Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sri Lanka will end Analog TV and Radio transmissions, plans to go Digital

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo
Colombo, 28 October, (Asiantribune.com):
Sri Lanka will end analog radio and television broadcasting system but plans to introduce digital radio and television transmission system to provide a better reception for the local listeners and Television viewers.

"These projects are initiated under the instructions of President Mahindha Rajapaksha and the Mahindha Chinthana , said Managing Director of the On Air World Ceylon Pvt Ltd and a veteran broadcaster and Content provider for local telecommunication sector Nimal Laksshapathiarachchi.

He said the President declared year 2009 as the Year of English and IT .

Mr.Laksshapathiarhchi who held a number of key positions in state and private sector has introduced Digital system to Sri Lanka's television, radio and the cinema industries and said this system will minimize cost of telecasting and broadcasting even production of cinemas in Sri Lanka.

He followed a number of global digital systems and obtained a vast experience of the industry.

Speaking to media Mr.Lakssapathiarachchi said a number of companies have shown their interest to obtain Digital Television telecasting Licenses to start their digital television transmissions .

"Sri Lanka Broadcasting Co-Operation completed its task to introduce digital radio broadcast and it has planned to install a seven channel single transmitter in Colombo to reduce transmission costs and provide a better reception for the listeners , said Mr.Lakssapathiarachchi .

Under the SLBC's digital system it will transmit daily broadcasts to its regional repeater stations through the digital satellite system. Very soon Global viewers could listen these digital broadcasts using their satellite sets.

"If the SLBC starts its digital transmission the listeners need technically developed digital radio sets, he explained .

These digital radio sets could be used with computers, motor cars or even with other technically developed equipment.

According to the entertainment industry sources , a number of local companies obtained Digital Radio and Television broadcast /Telecast Licenses from the government regulator to start this new system.

Commenting local situation here , he said after the thirty year long war a number of companies who highly involved with the entertainment business have planned to start their business activities in Sri Lanka.

"I have personal overseas contacts who wish to invest millions of dollars in this industry. One of leading local investor who planned to produce a film in Sri Lanka has turn down his proposal but agreed to invest in local cinema industry. The company is now working with the State Films Co-Operation, On Air World Company Ltd and the local Film hall owners to digitalized fifty film halls in Sri Lanka .We decided to distribute digitally made films to these film halls and the cost of cinema hall's owners and the producers will come into zero due to the digital film projection, he said.

"The company is helping local film hall owners to obtain technical know how and the needy equipment to accept digital film projection system, he said.

"We planned to start digital projection system with next month and the company plans to expand the system for other film hall owners who wish to provide higher quality film projection system to their film viewers, he explained.

"A number of shortcomings of the present film projection sector will be eased due to the newly introduced digital projection system .This will make easiest for the National Film Co-Operation and the film producers to check the sizes of their viewer ship from their respective offices , he said.

The investor plans to introduce network system through the internet to distribute films among film halls .This is the second step, he said.

Speaking on future investment for Sri Lanka he said a number of Sri Lankans in overseas need to invest their funds in Sri Lanka. Most Tamil investors have shown their willingness to invest here , said Mr.Laksshapathiarachchi.

"We have some bottlenecks to obtain these investments , he said. Due to the lack of proper data base on various industrial sectors , most of overseas investors dislike to invest in these fields, he said. He said the government must provide proper guidance to introduce various new investment avenues and amend unacceptable rules and the regulations.

"If the government loses these legal barriers the investors could enter the industry , he said.

- Asian Tribune - Via Alokesh Gupta

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