China seals b’cast tech deals

Venture aims to develop a production system

SHANGHAI — The new year has prompted a run of broadcast technology deals in China.

Panasonic parent company Matsushita announced it will develop a digital broadcasting system in partnership with China’s state broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV), and Dayang Technology Development, one of China’s largest manufacturers of broadcast equipment.

The news comes just a couple of months after national TV governing body the State Administration of Radio, Film & Television confirmed earlier reports that China plans to have full digital broadcast capability by 2010, much of it in time for the 2008 Olympic Games to be held in Beijing.

Digital pay channels are operational in 19 cities in China, and 25 cities are reported to have begun digital cable broadcasting on a trial basis.

New partnership aims to develop a broadcast production system based on Panasonic’s DVCPRO Professional Plug-in memory card technology.

Developments also are afoot in radio. U.S.-based audio technology provider SRS Labs said it will be supplying its “Circle Surround” technology to a large radio broadcasting conglom in the southern province of Guangdong, which owns and operates 17 transmission stations in the region with an audience reach of 100 million-plus.

Guangdong is one of China’s most prosperous provinces.

The new technology allows listeners to decode the signal as 6.1 channel surround sound.

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