, Pragati Maidan, Delhi.

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