Cutting edge technology has greatly influenced television since its creation and continues to influence its future.
The television broadcasting industry’s growth in Korea has been erratic over the years, but Korea is now taking progressive steps to grow its indigenous digital broadcasting system. There is a noticeable convergence between telecommunications and broadcasting as technology enables the delivery of content through multiple delivery platforms. The broadcasting industry in Korea is moving to digital. The Electronics Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) projects market demand for broadcasting equipment will increase to USD 2.06 billion in 2012 with the launch of new channels and government-sponsored digital content production support centers.
The industry paradigm is shifting due to the acceleration of broadcasting digitalization, digital convergence, and the launching of new channels. It will be necessary to increase investment in upgrading broadcasting systems as the competition between traditional broadcasting platforms, terrestrial TV, newly introduced platforms, cable TV, IPTV (internet protocol TV), satellite TV and HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) becomes fiercer. As technologies evolve to deliver high density, two-way and 3D broadcasts, the lines between DVD, videos and TV products become more and more ambiguous. As digitalization progresses and begins to enter the post-HD (high definition) era, the pictures provided by TV broadcasters have improved three dimensional effects and better resolution. These are some of the more visible factors that will further blur the lines between broadcasting and the motion picture industry, which will affect future equipment needs.
As the digitalization of broadcasting progresses through various media platforms such as smart phones, advanced set-top boxes and 3D TV, it is expected that digital content will also face a new environment. This changing environment provides good opportunities to U.S. firms. Currently, around 10 to 20 percent of the total market of broadcasting equipment is localized. According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the annual growth rate of digital equipment market in South Korea will be seven percent until 2018.
Digital technology has dramatically changed the environment for the broadcasting industry, and it has become difficult to distinguish precise boundaries between broadcasting and non-broadcasting related business sectors. For example, the type of service IPTV provides is a broadcasting service. However, the equipment used is more like telecommunications equipment. As another example, the main service provided by cable TV is broadcasting. Yet, cable TV also provides broadband Internet service and VoIP, which utilizes telecommunications equipment. For such reasons it is becoming more difficult to distinguish clear differences between the broadcasting and telecommunications industries and the equipment used.
Korea expects four new cable TV programming channels and two new news channels to launch broadcast operations in 2012. According to ETRI, market demand for equipment in 2011 is expected to be USD 1.94 billion; this represents a 40 percent increase over 2010. Assuming, per industry estimates, that the investment for one new channel is USD 136 million and one news channel is around USD 45 million, the addition of these newly created channels alone could result in approximately USD 637 million in investment in this sector.
It is expected that terrestrial broadcasting companies will continue to invest in HD production equipment and post HD conversion such as 3D and UHD (ultra high definition) even after digitalization is implemented. Although cable TV operators and program providers (PP) are moving at a slower pace of digitalization than terrestrial TV, they do plan investments in the production of 3D content.
Broadcasting companies have more than 80 percent of the image input devices, acoustic systems, editing systems and production auxiliaries in Korea. There are about 180,000 pieces of equipment in use in this industry. 20 to 40 percent of all transmission equipment is owned by production companies; most broadcasting service companies are producing and transmitting their own content. Although independent production companies and program providers are involved with content production, they don’t transmit directly. This explains why there are more production related devices in the broadcasting field.
According to ETRI, cameras (ENG/6mm) were considered to be the most important broadcasting equipment purchase considering the interoperability, budget, price per equipment item, and importance. The second most important is ‘Non-Linear Editing’ (NLE) equipment. After that, the importance of the item versus the budget allocated varies, but key items in both categories include: VCR (editing), VCR (TV control room), VML (video switcher), optical transmitter, CG (computer graphics) and APC (alternative power control). Though there are more than 170 kinds of broadcasting equipment, this survey indicates that the core equipment is limited to around ten key items.