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Challenges of DTT in Colombia

In this new installment of the special on the challenges of DTT, the topic of digital television and research for innovation will be addressed.

By: 

Luis Fernando Gutierrez Cano  

Luis Jorge Orcasitas Pacheco

- Publicidad -

When facing the changes or "explosions" that television goes through, which leads the medium and its environment to experiment, pilot and apply each new technology, as it arises,  Pere Vila, Director of Technology, Innovation and Systems-RTVE Corporación (Spain), warns that: "Television is alive and that to carry out the implementation of new technologies all the actors of the complete experience of making television are included, ranging from the idea, the capture, the post production, the compression and the DTT-Satellite emission"

This means that it is necessary to incorporate all the living forces of a television station to incorporate, in an agile and effective way, the new technological tools that will be part of the wonderful process of making television in the XXI century.

The following installments will be dedicated to where to direct research, the changes / explosions faced by digital television since the implementation of new technologies, new products and processes applied to the field of TV. 

In this first installment and the next we will refer to the look that Antonio Carlos de Jesus (QEPD) gave us on the subject from a strategic vision of management and programming in digital TV. Antonio was a scholar of communication processes with the goal of social media, education and digital technologies, theoretical reflection and empirical knowledge about them, from their flows of production, dissemination, reception and their sociocultural relations. 

May this space be the best time to pay tribute to Antonio Carlos de Jesus. He always considered that competition with research in the field of communication is the main motivation for the realization of projects that contribute to the development of the human factor.

Case of RTVE Spain

- Publicidad -

In this and in the next installment on the challenges of digital television, we mention the case of Radio Televisión Española, RTVE, from the experience of change / explosion that has occurred in its structure with the implementation of new technological developments of the processes applied to the field of television in the Iberian Peninsula, which have resulted in new advances and innovative products, with a view to captivating users, of one of the most emblematic public television companies in Europe. 

During the  First Meeting of Ibero-American Televisions, held in the city of Medellín (Colombia) in September of this year, Pere Vila, Director of Technology, Innovation and Systems-RTVE Corporación (Spain),  spoke with the authors about the five differentiating lines in the implementation,  applied to the field of TV, within the process of technological change in the formats and standards of broadcast,  and production tools and schemes. According to the experience of RTVE, the five lines that can be worked on in the technological implementation in medium and large television stations should aim at:

1. Production formats: In video, audio and compression production formats) 

2. Production structures/tools: Non-linear editing, file-based work, fixed physical support, LMM's, content centralization (digital writing), work in collaborative environments, incorporation of the cloud into production, distributed production environments, integration of Radio/TV and MMII, Móbile first Orientation, public participation and integration of social networks.

3. Means for dissemination/Ways of accessing content by the public: Changes in the way the public accesses content.

4. Relationship with our audience: New networks in the home and new audiovisual formats in a convergent environment.

- Publicidad -

5. Appearance of new products and new languages: Be present, accessible, visualizable in all media. Issuance of the chapter in open, possibility of access to the letter; Carry out additional projects on these supports, with different objectives and Introduce the levels of participation.  

To investigate DTT

Part of the research in digital television is based on the results of new developments, new combinations and the use of other acquired knowledge, such as innovation, the development of advanced hardware and software, the acquisition of external knowledge for innovation, training, innovations in the market and in the design, production and distribution within processes such as recording (capture), editing, processing, dissemination and reception. 

The following graph presents the  aspects that would enable the processes of scientific inquiry in digital television.

FIGURE 1

Scheme that applies RTVE in its processes of technological change in digital television (Author: Pere Vila, Director of Technology, Innovation and Systems-RTVE Corporation-Spain)


Training of human resources

Human resources and their training are key to the new ways of conceiving a digital environment within the methods of recording, editing, processing, dissemination and reception of audiovisual products. Research should account for how we access technology, the use we give it and how, both creators and users, appropriate it. 

In addition,  questions such as: What platform are our users on? How are they reported? Through social networks or through television? How do networks compete with websites and 'App'?  What's happening with mobile media?  Questions that must be given an account  from an academic-research training, which considers aspects such as the construction and significance of contents,  focusing on their aesthetics, languages and the parameters of culture;  in the specific legislation of each territory and,  always  thinking about the benefit of society where digital television has its scenarios.  

