Asia-Pacific Broadcasting (APB) October 2018 Volume 35, Issue 9 W O R L D I N B R I E F Singapore edges closer to digital switchover SINGAPORE – Singaporean households who have not made the switch to digital TV receivers are now seeing a smaller picture on their existing TV screens, as a visual reminder that all analogue TV signals will be switched off in the republic by 31 December 2018. New Zealand leads smart TV adoption WELLINGTON – According to a new report by global market intelligence firm IHS Research, New Zealand is now one of the leading adopters of smart TV. New Zealanders now own an average of 4.2 electronic devices, of which 77% are ‘smart devices’. Huawei launches OTT platform SHENZHEN – Huawei has launched its own over-the-top (OTT) platform in Spain and Italy. The service, available on Huawei and Honor devices, offers a libra ry of local and international content. 6 CREATION 16 MANAGEMENT 18 DISTRIBUTION | OCTOBER 2018 | VOLUME 35 | ISSUE 9 X-PLATFORM 22 24 Are we ready for 4K/UHD TV? ‘We are simply not there yet’ KUALA LUMPUR – Imagine watch- ing your favourite football team on TV in details so vivid that you can actually see the bead of sweat trickling down a player’s forehead. This is exactly what Astro is promising Malaysian football fans, as the pay-TV satellite operator prepares for the launch of a 4K/ Ultra HD (UHD) service by the end of this year. At a live outdoor 4K/UHD broadcast of the opening matches of the 2018/19 English Premier League (EPL) season in August this year, Lee Choong Khay, chief of sports at Astro, said: “At Astro, we are committed to providing a bet- ter viewing experience for sports fans in Malaysia. As such, we will embrace the latest technology, 4K/ UHD, to enhance our customers’ viewing experience. “Besides the EPL, we will also bring Formula One racing events and blockbuster movies in 4K/UHD ❝ We have acquired some 4K/UHD-capable cameras, but this is merely due to compelling prices, and not as a part of our plans to go 4K/ UHD. Going 4K/UHD will demand much more financial and manpower resources, and we are simply not there yet. ❞ — Dr Ahmad Zaki Mohd Salleh, Director, Technical Operations, TV Networks, Media Prima NEWS & VIEWS 5 NEWS & VIEWS October 2018 While 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) can bring about a more immersive viewing experience, many broadcasters in Asia have not truly considered launching 4K/ UHD services, preoccupied as they are with making the transition to digital television. to offer our viewers a premium viewing experience.” Will Astro’s initiative herald the introduction of more 4K/UHD ser- vices in the region, or should a more pragmatic approach be adopted where 4K/UHD is concerned? Dr Ahmad Zaki Mohd Salleh, director, technical operations, TV networks, Media Prima, shares with APB: “The media landscape is extremely challenging in Malaysia and most of our financial resources have to be used for other more critical areas. “I’m afraid, until these financial matters are put to rest, 4K/UHD and other new technologies shall be on the back-burner until a later date.” He also questioned the public readiness, or lack thereof, in terms of 4K/UHD-ready TV sets. The major ity of the Malaysian popula- tion, Dr Ahmad Zaki believes, have 8 8 Australia tests DVB-T2 transmission robustness/payload BY JOSEPHINE TAN SYDNEY – In cooperation with Free TV, ABC and SBS, Broadcast Australia has conducted trials of the DVB-T2 broadcast technology Broadcast Australia, alongside Australian broadcasters ABC and SBS as well as FTA organisation, Free TV, have conducted DVB-T2 trials. in the Sydney area. The trial, according to Broadcast Australia, is a “world first” for 7MHz very high frequency (VHF) transmis- sions with off-air fed ultra high frequency (UHF) repeater sites operating in a single frequency network (SFN) using multiple physical layer pipes. Peter Lambourne, CEO of Broadcast Australia, commented: “Terrestrial free- to-air TV delivers its service to 99% of the population, and over 20 million Australians tune into TV every week. This trial is an important part of ensuring that when the time is right, the terrestrial TV platform is ready for the next stage of its evolution, and that it can deliver the best possible viewing experience.” 8 8 www. i de a l s y s . c om