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Start arrow Agenda arrow 22@Breakfast arrow Past Events arrow 22@Update Breakfast September 2009
22@Update Breakfast September 2009
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Cinematography and TDT. Business models and technological opportunities

The various sectors of the audiovisual industry are in constant flux and evolution. Currently, their main objective is to adapt to new technology and public needs, however we must also keep in mind that in the near future the different sectors of this industry will need to be able to work together.

The Imagina Building auditorium was the setting for September’s 22@Update Breakfast, focusing on new technology applied to TDT and the cinematographic industry. Renowned professionals like Joan Rosés and Jaume Roures explained the keys to understanding the current situation in the different sectors that make up the audiovisual panorama.

TDT, start of a new television
Joan Rosés, director of Activa Multimèdia, a subsidiary of the Catalan Broadcasting Corporation, explained the current status of TDT implementation and spoke about the technological and business opportunities that interactive digital television offers. Activa Multimèdia works as an innovation center for the Catalan Broadcasting Corporation, developing projects that combine new methods of content creation and the use of digital technology.

“TDT is television’s present. Those who do not make the change won't be able to watch”

According to Joan Rosés, TDT is currently in the implementation, not development, stage. The end of analogical television broadcast is scheduled for April 2010, which will signal the end of the implementation of this technology.
So far, TDT has shown few differences with regard to analogical television; the image quality is better but there are still issues to be resolved such as the number of channels and efficient incorporation of services. Regarding the number of channels, there are currently about 20 but the audience focuses mainly on 6 (those that were available through analogical television) and the other 14 share the rest of the viewers. Aspects like audience measurement or the status of local television are still on stand-by and there is still a long road ahead. Regarding 3D technology on TDT, Rosés explained that this door is just beginning to open. However, channels like the UK’s Sky TV will soon offer viewers the option to watch their film programming in three dimensions.

“The incorporation of interactivity in digital television is one of the most important achievements of TDT”

Regarding the incorporation of interactivity in digital television, we are still in the first stages of implementation and interactivity is still closely linked to the TV channel and very limited. It often includes a limited amount of data that can be misprocessed by the decoders. We have begun a hybrid phase, seeking to reach an efficient combination of television and Internet. This hybrid will arrive sooner or later and will open up many new possibilities, as well as new challenges for both types of media. The challenge for the Internet will be to seek out higher quality contents, while digital television will have to find a way to adapt to the new technology and survive the transformation of audiovisual contents.

September’s Innovator of the month was Jaume Roures, founding partner of Mediapro, the leading audiovisual creation and production company and one of the three most important audiovisual production companies in Europe. He was also one of the founders of Catalan television channel TV3.

Jaume Roures began his presentation by defining the role of cinema in our society:

“Film is a reflection of our identity, an economic and cultural asset that projects our collective imagination beyond our immediate world”

Global film production today is controlled by the top American production companies. Roures explained that this doesn’t mean that no one makes films in Spain. Last year, for example, 172 films were shot in Spain, a level similar to that of the rest of Europe.

Roures also mentioned that cinematographic production in our country has many structural problems. The main one is caused by a Spanish law that gives more subsidies to films with lower budgets, leading to lower-budget and lower-quality output. Nor is there any control of distribution of American films, as there is in France, which would help strengthen the local industry. Another impediment is the lack of added value, which in general is added abroad, so foreign production companies use our country as one big stage. The third error is in audiovisual training, which is not available until students reach the university and leads to very limited knowledge of this industry among the general population. The final and most current problem is Internet piracy, which, according to Roures, poses a serious threat to the audiovisual and cinematographic production industry.

Josep M. Piqué used the final minutes of the session to bring attendees up to date on the news in 22@Barcelona. The district’s managing director announced the laying of the first stone in two buildings: the future Besos Interuniversity Campus –specifically the Polytechnic University of Catalonia’s Spiralling Tower- and the future DHUB Design Museum, which aims to promote knowledge and understanding of the design world, as well as bringing this discipline to the general public.

Key ideas

TDT is currently in the implementation, not development, stage and in many aspects it still has a long road ahead.

The hybrid phase has begun, which aims to reach an efficient combination of television and Internet. However, both types of media must improve and adapt to the changing times.

Film is a reflection of our identity, an economic and cultural asset that projects our collective imagination beyond our immediate world.

Cinematographic production faces a lot of structural problems in Spain, both in terms of legislation and distribution, as well as a lack of internationalization and local training. Piracy is also a serious threat to the audiovisual industry.

Attendees speak

“We haven’t got used to the idea of the end of analogical television yet. I think we’re on the cusp of a new era in television.”

“Events like this give a global overview of the status of the sector and allow you to get ideas on how to evolve in the right direction.”

“I think the implementation of 3D in television and film is very interesting. It will totally change the conception we have of these two types of media and open up infinite possibilities.”

“We must find a way to protect Spanish cinema and avoid illegal downloading online.”

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