Human in DIGITAL age

Thirty-two countries, 656 companies and 44,164 visitors participated in this year's KOBA broadcast, audio and lighting equipment tradeshow in Seoul, South Korea. The show took place May 15 to 18 and featured the theme “Human in digital age.”

Broadcasters everywhere are transitioning to digital. The UK and the Korean governments will turn off analog broadcasts in 2012, so broadcasters visiting the show were eager to learn about the new digital products on hand.

Exhibits show innovative technology

The main exhibits at the show focused on promoting the development of broadcasting and video equipment, satellite broadcasting systems, professional audio and lighting equipment, and motion picture techniques.

The show's “New Technology Pavilion” housed hot new products, including digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB), HD and IPTV equipment. At the “Dynamic Blaster KOBA” exhibit, major PA speaker system manufacturers demonstrated the power of sound in an optimal listening environment.

The Korean Broadcast Engineers & Technicians Association and several exhibitors held more than 80 technical conferences and seminars, which allowed attendees to learn about new broadcast-related information and technologies.

Mobile technology's roots

South Korea developed DMB, and today the country is extremely successful at deploying these services. According to Market Research, mobile technology penetrated 78 percent of the market in South Korea in 2006.

More than 5 million consumers in South Korea have access to DMB services, and by the end of 2007, it's been predicted that more than 8 million people will use them.

At KOBA 2007, national Korean broadcaster MBC demonstrated DMB broadcasts as well as 3-D DMB technology. The broadcaster showed attendees a new concept of DMB, with time-activated contents triggering light flickering and vibration. MBC also featured DMB terminals with Transport Protocol Experts Group (TPEG) service, which provides viewers with nationwide traffic and public transportation information.

The digital future

The DTV penetration rate in Korea was 24.4 percent in 2006, so broadcasters have much to do in terms of educating the public before the 2012 deadline. As broadcasters transition to digital operation, they will be capable of providing consumers with a host of new services that weren't available with analog broadcast. Attendees at KOBA 2007 saw a glimpse of what lies ahead in this digital age.