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Old can be as good as new

For every new original series created today, the content of yesteryear could still hold value in the global race to capture and retain eyeballs

By Josephine Tan

Welcome to the era of new media, where content is widely available on-demand, and where video can be easily delivered in many different ways — across multiple platforms and devices.

We are also living in a world overflowing with content. Apart from the hundreds of hours of videos uploaded onto the Internet, there is still a long list of enduring programmes available from both free-to-air (FTA) and pay-TV channels, and not forgetting, the good old classics sitting in the archives.

While the term “new” never fails to impress and attract eyeballs, some of these classics may hold a special place in someone’s heart. Everyone will certainly have his or her all-time favourite movie or drama series that the person will watch umpteen times without feeling fatigued.

And with the advancement of technologies such as 4K/Ultra HD (UHD), high dynamic range (HDR) and virtual reality (VR), these classics can be refreshed with a new leash of life to appeal to more viewers.

For instance, a 3D version of Titanic was released in 2012 to commemorate the centennial of the sinking, and earned in excess of US$300 million worldwide, on top of the success of the original 1997 film version.

Imagine if the original Star Wars trilogy or Back to the Future is being re-mastered in HDR, and coupled with next-generation audio (NGA), will this entice viewers — even those who did not watch the original versions — to lie back on their couch to enjoy an enhanced viewing experience from their main TV screen?

HDR is one technique that is capable of achieving the best picture quality, and is an emerging technology that is waiting for filmmakers, and broadcasters, to unleash its potential.

As more and more devices in today’s consumer market support HDR, and at an affordable price range, re-mastering classic films to HDR further expands the HDR content library, making these “new” content ideal to be watched across a variety of devices.

Content, undoubtedly, lies at the crux of any broadcast business. And the ability to maximise the lifeline of media assets — by adding new elements through the deployment of new technologies — potentially opens up a new window of opportunities for broadcasters and content owners around the world.

Josephine Tan is news editor of Asia-Pacific Broadcasting (APB), which has been monitoring the trends and technologies impacting the broadcast industry for the past 35 years.


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