Strong focus on technical know-how at Jo’burg workshop

Around 170 participants from across Africa attended last week’s capacity-building workshop on digital television in Johannesburg. The event was jointly organised by DVB, the EBU and Broadcast Networks Europe, with strong support from South Africa-based MultiChoice.

The workshop had a strong focus on training, concentrating on the competencies and skills required to plan, implement and operate digital television systems and networks. It covered satellite and terrestrial broadcasting as well as online content delivery. The slides presented during the three-day event, along with some audio recordings, are available from the website of SADIBA, the Southern African Digital Broadcasting Association.

Tailor-made programme

Since most of the participants were involved in setting up and operating broadcast headends and networks, the programme was tailor-made for them and generated very positive feedback. Executive Director Peter Siebert represented the DVB Project and reported having enjoyed the event greatly: “There is a big interest in DVB technology in the region. The countries want to go forward with digital television but often lack financial and technical resources. I hope that this conference could at least answer some of the technical questions.”

The first day of the workshop covered baseband technologies like video coding, the MPEG-2 systems layer and production technology. Day 2 introduced transmission and reception concepts, including home installations and receiver specifications. The daily practical demonstrations were a definite highlight, with experts from ENENSYS, ROVER and MultiChoice performing live measurements and showing how transmission errors affect the received signal.

The final day was devoted to a masterclass, where international experts provided an in-depth treatment of relevant topics such as video coding, OTT delivery and in-home distribution with SAT>IP. Throughout the event the participants had an opportunity to visit various demos and talk with the experts. Exhibitors and speakers alike appreciated the opportunity to participate.

Pictured above, from left to right, are three of those who presented during the workshop: Pham Hai (ITU), Edmund Yirenkyi Fianko (National Communications Authority, Ghana) and Gerhard Petrick (MultiChoice).