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BES Expo 1999

Broadcast Engineering Society (India) organized an International Conference and Exhibition on “Terrestrial and Satellite Broadcasting-BES EXPO’99 at Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi from 2-4 February 1999. The event comprised three days of Trade exhibition and a concurrent two days conference on the theme “Broadcasting in the new Millennium – Thrust, challenges and opportunities.”

BES EXPO’99 was approved and supported by the Government of India, Ministry of I&B, AIR, TV India, Society of Broadcast Engineers – USA, PTC India Foundation and IETE (India). A total number of 52 exhibitors from India and abroad displayed their products and services and over 800 delegates attended the conference, Exhibition attracted over 4000 visitors. The event received wide coverage in the Print and Electronic Media.

Inaugural Ceremony

BES EXPO’99 was inaugurated by Mr. Pramod Mahajan, Hon’ble Minister for Information and Broadcasting. Mr. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Hon’ble Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting was the guest of honour. The keynote address on the opening day was delivered by Mr. P.G.Mankad, Secretary Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. Dr. O.P.Kejariwal, CEO, Prasar Bharati also addressed the gathering which comprised senior officers of Ministry of I&B, AIR, Doordarshan, eminent media personalities, members of BES(I), conference delegates & exhibitors form India & abroad.

The Chief Guest, Mr. Pramod Mahajan, Hon’ble Minister of I&B in his speech mentioned that we live in an era of information explosion. Tracing the origin of telecasting he mentioned that the earliest known telecast in India dated back to the time of Mahabharata when Sanjaya narrated the battle scene to Dhritarashtra.

The Minister exhorted the engineers to go digital, have more value added services and create information Superhighways. “With technological advancement and media convergence the day is not far in the next century when every activity could be performed from the four walls of our homes” he observed.

Information is Power and only the ‘Powerful’ rule the world. Radio and Television signals do not have any religion, language or political thought. These could be more powerful than a hydrogen bomb. He felt that this was quite a frightening thought, calling for our concern.

DTH could be more powerful than Pokhran. We have therefore to keep checks and balances to use such facilities for betterment of human society. Biggest challenge for us he felt is not scientific advancement but how to preserve the lamps of our glorious culture. He called upon the broadcasters to accept the challenge.

Mr. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Minister of State for I&B who was the Guest of Honour on the occasion in his address mentioned that expansion of broadcasting, communication and information are steps towards progress. He said for strengthening technology in the next century “Brain Power” has to Rule. He highlighted that the Government of India is encouraging such brain power. He cited Pokhran II and emphasizes that the honours are shared by the scientists and engineers connected with it.

In the Keynote address on the opening day Mr. P.G.Mankad, Secretary, Ministry of I&B mentioned that technological changes have come about very rapidly during the second half of this century. Visual TV has added to the audio.

Broadcasting has gained most from space age technology. With satellite broadcasting MMDS, DTH & Terrestrial modes there is a buffet of channels available

He hoped that experts in this international conference should share experience prudently and fruitfully on various aspects of technology. He cautioned that challenges of years to come are more than one and advances are as rapid as mind boggling so we have to be very cautions in identifying the real challenges and the real task.

Broadcasting is about information, entertainment and knowledge, which in its own way is power. Thus broadcasting is power, he observed. Mr. Mankad felt that for BES(I) this is an important event and he hoped that from this Conference we shall assimilate and use the knowledge for Indian milieu.

Dr. O.P.Kejariwal, CEO, Prasar Bharati in his address informed that AIR & TV have been pioneers in many fields of broadcasting. He said that discoveries of science have been very charming and have ever been fulfilling human desires.

In his welcome address Mr.B.K.De, President BES(I) and E-in-C, Doordarshan mentioned that broadcasting has seen spectacular growth in recent years. We are moving towar4ds total digitalization during the first decade of the next century. He also highlighted the achievements of the India Broadcasting scene and the role of BES(I). He felt that broadcasting can provide an information superhighway. Mr. De felt that viewers shall always remain kings and shall decide what is required from the broadcasters.

A vote of thanks was proposed by Mr. Ashok Lakhanpal, Hon. Secretary, BES(I) who expressed gratitude to the dignitaries, Ministry of I&B, Prasar Bharati, BES(I) members, other supporting institutions, participants in the conference and exhibition from India and abroad.

During the inaugural function the Conference Proceedings were released by Mr. M.A.Naqvi, Minister of State for I&B, Veteran Octogenarian, broadcast engineer Mr. Madan Mohan from Hyderabad was honored by Dr. O.P.Kejariwal, CEO, Prasar Bharati by presentation of a shawl and a memento.

BES annual awards were presented by Mr. Pramod Mahajan, Minister for Information & Broadcasting for outstanding contributions in the field of broadcast engineering.


The exhibition which was held at the Durbar Hall and Mumtaz Hall of Hotel Taj Palace was inaugurated by Mr. Pramod Mahajan Minister for I&B on 2nd Feb. 1999. The show exhibited latest and most innovative technologies, services and applications for the broadcasting industry providing a wide spectrum of products and demonstration.

Fifty-two exhibitors participated in the exhibition representing a large number of companies. Of these 20 were direct participants from abroad including Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore UK & USA, while another 40 foreign companies participated in the exhibition through their distributors in India. The response to the expo was extremely good.

