Friday, December 27, 2013

Retail battles on and Reflecting on Media Technology (part 5 back to Blighty)

News headlines are saying the Boxing day sales are hitting records I guess it will be some time before a full analysis of the UK retail spend for Christmas and New Year but what is becoming increasingly apparent is the move from retail to on-line - men particularly seem to prefer to buy at a discount from their PCs or tablet devices rather than battle high street crowds and negotiate bumper to bumper road conditions to find over priced car parking spaces.
Ealing Christmas Eve

Ealing shoppers December 22nd  2013
High streets have responded with pre-Christmas discounts and  leveraged their own delivery to high street off shoots (in the case of John lewis/Waitrose) or used internal distribution networks in the case of  the larger out of town Superstores (for the likes of Tesco) - personally I'm not sure how genuine the  results so far reported by retail commentators in the media are but the late bad weather in the festive run-up will not have helped the Town's and City's retailers.

My own reflections on Media Technology (part 5)

The news service of Reuters TV (Asia) was now digitised and the DVB satellite distribution was fast becoming the norm for multi-channel platforms (a way of providing Digital Channels that could be easily navigated by the consumer).  
Having decided a move to Singapore with Reuters was not something I wished to do I was lucky enough to find employment with NDS (News Digital Systems)  in the first instance the work was attached to Star TV in Hong Kong then moving back to our Ealing home with work at Heathrow Boulevard in  London meant that the return to the UK at the end of 1997 (shortly after HK was handed back to the landlord China) was manageable.
NDS was a vehicle for The News Corporation to handle encryption, automation and with the acquisition of what had previously been part of the IBA's technology off-shoot (and is now part of Ericsson Television) they had the wherewithal to provide full digital systems - I was employed as systems specialist/Project engineer at a busy time when Digital Terrestrial Television was being rolled in the UK out and NDS was virtually the only show in town.
So what was once a niche system for delivering content at a wholesale level was now the mass technology for TV to take the next step and replace the 50 Plus year old  analogue system that had provided consistent broadcast TV services around the world.
The NDS money spinner and key to the pay TV service was Encryption which was run out of Israel with near Mossad style security the other technology used for Streamserver (Automation) and the compression/Multiplex was more open but still very bespoke and specialist.
The NDS Former West London home
After some work abroad working at Star TV Indonesia during some of the counterpoise's  civil disturbances  and with the weight of commuting many miles to the Southampton manufacturing facility I decided to look for work closer to home and found it in British Telecoms Broadcast Services Division (to be continued..)

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