Television Asia's Executive News
15 January 2007

Interactive and Digital Media Research & Development office to boost IDM sector

SingaporeThe IDM R&D office has unveiled initiatives to support and develop the IDM sector in Singapore as a key engine of growth for the country’s economy. This follows the National Research Foundation’s decision last year to allocate S$500 million ($US322 million) over five years to fund an IDM research program and establish a multi-agency IDM R&D office within Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA). The sector is expected to contribute $6.46 billion to Singapore’s media industry, up from $2.45 billion in 2003 and to create 10,000 new jobs by 2015.

The initiatives were presented at MDA’s inaugural ‘IDM Jamboree,’ an industry networking event held January 10 at the Singapore Science Centre, attended by 700 participants.

The IDM R&D office aims to increase demand for IDM services by having companies invest in IDM R&D opportunities in applications, services and platforms with potential to generate new business models and demand for new services. A network of local and international research organizations will be formed to boost the IDM sector through R&D work to fill IDM-related gaps. The office aims to involve members of the public to generate ideas and projects, and those with commercial potential will be supported by mentors from the industry or institutes of higher learning. Lastly, the program aims to establish Singapore as an international test-bed for IDM infrastructure and application with support from the MDA, Economic Development Board, Infocomm Development Authority and IDM R&D office.

R&D areas identified are: animation, games and effects; Media Intermediary Services; and On-the-Move media services.

Korean IT experts punished for selling illegal pay-TV decoders

SeoulA South Korean court has passed suspended jail sentences on three IT experts from separate companies for having sold equipment which enabled viewers in the Middle East and Europe to watch pay-TV channels for free.

Chung, Lee and Shim, identified only by their family names, were found guilty of exporting set-top boxes equipped to unscramble satellite TV signals. Chung and Lee sold 35,000 satellite TV receivers to the Middle East and Europe, while Shim exported 4,000 such devices to Poland. The jail terms were up to two years, suspended for two years, and fines of 30 million won (US$32.4 million) were imposed.

The investigation began in 2006 following a joint complaint from satellite broadcasters in Europe and the Middle East.

BBC Entertainment launches on Astro

Kuala LumpurBBC Global Channels Asia has launched BBC Entertainment on Astro, Malaysia’s direct-to-home satellite television services provider, broadcasting on Astro Channel 26. BBC Entertainment features drama, comedy and light entertainment programming from the UK including Doctor Who, Footballers' Wives, Waking the Dead, Rebus, Extras, Suburban Shootout and My Family.

NDS to offer DRM solutions for KT’s mobile content

Las Vegas / Seoul – NDS will provide VideoGuard Mobile and VideoGuard PMP (Portable Media Players) Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions to Korea Telecommunications’ (KT) new mobile content service, “toest”. It enables secure download of videos to PDA phones and PMPs in Korea’s WiFi hotspots.

“toest” is designed to establish a standardized business model for content distribution ensuring revenues go to owners of copyrighted content. NDS provides protection for content copyrights and support for a variety of content purchase business models for the service. Dr. Jung Han-Wook, Assistant Vice President of KT, stressed the need for “toest” to function with a lawful video content distribution structure.

Videos can be downloaded via authorized terminals from website www.toest.co.kr and transferred to mobile devices via wireless hotspots. “toest” has about 3000 video clips including movies, dramas, animation and educational programs. KT plans to expand “toest” through various content licensing agreements and to HSDPA terminals.

Jupiter Telecommunications to offer super high-speed Internet service

Tokyo – Jupiter Telecommunications Co., Ltd., the largest MSO in Japan based on the number of customers served, will offer “J:COM NET 160Mbps” (provisional), a super high-speed Internet service through J:COM NET in April. The service begins in J:COM’s Kansai Minami Osaka system service area including Osaka Sayama city, and the Izumi/Izumiohtsu system service areas including Izumi city, with plans to expand later to other service areas.

J:COM’s HFC (hybrid fiber optic/coaxial cable) network provides downstream speeds of up to 160 Mbps and upstream speeds up to 10 Mbps for Internet service access. Subscription costs ¥6,000 ($US50) monthly, excluding taxes, but with modem user fees inclusive.

J:COM NET 160Mbps is available to users living in single dwelling units, individual homes and smaller apartment buildings within the J:COM network footprint. This service option extends from J:COM NET Hikari, a high-speed Internet service using optical fiber network technology to serve mid-sized and larger multiple dwelling units that J:COM began in August 2005.
The technology used combines J:COM’s existing HFC networks (using DOCSIS1 3.0 cable Internet standard) with its channel bonding function2, making it possible to bundle four times the bandwidth of conventional services.

Nokia in search of directorial talent with dance video competition

SingaporeNokia will launch “You Make It Reel”, an Asia-Pacific competition to unearth new directorial talent among consumers using the latest Nokia N93i multimedia computer, with a 3.2 megapixel camera, Carl Zeiss optics, videography and photography features including video editing and direct uploading functions. The competition commences on January 27, 2007 with participants recording and uploading videos in groups of 4 dancing to tunes by Dallas-based band Greyskull and various Asian bands.

The competition features 2 stages: In the first stage, consumers compete at the local level, capturing videos of their dance to any Greyskull track or a track from a local band. Winning entries from each country goes into the second stage, where finalists each receive a Nokia N93i and will make another video using a given Greyskull track. The winning finalist will win US$10,000 and a chance to showcase their video directing skills at the Nokia Nseries Indie Music Showcase. Full details for “You Make It Reel” competition are available at www.nokia-asia.com/youmakeitreel