Spotlight on Singapore

The pick of the news and customer wins from BroadcastAsia 2009.
Analysis, Broadcast Business
Bright Systems
Bright Systems

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BroadcastAsia and CommunicAsia 2009 attracted more than 1900 exhibiters last month. Despite lower footfall than previous years, there's plenty of activity. Digital Broadcast looks at the highlights.

BroadcastAsia 2009 follows a year of falling attendance at other media technology trade shows, however optimism remains high within the industry.

CABSAT and NAB both saw reduced footfall this year although exhibitors were satisfied with the quality and buying power of those who attended.

This year’s BroadcastAsia and co-located CommunicAsia summit followed the same pattern.

Overall, the event served up the expected education, sales and networking opportunities for the Asia Pacific’s broadcast market.

Broadband Forum

One new addition to the show for this year was the Next Generation Broadband Forum.

Robin Mersh, COO of the Broadband Forum, which boasts 200 of the top operators and chipset manufacturers among its members, delivered the keynote address on the second day of the event.

Mersh told the audience that for fast broadband rollout and effective network management, operators needed three things – a single architecture across all transport options, a single WAN management protocol and common Quality of Experience (QoE) measurement specifications.

The number of broadband lines worldwide is now approaching the 430 million mark. India was the biggest growth market last year adding 13.4, while China added 4.8 million lines, to top more than 88 million connections in total.

In dense urban markets, broadband networks create the opportunity for high-value video services. Although under-developed in the Middle East, Asia provides a glimpse of the revenue opportunities that widespread, high-speed connections enable.

Customer Wins

Orders from emerging markets lead the way at BroadcastAsia with a number of announcements made for deals in Asia and Eastern Europe.

“In spite of the current global economic downturn, businesses are still looking towards Asia to drive growth in the broadcast and media sectors,” says Stephen Tan, CEO of the show’s organiser, Singapore Exhibition Services (SES).

Among these, server manufacturer Omneon announced that the Philippines’ FTA broadcaster the GMA Network has expanded its inventory of Spectrum infrastructure. The new additions will establish a full file-based workflow at GMA’s Manila facility.

Conditional access developer Verimatrix announced that it has signed its first IPTV customer. Belarus’ national telco Beltelecom will use the Verimatrix VCAS system to secure its IP-based TV services that include time-shifting, interactive and video on demand capabilities. Verimatrix followed this up the next day by announcing its second IPTV customer. The company will provide the VCAS for IPTV security platform to Venezuelan state-owned broadcaster CANTV. The system will be integrated into the ZTE XVBIV IPTV Eyewill platform.

Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS) had a busy show announcing the selection of Space Systems/Loral to manufacture the ABS-2 spacecraft.

The ABS-2 will be the most powerful commercial satellite ever launched in the Asia Pacific region with nearly 14 kW of payload power and a maximum of 78 active C-band, Ku-band and Ka-band transponders across eight different beams. It will be co-located with ABS-1 at 75 degrees East. It will be launched by an Ariane 5 ECA from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana in 2012.

“We are very excited to partner with Space Systems/Loral and Arianespace to build and launch our ABS-2 spacecraft,” said Tom Choi, CEO of Asia Broadcast Satellite. “We chose both of these companies for this important project because of their industry leadership, quality and reliability of their products and services.”

The ABS-2 spacecraft separated mass will be in excess of 6000 kg at launch and is designed for 15 years of operational life.

Together, ABS-1 and -2 will provide a total of 122 transponders over the Asia Pacific region.

ABS-2 will provide bandwidth for a range of services including DTH and cable TV distribution, VSAT services, data networks and telecommunications. ABS-2 will provide expansion capacity to existing ABS-1 customers and will act as in-orbit spare and provide backup for the ABS-1 transponders.

ABS also revealed that it would be working with Newtecto optimise its point-to-point transmissions. The company will use Newtec’s DVB-S2 modulator and demodulator technology to allow customers to transport live studio and outside broadcasts directly to ABS gateway teleports and then uplinked for DTH or pay TV broadcasting.

“The capabilities of the DVB-S2 modulators and demodulators fit perfectly with ABS’s performance, delivering maximum efficiency with minimum bandwidth. With Newtec’s DVB-S2 modulation solutions our broadcast service compares favourably with international fibre,” said Choi.

Bright Systems

Recording infrastructure manufacturer Bright Systems  debuted the BrightDrive G2 file-based recording system at BroadcastAsia last month.

The BrightDrive G2 includes the company’s BrightClip Recording Technology, designed to overcome the limitation of IT-orientated approaches to recording, claims Bright Systems. These methods randomise media files in the production process causing erratic system performance, claims the manufacturer.

“BrightDrive G2 with BrightClip is the world’s first open-architecture file-based recording system designed specifically for the entertainment industry,” claimed Antony Harris, CEO, Bright Systems. “Users will achieve performance stability levels that are simply not found in conventional IT recording systems.”

RCS

Broadcast software company RCS launched a new radio automation system, Zetta, at BroadcastAsia.

Zetta will be launched for the Chinese-language market first further highlighting the continued importance of emerging markets.

“Zetta will be recognised as the most advanced radio automation system in the world,” claimed Philippe Generali, president and CEO of RCS. “It incorporates the very best features of its predecessors, NexGen Digital and Master Control, but Zetta has been built from a clean sheet of paper, so it also includes many new cutting-edge features.”

The new system integrates with RCS’s GSelector product line for full-circle scheduling, playout and tracking requiring the least amount of data entry of any system that has preceded it, according to the company.

“Zetta was designed from the ground-up to be totally flexible in configuration, from a single workstation, to a network and on to the web,” according to Generali. “Users can expect one of the most robust automation systems ever released.”

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