09.01.2007 12:00 PM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Digital: The Journey Forward at BroadcastAsia2007

With Singapore being a global media center — hosting offices of Ascent Media, CNBC, HBO and Technicolor — the city-state is a good place to hold a show for the southeastern Asian region. Singapore sits in an ideal location for satellite distribution between media centers in the USA and Europe, which is one reason why companies base their south Asian operations there.

More than 12,000 visitors attended the BroadcastAsia2007 show in Singapore last June. The show was held in tandem with CommunicAsia, so it had a strong presence from IPTV and mobile system vendors who exhibited in a nearby hall to the broadcast show. The big buzz around mobile did mean that the communications halls attracted a bigger crowd than the broadcast area, and some convergence of exhibit areas in the future could confirm the convergence of technologies.

Several countries ran pavilions to showcase their national vendors, including China, France, Germany Italy, Korea, Spain, the UK and USA. Host country Singapore had a large exhibit, with the focus on IPTV, mobile and HD. Singapore is about to trial HD transmissions, so interest in HDTV was particularly keen.

One of the highlights was the HD studio. The 100sq-m studio showcased new HDTV equipment from well-known exhibitors. The range of HDTV technologies on show covered production, editing and final content output.

A program of technical papers, which have proven over the years to be well regarded by attendees, accompanied the show. If the show halls ever seemed quiet, it was because an interesting paper was being presented. The conference addressed the who, what, why, where, when and how with sessions covering file-based production, media production and development, comparison of digital broadcasting technologies, IPTV and content delivery, as well as examining emerging issues and identifying opportunities in the new era of digital convergence.

Visitors to the show represent a broad range of technology requirements, with some broadcasters looking for HD, some mobile and some IPTV, but there are also others that are still expanding analog services and are still very much in the conventional SD world. This broad range of requirements was reflected by the wide variety of equipment being demonstrated.

One thorny problem for exhibitors is which shows to attend; marketing budgets always have limits. When speaking to exhibitors to get their views on the advantages of attending BroadcastAsia, Broadcast Engineering found that several exhibitors discovered large projects that are being planned for the region that they had been unaware of. For that reason alone, the show proved very valuable to them.

CG Overdrive (CGO) was held in conjunction with BroadcastAsia for the first time and saw a gathering of 735 conference delegates and speakers. Aimed at promoting local interest and knowledge sharing in the industry, CGO brought world-renowned CG artists and animators to Singapore to share their knowledge in a bid to strengthen the local fledging CG industry. The event also showcased Singaporean and Asian works to a worldwide audience.

BroadcastAsia will return to the Singapore Expo from the 17-20 June 2008.

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