From this scenario both television stations with the users of the same, will be able to verify in situ  the result of the new developments in digital television, from the new combinations and in the use of other knowledge acquired for the research and innovation of parameters such as: 

  • Research+Development.
  • Advanced hardware and software.
  • Acquisition of external knowledge for innovation.
  • Formation.
  • Innovations in the market.
  • Design, production and distribution.

In this sense, both product innovation and process innovation should be included. 

Mediations in the DTT era 

In this aspect, it is a question of considering the media processes focused on cultural and social identities, on the citizenship actions of social movements, on the dynamics of socio-technical networks and on communication technologies. In this sense we must ask ourselves about the ways in which the different media (traditional television, Internet, tablets and  Smartphones) are present for all users; think about whether the product is emitted by open signal and study the possibility of including it on demand. 

In this scenario, projects can be proposed from numerous supports with different objectives; such as the dramatized series with parallel content such as the second screen  or second screen; investigate the various ways in which the user has the content and appropriates it, and at the same time, be attentive to the ways in which it will interact with this content. In the same way, it is necessary to reflect and analyze the levels of participation of the user or prosumer,  within a transmedia environment,  where it is absolutely feasible to propose the participation of the public. Many of the applications on the "second screens" are aimed at giving another path of interactivity to the user and another way also to sell advertising content. 

For Fr. David Marshall, one of the most representative theorists of new media, "we must point to the need for a new approach  that, starting from use, investigates the cultural production of users.  What we mean is to try to analyze these communicative phenomena from a configuration that involves the study of the writing activities of users, not only reading, as is done so far. In this sense, what is proposed, based on Marshall's concepts, is to reconcontextualize  the new forms that emerge from the so-called  "productive consumption", which enable the reworking of cultural forms that acquire new dimensions in the field of new media, different from the processes of reception of traditional media: the user now as a participant  in active communication processes. 

All of the above, taking into account the study of the communicational and media instances of production, reception and interactivity through the experimentation of perspectives with qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches  .

At the point of research in communication, identity and systemic thinking in communication organizations, it is necessary to study the reception in the constitution of the strategic actions of the publics of interest and begin to investigate the configuration of social systems as communication platforms concerned with identity and the construction  of meaning in  networks within a communicational scheme.

When researching new developments:  testing new formats, determining how to produce (whether in 4K or 8K or multichannel sound systems); what infrastructure allows a "work flow", that is, a flexible, accessible and capable of exploiting content in a collaborative environment; how to be active on all platforms (computer, tablets and smartphones); how best to create novel products for each of the devices; how to incorporate engagement (social TV), big data selected for capture, storage, search, sharing, analysis, and visualization.

New technologies in education

For digital television, educational television is key, in this sense it is essential to understand the new competences and learning styles in the training of teachers and students, in an intercultural context, using interactive digital language, discussing new competences and digital skills in educational activities, highlighting the use of the language of interactive digital video in pedagogical projects. In terms of the multichannel, it is to conceive programming for these purposes supported by cooperation and co-creation agreements for the production of educational material.  

Research on changes in the production of educational audiovisual  content for television with the advent of interactivity in  digital TV should be addressed with the following objectives:

Know and define the principles, processes and changes  of the currents of convergence and the introduction of digital technologies in the production,  transmission, reception and interactivity of educational audiovisual content through new technologies.  

Develop technological and scientific knowledge specialized in the area of educational production for interactive digital TV and train in the  exercise of research and development activities of content. 

Contextualize digital convergence and its manifestation in interactive television with theoretical components in the  structure of dissemination of educational knowledge generated, disseminated and evaluated.  

Video-graphics and digital art

They are part of the key elements for the visual identity and graphic design of an audiovisual product for digital television. The visual discourses of the different channels; likewise, it allows an analysis of the  phenomena of the  language or languages that are used. The television identity and the possible links established by the screen or the screens, but also, the way to generate impacts and trends, in the digital communicative processes.


Research that addresses communicative  phenomena from the paradigm of the "Information Society" and its historicity, focusing on the organization and processing of information; strategic information systems; knowledge transfer; innovation and cooperation networks;  strategic knowledge management; information services; electronics  and their products. The Internet is key in these studies as a source of electronic information and the technological impact on communication between the user and the information system.

