Friday, November 16, 2012

The broadcaster's dilemma: how to do more with less

Delegates at this week's EBU FORECAST'12 seminar heard plenty of evidence pointing to the dilemma facing broadcasters today: while the are increasing pressures to deliver more content and more services, the essential real-estate that drives broadcasting - spectrum - is continually being squeezed by the demands of the mobile sector.

Live TV audiences are growing and there is an ever increasing demand for higher quality as sets get bigger. FORECAST'12 attendees heard about the techniques broadcasters are exploring to help them meet these demands through more efficient spectrum use. Mobile industry people were also in attendance to present their efforts to develop networks that would cooperate more effectively, but the demands from that industry for bigger slices of the spectrum currently used for broadcasting are plain to see.

On day two of FORECAST'12, Prof. Reimers of TUBS spoke about his dynamic broadcasting and LTE overlay projects: both designed to merge the key assets of mobile, broadcast and fixed broadband networks. His message was to point towards the  network architectures, rather than operating in the silos that are mobile telecommunications and broadcasting. Some delegates voiced concern that the necessary cooperation between the two sectors would not happen.

A key prsentation on day two looked at the environmental impact of broadcasting. Simon Tuff (BBC) pointed to the fact that 60% of the TV industry's impact is due to domestic installations (TV sets, antenna amplifiers, etc.). He cautioned that proposals to move broadcasting to low-tower, low-power topologies could increase the energy consumption of a typical network by 100%. He highlighted the EBU's programme on Green Broadcasting as an important first step towards finding realistic ways to address these issues.

FORECAST'12 attracted more than 110 participants and speakers drawn from public and private broadcasters, network operators, regulators, academia and the telecoms industry. The presentations from the event are available to EBU Members from the event webpage.

(Source : European Broadcasting Union)

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