Broadcast Asia: Taking Technology to the Next Level

The future of digital broadcasting lies in the synergy between digital media and communication.
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The future of digital broadcasting lies in the synergy between digital media and communication. At this year's BroadcastAsia, which will be held in Singapore from June 17 to 20, this message will be conveyed to visitors through a showcase of broadcast technology including tapeless solutions; broadcasting-to-handheld; digital media asset management; IPTV; Smart TV and professional audio technology.

But perhaps the biggest highlight of the show will be Super Hi-Vision (SHV)—the successor of HDTV, which will be shown for the first time in Asia, outside of Japan. The 8K system with a resolution 16 times higher than HDTV was developed by NHK Science and Technical Research Laboratories. It is said to be the world's first video system with 4,000 scanning lines that delivers ultra-clear, realistic three-dimensional images through ultrahigh-definition technology. (See www.nhk.or.jp/digital/en/superhivision/index.html)

BroadcastAsia 2008 will also see the second edition of the 'HD Xperience,' a tutorial studio produced in partnership with multiple international manufacturers. This year, it will demonstrate how Media Asset Management technology can help broadcasters re-design their workflows to maximize the benefits of open standards based production and archiving.

On the conference front, this year's BroadcastAsia will focus primarily on IPTV, VoD, interactivity and delivering media to portable devices, which until a few years ago were all technology pipedreams.

As opportunities from the last 12 months gradually became a reality, the commercial horizons will also be explored. This year's conference will also address the critical issues centring on the transition to fully digital production and delivery, and the management of the analogue legacy—an important topic for global broadcasters and regulators alike.

Calvin Koh, senior project manager at Singapore Exhibition Services, organiser of BroadcastAsia, is upbeat about the show and expects this year's attendees to hit the 16,500 mark, up from 16,370 last year.

"With regional broadcasters and telcos open to various content streaming opportunities to provide more cost effective and efficient alternatives to consumers, we expect to see many to come here and explore the available technologies to meet the demand," he said.

At press time, 292 companies from across the globe had registered for the event. These include leading players such as Sony, Panasonic, Sun Microsystems, Arri, BT, Konica-Minolta, Quantum, Pebble Beach, OradTV, Universal Electronics and Quantel. And the number of exhibitors is still increasing, according to Koh.

Sony

Continuing with its HDNA ("High-definition. It's in our DNA") theme at NAB, Sony's exhibit will centre on both HD and SD, according to Kozo Fujita, director of business and professional products, Asia/Pacific, and head of the broadcast and content creation solutions, Asia/Pacific.

"It's an exciting idea, and it will make BroadcastAsia 2008 another exciting stop on the road to an HD future," he said. "This year's show also has an added significance. Many of our customers have already made their upgrades, but others are going to need the breadth of HD resources that only Sony can truly deliver, so they can tell their story in the best way possible. With HD now a production reality, it's up to us to help them understand how they can use our technologies to do this in the best way possible."

Sony's XDCAM EX, the PMW-EX3 camcorder, and the PMW-EX30 solid-state memory recorder/player will be at BroadcastAsia. In addition to showcasing its complete HD product line-up, Sony will also be hosting various workshops and seminars for its customers, focusing primary on its latest HD technology, said Fujita.

Magna at 40

Returning for the tenth time to BroadcastAsia, Magna, the distributor and reseller of a number of leading broadcast equipment manufacturers, sees the show as a platform to generate leads and conclude sales, says Patrick So, Magna systems and engineering director, Asia Pacific operations.

Magna is celebrating its fortieth anniversary in 2008, and will be taking about reorganising based around a move away from hardware, and towards the 'enterprise' software needs of broadcasters.

"BroadcastAsia is a significant event [for us] and one of the best in terms of sales converted from leads at a show. The main highlight for Magna will be the interoperability of systems, especially now that we have the Blue Order Media Archive Media Asset Management as the final working link," he says. In addition to Blue Order, Magna is also representing Chyron, Seachange, Strategy and Technology Ltd, Pebble Beach, Front Porch Digital, BTS broadcast management system, SysMedia, Anystream, Sun StorageTek and Blue Shape.

New business

Exhibiting for the first time at BroadcastAsia is OmniTek from the UK, which is looking to establish a presence in Asia as well as expand its dealer network, according to Rob Arnold, sales and marketing manager. The company will show its XR image analysis system designed for colourists and post-production editors working in an HD environment; TQ Lite, a new entry-level waveform analyser; and the DataLab 3Gbps generator.

As has been the case for several years, the BroadcastAsia show will be held alongside CommunicAsia, a well-established trade event for the infocomm and media industries. This reflects the convergence of the digital multimedia technology and entertainment value chain.

CG Overdrive (Computer Graphics Overdrive) will also be held in conjunction with BroadcastAsia.

— Patricia Lee

Editor's Note: See our Broadcast Asia Product Preview below for a bit on what kit will be seen at the Singapore event.