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ABU DBS 2019: Malaysia to unveil ‘go-digital’ date

With the theme “Digital Transition and Transformation”, the 15th edition of Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Digital Broadcasting Symposium (DBS) was held last week in the Malaysian capital, with a focus on new technologies and solutions that can empower broadcasters to achieve a “smooth” transformation of their facilities to all-digital workflow, in addition to the ongoing transition from analogue to digital broadcasting

At the official opening for ABU DBS 2019, Gobind Singh Deo, Malaysia’s Minister of Communications and Multimedia, revealed that an announcement may be made next month on the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. He said the government has held discussions with stakeholders in the country and the region which had implemented digital broadcasting, adding: “I hope we can make an announcement in April — or by the end of this year — that we will switch to the digital era.

“The transition will enhance the quality of the broadcasting service provided to the people, and we can establish the over-the-top (OTT) system, allowing consumers to watch their favourite programmes at any time, not having to wait for the broadcast times.”

A first for the symposium is a 90-minute masterclass on operating drones. Participants had a chance to gain experience in controlling a drone, along with advice on how to handle drones in critical or emergency situations.

They also learnt about the various types of drone systems and their practical applications, as well as received tips and advice on how to add an extra edge to the captured footage through post-production techniques.

In addition to workshops and masterclasses, ABU DBS 2019 also featured an exhibition and a conference. The conference session on Cybersecurity and Media — Action Required highlighted that cyber threats to broadcasters continue to grow, and they range from hijacking of on-air services and theft of information to content piracy.

Syed Mokhsien Syed Mansor of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said while much content piracy was motivated by profit, some was not done for monetary gain, such as when people shared pirated content on closed social media groups.

He further revealed that 267 piracy sites in Malaysia have been blocked as at end-February this year.

More than 1,000 participants from 57 countries, representing over 290 organisations, attended ABU DBS 2019. Building on this success, the ABU DBS will return for its 16th edition next year from March 2-5 in Kuala Lumpur.

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