New Media: The Emergence of Convergence

The session started with Arun Arora, president, Bennet & Coleman, giving his views. On 'Music In the age of convergence.'

'Music is a hobby which has remained and grown, only the listening devices have changed giving the example of the progress from radio to cassette, to CDs to MP3. Every change has brought a rise in total sales. His suggestion - there has to be comprehensive distribution of music, in the sense that all the different kinds of music products should be available at one place.

Will Bratton of Spectrum Media & Telecom, talking about Interactive TV. For interactive TV to be successful in India, access to the broadband range, accessibility and availability of content and speed has to be improved. According to Bratton, gaming was the major service of the future.

Achille Forler, CEO, Silk Road Communications says that DTT (digital terrestrial transmission) will be the delivery system in India. The kind of mobility that DTT give cannot be provided by any other delivery system. The cost per channel will be much less on DTT and viewers will get choice, Forler said. The cost of the basic package will be very low. Even interactive TV is possible on this delivery system, he said.

Jasjit Saini, V-P, Consumer Devise, NDS, who spoke on the emergence of convergence, TV & Net said content will drive convergence. And it will happen on both devices, i.e on TV as well as on computers. Digital Broadcasting Technology and broadband Internet will intersect and complement each other to offer consumer access. It will also enhance content for consumer which will in turn enhance viewing, Saini said. "Ultimately, convergence will bring the best of Internet on Interactive TV and the Net will provide more in depth information about programming on TV.

Pradeep Gupta of Cyber Media said there were three key drivers of convergence - content, communication and device. Content in Internet broadband world has seen a radical change with vertical specialisation taking place. Elaborating on that he said that now all the different factors involved in production are now coming under one roof. The communication revolution is affecting the speed, location and delivery of content. "The devices will play a crucial role in the whole convergence game, as their portability, cost and applicability will decide the speed of convergence. True convergence in the industry is happening."

Kiran Karnik, president Nasscom, who chaired the session, concluded by saying that there is a human angle to all the technological changes. He pointed out that what is possible and what will happen are two different things. And what is possible may not happen because of that same human factor, he noted.

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