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NEWS MOVE & DELIVER “ In years gone by, the words ‘broadcast quality’ used to have serious gravitas. It was the dividing line between those that can and those that cannot. Its origins can be found in advertising where a standard was needed to ensure that commercials were seen in the best possible light. So the story goes anyway. Things have changed according to Josef Marc, the co-founder and chief marketing officer of Archimedia Technology. He argues that, where previously standards bodies helped to define what the viewers would see, now the viewers themselves decide. “Consumers don’t care if it’s right, they care how it makes them feel,” he says. “Advertisers and subscription services will compete to satisfy them. Today smart television sets have powerful controls over what the consumer views so broadcast quality is now more in the hands of the consumers than broadcasters. The driver of this change is the growing sophistication of today’s smart TV sets which offer a wide variety of modes to shape the viewers experience.” He is talking, presumably, about pre-sets for contrast, brightness, edge enhancements, colour range, audio processing, motion blur repair, and even up-scaling normal HD to UHD. “Once a consumer engages a mode,” adds Marc, “the experience is no longer shaped by a standard that is adhered to at the point of broadcast but by the powerful digital processing within today’s smart TV sets, smart phones, smart tablets, and smart personal computers.” Is he correct? To a certain extent he must be. This ability to personalise the picture gives the viewer a lot of power. Although for ‘broadcast quality’ to have moved completely from the hands of the broadcaster to the hands of the consumer forgets one thing. You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. If the picture transmitted in the first place isn’t sufficiently detailed, there’s not much the viewer can do to change it. “ Downlink Pacific Television Center (PacTV), the independent transmission and production company, has increased its global downlink capabilities by a quarter. The expansion has been made possible through the addition of six fixed dishes at its London HQ. “We can now see more of the European Arc than ever before,” said Nick Castaneda, vice president of development, PacTV. “[We are] the only broadcast service provider in the world where clients can access a global satellite arc with a single phone call.” Included at the new location are four fixed dishes on EutelSat 7A/7B, EutelSat 10A, Hot Bird 13, IntelSat 10-02 and THOR 5/6/7. While not included in its Downlinks on Demand (DoD) service, there are also two additional steerable dishes in London with an arc ranging from 37.5-degrees West to 45-degrees East. This arc includes broadcast critical satellites such as Amos 2/3, Astra 2, Hispasat 1D/1E, EutelSat 5W (Ku), EutelSat 8 and NSS-7. PacTV has also made steerable downlinks available for an additional charge. 26 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 107 NOVEMBER 2015