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BES Expo 2004

On 6th February 2004 curtain on BES EXPO 2004, the Tenth International Conference and Exhibition on Terrestrial & Satellite Broadcasting, was drawn in the evening after the concluding session. Thus one more milestone was laid in the golden history of BES(I). The path of this long journey was started by BES(I) in 1991 on experimental basis. At that time it was called National Symposium and Exhibition. Later it shaped into a workshop and finally it was called, Expo the BES EXPO. The idea of organizing the EXPO proved to be a successful idea. With pride we can say that all the EXPO including the 10th Expo, organized by BES(I), have directly or indirectly helped and motivated the broadcasting industry here in India to keep pace with fast changing broadcasting technology.

Initially with the satellite broadcasting & then digitalization, compression technologies, convergence of computer & IT, the industry has been fast changes in Production, Post Production, Archiving and Transmission. On one side this has thrown new challenges and on the other side new opportunities have been opened. During all these years in the conference of EXPO of current technologies were discussed. We were first to talk about Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB), Digital Terrestrial Transmission (DTT), Immersive Television, Video on Demand (VOD), High Definition TV (HDTV), Digital Video Tape Recorder (Digital Betacam), Non Linear Editing, News Room Automation, PAL plus, Compression Technology, Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), MMDS, DRM,  Internet, Automation and MHP etc in the country.

Indeed BES EXPO has helped BES(I) to gain its stature and status; it has brought international recognition & laurels to BES(I). A society started in 1987 by a few dedicated, visionary broadcast engineers, has now gained the reputation of BES(T), best Engineering Society, the nick name given by many dignitaries and by CEO, Prasar Bharati. And now CEO, Prasar Bharati has declared that BES(I) will be in the forefront in organizing the ABU annual conference, which Prasar Bharati is proposing to host next year at New Delhi. All this could happen because of vision, foresight if its founder members, council members and executives who have been working very sincerely and have put unabated efforts since the inception of the society. It is my humble duty to remember and thank all of them. I would also take this opportunity to t=hank many unsung heroes who worked in the backdrop on ground root level for the grant success of BES EXPO’s all through these years.

Before writing the detailed report on “TENTH BES EXPO 2004’ I would like to bring on record our sincere thanks to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Prasar Bharati Doordarshan and All India Radio for their full support to all of our endeavors. Our sincere thanks to esteemed exhibitors, distinguished speakers and well wishers for their continued cooperation and support.

Inauguration

The grant gala inauguration of the Tenth BES EXPO 2004 took place at 10 AM on Wednesday, 4th February 2004, in Shajahan Hall, Taj Palace Hotel, Sardar Patel Marg, New Delhi. The event was inaugurated by Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting (Independent charge) by lighting the lamp. Shri Pawan Chopra, Secretary, Ministry of I&B and Shri K.S.Sarma, Chief Executive Officer, Prasar Bharati were the guests of honour. Mr, David Astley, Secretary General ABU, Kualalumpur Malaysia, delivered the keynote address. On this occasion Mr. David Astley, Secretary General ABU, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Ms. Veena Rawat, Vice President Marketing & Business development, CRC, Canada – worldwide known expert of  Spectrum were honoured by Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble Minister of Information & Broadcasting, by conferring the Honorary Fellowship of BES(I). A certificate and a shawl of honour were presented to them by the Hon’ble Minister. Conference proceedings were released by Shri K.S.Sarma, CEO, Prasar Bharati and Exhibition Directory was released by Shri Pawan Chopra, Secretary, Ministry of I&B.

Exhibition

Soon after the inauguration ceremony, Hon’ble Minister of I&B  formally opened the exhibition by cutting the ribbon. He visited the various stalls in all the exhibition halls along with other dignitaries and shown keen interest in the products &  technologies on display.

Total sixty companies participated in the Tenth Expo, including direct participation by 16 foreign companies and many prominent foreign OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturing) participated through their Indian representatives. Indian companies were also not far behind, they exhibited various indigenous broadcast equipment & accessories with honour and pride.

The Exhibition was spread over in five halls namely Darbar Hall, Mumtaz Hall, Vazir Lounge Alamgir Hall and Exhibition Room (Mezz. Floor) of Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi. In the Sheesh Mahal Theatre M/s.Panasonic demonstrated their D-Cinema projector which was used to screen the various D-Cinema works, films etc. using their Cameras and related equipment by the known names of the world wide film industry. Delegates and visitors stormed the Sheesh Mahal and enjoyed the screening of selected work on D-Cinema during all the three days of the exhibition. D-Cinema was in discussion all through the Expo and the press also paid special attention to it by writing various columns in their papers.

