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Standards trigger a digital TV squabble

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Dec 06,2003
Disputes over technical standards for digital television broadcasting are apparently continuing. The Ministry of Information and Communication said yesterday that it regretted the decision of the Korea Broadcasting Commission to delay issuing broadcast licenses for seven months. On Nov. 28, the broadcast regulator announced that it would postpone accepting applications from stations outside of the Seoul area for digital broadcasting licenses. The date was pushed back from Nov. 30 to June 30, 2004. “Because research on the merits and demerits of the American and European technologies will continue until mid-December, we could not accept applications for digital broadcasting based on the American standard,” said the commission, a supporter of the European version. The government plans to enforce digital-only broadcasting in Korea beginning in December 2005. The ministry said in July 1999 that it had settled on the U.S. standard; such broadcasts have already begun in Seoul. Analysts said the U.S. version is superior in data compression and screen resolution but the European standard has other merits. The standards in question are not the PAL versus NSTC differences in analog television broadcasts; they prescribe system for compressing video and audio data and make provisions for services such as subtitles, program schedules and emergency messages. The ministry added yesterday that it would press ahead with its digital television broadcasting project, regardless of the decision of the commission. by Kim Hyo-jin


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