The Malta Communications Authority (MCA) has chosen the onset of the digital TV era as the theme of its forthcoming annual conference, Friday 30 October, at the Westin Dragonara. A lot of us have gone digital in the past year as Melita Cable has all but switched off analogue. But while the changeover is part of technology’s advance, some might be wondering what digital means – both in the home, and for businesses.
Aptly then, the MCA’s day of speakers, panels, debate and open floor discussion is entitled: ‘Digital TV: what’s on?’. What’s actually ‘on’ our TVs now is one question; and what’s going on, now digital is being rolled out, is another.
A bit of TV history background
Maltese free-to-air television is going through the biggest technology change since the introduction of colour television in 1981. Like most other countries, we are now approaching another significant change – the switch from analogue to digital transmissions. The impact of this migration in the field of broadcasting is revolutionising the sector, opening different platforms to content and increasing the potential of current broadcasting spectrum.
What digital is expected to bring
Due to be completed over the next few years, the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting would, at face value, appear to be an easy task. Digital TV offers more efficiency and better quality, translating into more capacity for broadcasters to offer increased choice and better services for consumers, not to mention the new opportunities it can offer, such as High Definition (HD) Broadcasting and interactive services.
What the man in the street is asking about digital
Resulting from this migration is a whole new industry, from production to consumption equipment and services. Inevitably, as with all technological development, this migration to digital raises several issues, such as:
- Will terrestrial broadcasting continue to be a popular in the digital environment?
- What are the implications of Digital Switchover? Where is the digital dividend? Who will benefit from it?
- What are the main challenges to the industry in an environment characterised by more players, more media channels, competing technologies, more content distribution platforms, competing modes of entertainment and just 24 hours in a day?
- What opportunities for content producers will arise from digital technology?
- What are the new and emerging technologies and which business models are better suited to exploit such technologies?
- How is the consumer impacted by all this bombardment of technology and audiovisual media?
The conference offers a packed day of speakers, both local and international figures from the sector. Key rostrum names from overseas this year include: Daniel Pataki, Chairperson of the Radio Spectrum Policy Group; Daniel Sauvet-Goichon, Chairman, DigiTAG; Jerome Colin, TDF Group; Marco Gaeta, Solution & Marketing Director for Italy, Greece, Israel & Malta, Alcatel-Lucent; Roberto Viola, Secretary General, AGCOM and Dimitris Logothetis, Technology Manager, Ericsson – Greece, Cyprus, Albania and Malta.
The conference will also be addressed by Ing. Philip Micallef, Executive Chairman of the Malta Communications Authority and the Hon. Austin Gatt, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications.
Registration costs €70. Group offer: for every 4 participants in a group registered, a fifth can attend free of charge.
More information: For the full programme, booking form and online registration, see the MCA website. Or, contact Mandy Calleja or by phone on: 21 336 840.
Deadline for registration is Monday, 26th October 2009.