FIGURE 2

Users and the multiple platforms available in the field of digital communication and the SIC (Information and Knowledge Society).

Within the study of the strategic use of information and  communication technologies, communication systems as a whole must be understood;  it is appreciated  to see that new media do not arise either spontaneously or independently, but appear gradually, by the metamorphosis of old media, where  generally these old media do not die, but continue to evolve and adapt, from their technological reconfiguration and the usability of users.

In this spectrum, it is also important to take into account the concept of information  as an economic good and value-added processes, with very particular characteristics from:

The productive chain of the information industry: context, actors, product technologies and evaluation. 

Information management in the  context of social networks. Analysis of studies and research for the integrated planning and management of information units. 

Methodologies and studies of needs and uses of information.  Technological innovation: definition and perspectives.

The concepts and properties of technology; the process of technological innovation - concept, phases and management; creation and dissemination of technology. 

And the adoption, implementation and dissemination of technology, creative work, context of changes, decision-making processes; formulation of strategies.

Television,  peripheral narratives  and citizenship

Study of the genres and formats of television, with the aim of understanding how the  media have collaborated for the formation of a national imaginary, privileging certain aspects of culture and discarding others. Important to consider studies such as.

Network television and regional television.

Public television and private television. 

Open channels and paid channels. 

Community television: alternative proposals. 

The articulations of peripheral discourses. 

The possibilities of producing new content and formats for digital television. Television, culture and citizenship.

DTT and paradigms of interactivity

Technology has enabled the emergence of new paradigms in audiovisual communication  , redefining some of the "old"  theories  of communication. Nowadays it is common to use and abuse terms such as convergence, usability, mobility and portability in the media. The arrival of the Internet made it possible for traditional media such as cinema, radio and television to be reconfigured, causing the hybridization  of the languages, formats and conceptions of audiovisual, adding the element of interactivity.  This is how users have stopped  consuming content passively and on a single screen to today seek new experiences through access,  interaction and consumption from different platforms, which provide a high user experience by any access path.

In this framework, it is about studying the user and the possibilities of interaction with  multiplatform content, in order to propose the development of new applications, the ways of interactivity  with the devices, but above all, a user who becomes his own distributor to global, producing the contents, and creating a critical mass of other users.

In Colombia there are already clear examples of how multiplatforms achieve more closeness these new   digital users. Subscription television providers, case UNE, Claro and Telefónica are offering their subscribers many more benefits and innovative functionalities, these subscribers, from different platforms can access different interactive services and applications, in a comfortable, fast and simple way. 

Contents in  the Information Society

In the Information and Knowledge Society, Information and Communication Technologies become a key element for the exchange and production of information; in turn,  this  becomes an element from which knowledge can be accessed and, with this, production and access to goods and services can be achieved,  and thus develop relations of exchange of any type and nature. In the Information Society, knowledge becomes "fuel" and information and communication technology becomes the engine.  Societies and companies compete because they have the best knowledge.

The fundamentals of planning applied to Digital TV should consider:

  • Strategic  planning in Digital TV. 
  • Content projects for public Digital TV and private Digital TV. 
  • Management of narration as virtual reality, immersion and interactivity in literary adaptations for Digital TV and teaching and learning content on Digital TV. Image management on Digital TV: aesthetics and information.

In the next installment 

The series will address how to study content projects for public Digital TV and private Digital TV; formats, content, production and dissemination,  and interactivity; regulation and policies regarding digital signal processing: capture, transmission, antennas, propagation and coverage area. 

Undoubtedly,  the emergence of new technologies produces,  and will continue to produce,  effects on the processes of creation, design of programs and programming,  reception and the way the "new viewer" (read user),  seeks new experiences through interaction and consumption from different platforms.  But we must always keep in mind,  as Omar Rincón, a Colombian television critic, puts it, that television is a field that has a lot of experimentation.

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Editor
Periodista de la Universidad de Antioquia (2010), con experiencia en temas sobre tecnología y economía. Editor de las revistas TVyVideo+Radio y AVI Latinoamérica. Coordinador académico de TecnoTelevisión&Radio.

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