January 22, 2002

Hong Kong Cable Unveils Digital Revolution

(Hong Kong. January 22, 2002)        Following a year of construction, Hong Kong Cable Television Limited today unveiled its brand new Digital News Centre, signifying the dawning of a digital revolution for television news production in Hong Kong.

In the next two months, Cable News staff will move into the new facility, undergo intensive training, test and familiarise themselves with the various operation systems to  prepare for digital news production and broadcasting before the end of March.

At a ceremony to mark completion of works for the Digital News Centre, Chairman and CEO of Hong Kong Cable Television Limited, Mr. Stephen T.H. Ng, said the Company is proud to lead the industry’s technological revolution in Hong Kong.  Adding that the new facility will be the first in Hong Kong, Mr. Ng said its completion is a major step to stay ahead of its competitors in the top league of the industry, and to further consolidate the position of Hong Kong as a major broadcasting hub in the region.

The News Controller of Hong Kong Cable, Mr. Ronald Chiu, said the new facility will further enhance the news production process and enable faster and more timely dissemination of information.  Hong Kong Cable is excited to lead another revolution in the television news development in Hong Kong after being the first station to introduce round-the-clock television news, he added.

Spanning an area of over 4,000 square metres at Cable TV Tower, the $150 million Digital News Centre has three studios and multi live camera points.  The centre is built to the highest technical standards and is sound proof, shock proof, fire proof and flood proof.

The digitisation of Hong Kong Cable’s news production facilities have invoked much interests from leading software and system vendors around the world with equipment developed and supplied by companies in Japan, UK, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, France, Finland and Denmark.  Some of the software and equipment are used and integrated in a live situation on a single platform for the first time.  Even before its commissioning, the new facility has attracted much interests from fellow television operators and software companies who are keen to study our experience for their future development plan.

Built with state-of-the-art digital recording, editing and broadcasting equipment, the Digital News Centre converts all incoming video and audio into data and store them in a central server, enabling staff in different units (from reporters, editors, graphic designers, producers to news anchors) inside the newsroom simultaneous access and handling.  “This will greatly enhance the flexibility of news items treatment to meet the increasing demands on their usage in various platforms,” Mr. Chiu added.

On top of supporting conventional television service, digitised news service will also support other applications brought about by technology convergence such as online broadcasting, interactive television and third generation (3G) mobile services and bring new business opportunities to the Company.