For the first time in the exhibition alternate media for recording other than the conventional tape, was on displayed by M/s.Panasonic, who brought the dummy model of their P2 based camcorder. M/s.Sony exhibited blue laser DVD based XDCAM professional optical media product range including camcorder, recorder, player and edit solutions. Recording media used for XDCAM series is a 120mm jacketed DVD of 23.3GB, capable of recording 90 minutes of video/audio at 25Mbps. It is claimed that disc can be used 10,000 times for recording and 100,000 times for playback. Life of such disc is expected to be more than 80 years. While P2 card based technology of Panasonic also seems to be promising, as it does not have any moving parts and is based on SD card. Each P2 card consist of four 1GB flash memory based SD card with RAID Controller chip. Panasonic claims that each such card can withstand 30,000 insertions/removals. Technology is likely to evolve and provide 8GB, 16GB and 128GB  flash memory in the coming years.

This year, keeping an eye over the electronic news media and news channel market may companies brought news related equipment. M/s.Encoded Australia, M/s.Pinnacle, USA, M/s.Leitch Canada and M/s.Beehive of India offered their automation system and various other solutions for news production. Some of them also displayed their playback automation systems.

HD cameras, D-cinema projectors and other related equipment were displayed by Panasonic, Sony & EVS in their respective stalls. A variety of DV based encoders were also exhibited by many vendors. Snell and Wilcox brought their video-pack, Production Switcher.

Optical transmission equipment was also on display. M/s.Mahtre Electronics demonstrated chromate cloth and blue ring for easy key; it was a big attraction for may. A unique feature of exhibition was more than 90% use of LCD & TFT video monitoring devices; probably an indication toward the fading of CRT based monitoring devices.

Ku band & DTH related equipment also have their presence in the exhibition. Many manufacturers put up DTH receivers and up linking equipment. China also marked its presence in this field. On this occasion on 4th February, M/s.BEL released their set top box from the hands of Shri K.S.Sarma, CEO Prasar Bharati. A special function was organized by M/s.BEL which was attended by many dignitaries including Shri R.K.Gupta, E-in-C, Doordarshan.

For the  first time, an alternative to the co-axial cable for transporting video/audio and SDI signal was on display in the exhibition.

Some service providers, technology managers and system integrators too have their presence.

It was a feat, an experience and educative bonanza for many professionals, MSO’s freelancers, channel operators, engineers, programmers and students to have hands on experience and a feel of new technology. More than 5000 visitors took advantage of the exhibition. Many known and famous faces were also seen in the exhibition. Another first for this year was a cocktail dinner on the lawns of famous restaurant, to facilitate the close interaction among exhibitors, speakers and delegates.

Conference

This year conference was very impressive. More than 30 speakers covered the entire horizon of the broadcasting in seven sessions beside three key-note addresses and one tutorial.
We had with us eminent speakers from ABU Malaysia, CRC Canada, BBC UK, NHK Japan, APT USA and DW Germany covering satellite broadcasting, revolution in audio broadcasting, production technology, impact of IT, convergence and multimedia etc. USP of this year was special sessions on digital cinema technology, D-Cinema.

The last session, which was on the topic News Broadcasting Scenario in India, could easily be rated as the most lively and interactive session. It was chaired by Shri M.P.Lele, fomer DDG, AIR & TV and the star speakers were Shri Rajdeep Sardesai of NDTV, Shri Deepak Chaurasia of Doordarshan, Shri Sudhir Chaudhary of Sahara Times and Shri Sandeep Srivastva of BBC. Probably as a result of sudden spurt of may News Channels in the Indian sky, the session attracted over 700 delegates, media personals and journalists. All of them enjoyed the interactive session. Questions and counter questions were fired by the enthusiastic participates which were replied very suitably by the panelists.

Closing

In the end at about 6.30 PM on 6th February, the Tenth Expo “BES Expo-2004” was declared closed by me. Prior to this I read my vote of thanks.

Expo- closed with a signage of thanks which was displayed in the foyer of the Hotel Taj, thanking all the participant and as well reminding them to attend the next the 11th EXPO to be held on 17th, 18th and 19th February, 2005 at the same venue.
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