24 June, 2009

The future of TV looks like this...

Singapore Telecommunications LimitedImage via Wikipedia

05:55 AM Jun 17, 2009

Imagine trying to explain the unique Peranakan culture to friends around the globe, as you watch an episode of The Little Nyonya in an online setting. You'll share your thoughts in a chat-box as the show runs on a souped-up television set, or a computer, or even a mobile device hooked up wirelessly to the Internet.

The work seems cut out for the consortium of companies that will be part of the FutureTV initiative aiming to make such scenarios a reality, under the Singapore Media Fusion Plan - a new national blueprint by the Media Development Authority (MDA).

MDA chief executive Dr Christopher Chia told Today this builds on the previous Media 21 blueprint launched in 2003. He said: "It gears Singapore companies to respond to fresh opportunities in today's new world order by enabling the creation of new Asia media - be it content, services or applications - that resonate with the world, while leveraging on Singapore's strengths and strategic location as an East-West gateway."

Along with $230 million worth of funding from the Government, the new plan outlines three key strategies: Creating a conducive environment for media businesses; leveraging research and development to help the media sector take advantage of new opportunities in digital media; and finally, to make Singapore-made content, media applications and services shine in the global spotlight.

Major players in the technology, infocomm and media sectors have formed the FutureTV consortium that will use Singapore as a test-bed for a new generation of visual media experiences and applications.

It includes media companies like MediaCorp and PGK, telcos SingTel and StarHub, and technology companies like Microsoft and Motorola.

The consortium will be launching the first call for proposals to local technology and media companies to submit novel ideas, technologies and business models.

Mr Shaun Seow, MediaCorp's deputy chief executive, said: "It holds out the promise of a new television viewing experience that's more engaging and interactive, delivered online or via the next generation broadband network that's being built."

The media sector will also see MDA and SingTel partnering to link Mediapolis@one-north - an upcoming self-contained 19-hectare media park incorporating a soundstage, digital production studios and other facilities - with a broadband connection to the telco's Broadcast Innovation Centre at its Satellite Earth Station in Bukit Timah.

This will provide the companies at the media park a digital communications gateway to distribute their content cost-effectively to over 40 major media centres in the world, via satellite and terrestial fibre networks. With this in place, the MDA aims to extend the reach of local media companies and facilitate worldwide access for Asian content. HEDIRMAN SUPIAN

From TODAY, Hot News – Wednesday, 17-Jun-2009; see the source article here.

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