Right from the time expo was inaugurated a steady stream of visitors lined up to register themselves for the shown. These included engineers, producers, cameramen, entrepreneurs, officials from All India Radio, TV, audio  video studios n Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida and Mumbai. Over 4000 people visited the Expo over a period of three days.

Major attraction centred around Sony, Panasonic, Air, TV and Shaf Broadcast, Tadiran Scopus and MCBS stalls. Much activity could be seen in the stalls of BDKL Autoscript. Snell & Wilcox, AVF, Thomcon Broadcast systems, NDS, Asia Pacific, Advent, Harris Corporation & David Gmph. The audio side was represented by Pace Communications, Setron India, Thomcast and Otari Singapore. Amongst Indian Public Sector participants BEL, GCEL, CDAC, VSNL & BECIL stalls also evinced interest amongst visitors. Much activity was seen around JVC, Maxell Shimnit India and Perlink stalls which exhibited active equipment.

Feedback received from the exhibitors at the end of the expo showed that their objectives of participating were met extremely well. According to them visitors to the expo were mostly broadcast professionals who spent a good deal of time discussing salient features of products displayed by them. Encouraged by sufficient number of trade enquiries and supply orders most of the exhibitors expressed a desire to exhibit again in BES Expo 2000 scheduled from 2-4 February 2000 at New Delhi.


The two day conference with the theme “Broadcasting in the new millennium – Thrust challenges and opportunities” was held on 3rd and 4th Feb. 1999 where a number of topics of current and future interest in the field of broadcasting were deliberated upon in six technical sessions on the following subjects:

  1. Digital Television broadcasting – Technologies and Strategies for Implementation.
  2. Digital Radio Broadcasting – Trade offs.
  3. Multimedia and Internet.]
  4. Advances in post production techniques.
  5. Broadcast automation
  6. Cable casting the possible new services.


Eminent broadcast professional and technologists from leading organizations presented papers in the conference focusing on future technologies. A publication giving details of papers presented has also been brought out in the form of conference proceedings. A brief on proceedings of these sessions shall however be brought out in the next issue of BES Review.

There were to keynote sessions during the two days of the conference.

The conference started with a lively keynote address delivered by Dr. Nicolas K.Lodge of ITC, UK. This session was chaired by Mr.H.M.Joshi, E-in-C, AIR.

The subject was “Being part of the Fun-Immersive-Television”. He described a series of experiments currently underway in the UK for developing what is called “Immersive Television” with the main objective of creating a ‘feeling of being part of the show’ in the viewer. Mainly it deals with creating a ‘sense of presence at the site of the show’ through the use of a series of cues’ such as sense of smell, temperature changes etc. The system will have the following features:

  1. Wide field of view.
  2. First person view point
  3. Stereoscopic vision
  4. Parallax
  5. Surround Sound
  6. Motion platform.
  7. Olfactory generator.


He also pointed out that Immersive Television is not to be confused with “Virtual Reality”. He also described the concept of a “360º Immersive Virtual Studio” and displayed a couple of video clips produced using this technology. Some of the important applications of this new emerging technology are:

  1. Live sporting events.
  2. Live theatre concerts and dance.
  3. Wide studio production and Immersive drama & fly on the wall documentaries.
  4. Travelogues, etc.

The second day of the conference opened with a brilliant keynote address by Mr. Om P.Khushu, Director (Technical), Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union, Kualalumpur. This session was chaired by Mr. B.K.De, President BES(I) and E-in-C Doordarshan.

Mr. Khushu’s topic dealt with “What Broadcasting may look like 10 to 15 years ahead” He touched subjects of HDTV, Multi channel broadcasting, Convergence, Computer, Internet, Computer  & TV merger. He observed that after the advent of TB it was thought that Radio will be replaced by TV but we find that Radio still continuous to flourish.

He dwelt on Moore’s (Gordon Moore) law on multiple components being replaced by fewer ones and ultimately by chips and even smaller chips with the passage of time. This has also led to fall in prices of electronic goods. Broadcasting has also benefited from this phenomenon but in relatively less measure, he observed. Let us not think of digital just as an improved version of analogue as it also provides more number of channels. In Europe the emphasis is on increasing number of channels rather than high quality HDTV. Digital will make the services more and more individualized/personalized. 6500 stations are already on the web including AIR. Internet however cannot provide service to mobiles or portables. High quality video through Internet shall have to wait. On question of PC replacing the Television set, Mr. Khushu observed it may take rather long. Slow motion TV was being now offered by cable operators in the US. Most saleable part of digital TV will be HDTV ultimately when its prices are reduced to around US$ 3000 from the present US$ 7000.

Emphasis in UK is on integrated TV. Interactive TV is emerging fast and is very popular in the US. Large opportunities await the broadcaster in the field of data services including delivery of web pages. Broadcasting can send data much faster than Internet “Whether broadcaster will embrace internet is a big Question” he observed.

The keynote presentations by Mr.Khushu  and Dr. Lodge evinced much interest and the sessions were followed by a volley of questions from the audience as these provided a window into the broadcast scene to come in the next millennium.