Zubin Mehtas Ehsaas-e Kashmir concert may have stoked civil society ire but it is set to be a milestone for Prasar Bharti (PB) when it becomes the first outdoor event in India to be transmitted live in high definition (HD). It will be aired in 104 countries but will be downscaled to standard definition for Indian broadcasters.
Prasar Bharti,German Embassy and the Eurovision Consortium signed an agreement Monday for the broadcast. The recording copyright will remain with PB and corporation officials say they may come out with DVDs later. European broadcasters transmit only in HD.
India-born Zubin Mehta is set to perform in Srinagar on September 7. In protest,the Hurriyat Conference has called a general strike that day,and a parallel concert Haqueeqat-e Kashmir is being planned by some activists. PB has limited experience in HD coverage uplinking. The only time the corporation covered events in HD was during the London Olympics where venue facilities supported only HD. PBs month-old HD outdoor broadcast van with 10 cameras has reached Srinagar and will be set up at venue Shalimar Garden Tuesday onwards.
Some other HD equipment,officials say,date back to the Commonwealth Games. The two-hour event will be broadcast live on DD National,DD India,DD Kashmir apart from several FM channels of All-India Radio.
This is the first time we will be covering an outdoor event in India in HD. For us,it is a novel and interesting opportunity of working with the best in broadcasting world so that our people can pick up some global best practices, said PB CEO Jawhar Sircar.
The OB van was bought recently for approximately Rs 14 crore and PB officials are thrilled at having finally utilised equipment lying idle since the 2010 Commonwealth Games to put together an indigenous digital satellite news gathering (DSNG) vehicle. This too normally costs about Rs 12-14 crore… we spent about Rs 30-35 crore on putting it together, said an official.
The venue being Srinagar,security concerns are inevitable,more so with a lot of sophisticated electronic equipment.
The matter,officials say,has been taken up by the German Embassy with ministries of home,external affairs and the government of Jammu and Kashmir. We are only cooperating, said the official.
What about coverage of Haqueeqat-e-Kashmir? We will mention it of course in our local news bulletin, he said.
Geelani calls for Sept 7 shutdown
Srinagar: Believing the Zubin Mehta music concert to be an attempt to conceal the ground situation,Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called for a shutdown in the Valley on September 7,the day Mehta will perform at Shalimar Garden in Srinagar. He also urged people to take to the streets on Friday to express their resentment against the programme.