Countries set standards for transition from analog

HONG KONG – The broadcast regulators of seven South East Asian countries Thursday set regional standards for the transition from analog to digital broadcasting. They agreed a set of tech specifications for digital set-top decoders and to create new content for digital broadcast.

Sixth running of the ASEAN Digital Broadcasting meeting in Singapore, involving Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, said “alignment of technical specification standards for set-top-boxes will create economies of scale for equipment manufacturers and help lower the prices of set top-boxes.”

The 60 delegates also decided to create an ASEAN High Definition Centre which will provide training for HD production and facilitate HD co-productions within the region. They agreed to produce a 10-part ASEAN documentary series focusing on lifestyle, heritage and culture that will act as a regional unifier and a showcase for global auds.

he ADB meeting built on the earlier decision by the ASEAN ministers responsible for information (AMRI) conference in May 2007 that adopted Europe’s Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial (DVB-T) as ASEAN’s common standard for terrestrial digital broadcasting.

The ADB officials must now prepare detailed policy considerations for analogue switch-off and submit recommendations to the next AMRI meeting in 2009.

Outstanding topics include: exploring interactive TV software costs; MPEG4 licensing issues; establishment of a common Digital TV sound standard; and a study of the high-definition 720p/1080i transmission and production formats.

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