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DBS – Digital technology transforming consumer power

Digital technology has transformed the media market into one driven more by audiences, a major symposium in Malaysia has been told.

Speaking at the 2013 ABU Digital Broadcasting Symposium in Kuala Lumpur on 7 March, the President and CEO of Korean Broadcasting System, Mr Gil Hwan-Young, reminded delegates that contemporary viewers pursued varied lifestyles and had diverse demands for media.

“They want content in high definition that is moving and appealing to their sensibilities,” he said.  “They also want to enjoy them at any time they want through their smart devices.” 

Speaking on “The Future of Broadcasting – Challenges and Opportunities”, Mr Gil said the advance of pay TV services such as IPTV and digital cable was closing in on terrestrial TV. 

“As in the case of Korea and other TV markets, due to the growth of pay TV, the rate of direct reception of terrestrial TV is decreasing,” he said. “An expansion of online advertising in combination with younger viewers shying away from TV results in the contraction of the TV advertising market.”

Mr Gil shared with his audience what he said were achievements of KBS as a leading public service broadcaster in Korea with a focus on technology.

He mentioned the development of disaster warning broadcasting to diverse devices and spoke of KoreaView, a terrestrial multiple-channel service for lower-income audiences and those without subscriptions to pay channels to enjoy the benefits of digital broadcasting.

He said KBS was also working on hybrid TV that combined television and the Internet so audiences could enjoy interactive services on TV.  He said at the end of March key electronic manufacturers of Korea would roll-out Open Hybrid TV sets.

Another development, the N-Screen service of KBS allowed audiences to find programs they wanted and – in connection with Player K – interact with TV while watching it.

Mr Gil said that, as part of its public broadcasting service remit, KBS was preparing for the future of broadcasting beyond High Definition television. 

“KBS has held successful experimental transmissions of terrestrial 3DTV and a terrestrial UHDTV broadcast is ongoing,” he said. “We believe these advances can enrich the lives of our viewers.”

He praised the ABU and said members should “work together to allocate the digital dividend made available by analogue switch-offs for broadcasting services of the next generation”.

“It is also crucial for the ABU to help broadcasters learn how to create content for next generation services in order to better serve audiences in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.  “Content exchange activities among member broadcasters are critically important.

“I would also like to encourage the ABU to grow into a global content hub to meet the changing demands of the audiences of the region.”