International airwaves roundup

Pakistan to begin Kashmir television transmission next year

AJK Television will go on the air in Kashmir next year as Pakistan seeks to develop broadcasting operations through the disputed territory.

According to the Pakistan Information and Broadcasting Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, 11 transmitters will be installed throughout Kashmir as the project unfolds.

The Pakistani government is seeking private concerns interested in acquiring a broadcast license for the new television channel. Initially, the license holder would be allowed to broadcast two hours a day with the remaining time being filled by programming from government-run PTV. Over time, he said, PTV’s on-air presence would diminish as the holder of the broadcast license increased local programming.

AJK Television is scheduled to inaugurate its on-air operations Feb. 5, 2004.

Chinese DTV cable standard to mirror European approach for now

China’s Ministry of Information Industry has announced that it will temporarily adopt the European DTV cablecasting standard as it works to complete its own digital cable and terrestrial standards.

China’s homespun DTV-C standard was due in July, but release of the standard has been pushed back as work continues on the maturing digital scheme. Bai Weimin, head of the broadcasting and television division of the Ministry of Information Industry, said that China’s own standard would be compatible with the DVB-C standard.

Wang Kuang, general manager of Hangzhou Science and Technology Co. and head of the DTV-C development team, said the Chinese-developed standard is easier-to-use, offers greater interactive functions and improved data services support than DVB-C. The standard will be finished by the end of the year.

Saudis launch radio and television service over the Web

The Saudi Ministry of Cultural and Information announced the kingdom has begun experimental transmission of radio and television over the World Wide Web.

Several radio channels, including general interest programming, second-channel programming, the Holy Qur’an program, European programs in English and French, Urdu radio programming and others are available, said Dr. Fouad Ibn Abdul-Salam Al-Farsi, Saudi Minister of Culture and Information. Beta transmission of Saudi television has also been launched.

Users of English-language browsers should visit to access the transmissions.

Late 2006 target launch date for outlying terrestrial digital TV in Japan

Private television broadcasters, NHK –the Japan Broadcasting Corp.- and the nation’s telecommunications ministry agreed this week to begin terrestrial transmission of digital television service by late 2006 to non-metropolitan areas of Japan.

They also decided to begin full digital television broadcast in Nagoya, Tokyo and Osaka in December.

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