TV & Video had the opportunity to talk to Mark Rebholz, Director of International Business Development of NAB (National Association of Broadcasters).

TV & V: In his opinion, what is the future of the television industry in the twenty-first century?

Mark Rebholz: Digital television and he took off and is working in the United States, but this technology is still relatively new. This means that the opportunities are limitless and great challenges, and that programmers are still in a phase of experimentation. Whether you are a programmer, a content provider or a professional multimedia, digital television almost certainly revolutionize your business. The potential for interactivity, (multicasting) Content and creativity and, of course, for a superior picture and sound makes that we are in a very exciting time in the field of television. Anyway, viewers who decide what features and services will prevail in the long run.

With 166 digitally transmitting television stations in the United States, programmers have advanced in the schedules of the transition to digital. Today, the 64.84% of American households have access at least to a DTV signal. Barriers remain, of course, and we are working to overcome them. It is time for the Federal Communications Commission -FCC- exercise leadership in an area that always was planned to form an alliance between the public and private sectors. Among that necessary legislation, rules are required on the cable broadcast local DTV signals. It is also necessary that the FCC adopt rules requiring DTV tuners on every television sold.

TV & V: Do you believe that competition between digital systems will end soon?

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MR: In fact, there has been a debate in the United States about 8-VSB standard transmission standards adopted by the FCC. It is unfortunate that the performance of some of the equipment has not met expectations. NAB has asked the FCC to establish a minimum performance standard for new DTV televisions to give consumers some kind of assurance that the new team to work properly.

In the interest of a quick and consistent DTV transition, these lingering doubts must end and programmers are taking the initiative to do so. We hope to resolve in the coming months the issue of 8VSB vs. COFDM once and forever. Right now, they are performing independent tests to resolve the problem. Given the questions that have been raised about the performance of 8VSB compared with COFDM, it is an industry obligation to ensure that we are on the right track and that we correct it soon.

TV & V: From a technological point of view, what do you expect new developments to be launched this year?

MR: I'll leave those projections to those more inclined to technology experts and they'll be at NAB in Las Vegas 2001 21 April 26al.

TV & V: Is Internet TV the next generation in this industry?

MRSurely the Internet has the potential to enhance the television viewing experience. Digital television allows a variety of new applications and as technology evolves, maybe some features of Internet TV are consolidated. However, the act of watching TV has traditionally been a passive activity and often has served as family entertainment. By contrast, Internet access is a lonely and more interactive experience.

As sofistiquen systems, efforts to maintain an audience can focus towards personalized entertainment and information experience, giving viewers more choices and providing the most effective means advertisers to reach those viewers.

TV & V: How they will transform the market these developments and trends?

MR: The fusion of television and the PC, if it occurs, profoundly transform the relationship between the developer, the content provider, the viewer and the advertiser. Surely, the consumer will always benefited.

TV & V: What will happen with NAB Americas?

MR: The goal of the Conference of NAB Americas (17al 19 July in the Key Biscayne Ritz Carlton in Miami, Florida) is to bring together professionals from radio, television and cable. With this perspective, our sessions should be changed every year to confront the most urgent problems. In 2001, you will see a greater emphasis on how technological changes will affect all areas within the operation of a station: What equipment needs? How are you going to pay? How will you make money with that team? The information presented will remain focused on the management of the stations and not necessarily engineers.

TV & V: Do you expect new developments specific to this event (and this market)?

MR: As the media converge so do our sessions. Sessions this year will not focus exclusively on the radio or on television, but on how the issue of those sessions affect radio and television, plus cable and all other forms of electronic communication. I think this reflects the merging of commercial interests throughout the industry and each market.

TV & V: Are you planning to increase the area of ​​television NAB Americas as it did with the radio last year?

MR: The prospect of television will definitely be well represented at the conference this year.

TV & V: Could you tell us how was the Latin American presence in the year 2000 and how expected to be the 2001?

MR: We saw a large increase in Latin American assistance compared our first year to the second, and from all countries. Now in our third year, we expect a similar increase. One reason for this is that our conference is becoming better known within our target market. Also, I think we're doing a better job of getting marketing materials into the hands of our target market. A market that will arrive this year are Spanish-speaking stations in the United States.

TV & V: these countries follow trends in the industry?

MR: From North America to the tip of South America, all electronic media operations are facing the challenges presented by new technologies, increased competition and economic uncertainties. In those areas where programmers are behind, they are attentive to learning from the successes and failures of others. And, in those areas where they are leaders, they are setting an example to the rest of the world.

TV & V: In what way?

MR: An example is the Internet. Currently, exposure to and use of the Internet in many parts of Latin America may be behind other parts of the world; but this will change dramatically, and soon. Some Latin American programmers have already adopted the technology and created a web presence that many would envy. At the same time, some are hoping that Internet use increases and see what others are doing. It is unwise to say that an entire market is trading in a certain way. This brings us again to the basic concept of our conference: the exchange of ideas and insights among programmers of the American continent is suitable for all. Each industry executive has something to learn and something to share.

Author: Latin Press



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