Sunday, November 28, 2010



One of the more interesting project which I helped to facilitate was a series of ASEAN DIGITAL BROADCASTING Meetings. The idea of this gathering of broadcasters on a regular basis was mooted by the then Permanent Secretary in the PMO’s Office , Brunei.. Pengiran Ismail.

The first meeting was held in Brunei on 15/16 March 2004. It was supported by MDA and the PMO of Brunei. Co-organised by RTB and MediaCorp, it was attended by 70 delegates from the technology broadcasting departments of ASEAN countries. Manufacturers and vendors also attended the meeting. I helped to co-chair the meeting with the Director of RTB.

According to the Press Release the meeting was to share latest knowledge and applications relating to digital television terrestrial broadcasters. The group set up guidelines for implementing common specifications for digital television set-top boxes and receivers, thereby with the hope achieving economies of scales (with a total households of more than 500million). The second meeting was held in Singapore on 14 June 2004. Pengiran Ismail and CEO of NDA Christopher Chia gave very encouraging opening remarks. Subsequently the group expanded to include content and policy persons involved in free-to-air broadcasting in the ASEAN region. The ASEAN Ministers responsible for Information etc endorsed the meetings. One of the notable achievements was the agreement among members at the AMRI meeting in BALI Indonesia to adopt DVB as a digital TV standard (except for the Philippines) .

The latest meeting the 9th ADB was held in Singapore in November 2010. Members discussed the implementation of the new version of DVBT (T2), interative TV , the digital dividend, Dolby Surround Sound, Disaster Recovery etc as well as the switching of existing analogue TV services. The next meeting will be hosted in 2011 by the Philippines.

It was always a satisfying experience when I attended ADB meetings. First I know that I was among friends. Secondly the knowledge gained from the experience of the others was enriching. And thirdly the networking enabled and facilitated some of the projects that were done in the company.

I attended the recent meeting at the Concorde Hotel mainly to inform members and friends that I had retired from MediaCorp after more than 40 years there. And to introduce my consultancy company MediAComm Associates LLP – dealing with digital media and all things digital. They were all kind enough to wish me well.

ASEAN Members: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam