10 October 2001: Digital newspaper printing trials make progress
"Alma Media’s ’northern’ provincial newspapers Kainuun Sanomat,
Lapin Kansa and Pohjolan Sanomat are being printed digitally and
distributed in Helsinki in a six-month trial project covering one
hundred subscribers", according to a press release.
"The trial started on 1 October and will end on 31 March, during which time the subscribers will receive their papers every day. The project includes participation by Atkos, UPM-Kymmene, Metso Paper, Finland Post and Man-Roland Finland.
The primary objective of the digital printing project is to
establish if there is sufficient business potential in the
Helsinki metropolitan area for digital printing of the provincial
newspapers. This would require an optimized production and
logistical process from editing to the digital printing plant, and
from the plant to the newspapers’ subscribers.
The project involves printing certain of Alma Media’s provincial
newspapers six days a week for six months at the Atkos printing
centre in Vantaa. Without digital printing these newspapers would
not reach their subscribers until the following day. The
newspapers have been chosen to ensure optimum transport and
distribution in postal codes in the centre of Helsinki.
’In the future digital printing capacity can be used for example
to print newspapers delivered to airports, or for local printing
of domestic and foreign newspapers if such a decentralized model
can be made cost-effective,’ said Ms Maija-Liisa Pennanen,
circulation director of Alma Media’s Alpress business area.
In a six-month pilot project extending from September last year to
February this year, Alma Media digitally printed the Saariselkä
edition of its Lapin Kansa newspaper in Lapland. During that
period the newspaper was printed throughout in four colours for 70
subscribers in the area", according to the press release.
Source: Alma Media Corporation
27 August 2001: Launch of digital television broadcasting
"The future of television will be digital", the Minister of Transport and Communications of Finland, Olli-Pekka Heinonen, says in a press release in connection with the official launch of Finnish digital television broadcasting 27 August.
"Not all the parts of TV digitalisation have yet found their right place", the minister continues. "Particularly equipment that is needed in interactive services has not yet been introduced. Nevertheless, digital television is not just a trend but a long-term process that reaches the structures of television broadcasting. Today, we are taking the first steps on this road.
Pessimism that is common in the IT sector today is spreading to digital television. Therefore, already this autumn the Finnish government intends to submit a proposal – in order to alleviate the IT sector’s current cyclical developments – for a communications market act, which will create better opportunities for television broadcasting.
In Finland, we wanted to give the operators a chance to enter into digital programming comparatively early, although somewhat after Sweden and England. After all, the state does have the duty to provide an arena for business and industry. But it is of course the enterprises themselves that make a judgement of when to start offering new services. If an operator does not want to make a start at this stage or chooses to take careful steps, it is not a reason to dramatise the situation. Of course, the licence authority wishes that all the risks would be carefully weighed already during the application process, since applications were also rejected.
Even though digital television will not set off with an explosion of new services, the original line of reasoning still applies. The digital television network is a good and cost-effective way to distribute the services of the information society to every household, including those where reception circumstances are not very good. It is a democratic and regionally balanced distribution channel.
Before long, the viewers will find more profit and pleasure in the new phase of television broadcasting. However, it will take time before anyone has to react to digital TV and I believe that once the programme supply is comprehensive, people will find their own programmes and services.
Digital technology is a way to save frequencies, which, beside communications, are needed in several sectors of the information society: from medicine to transport. It is also important to remember that communication networks can only work together, if they all are digital. After that the formerly diverse media will converge into an entity, which can be utilised in the best possible way.
The Finnish Broadcasting Company, YLE, and licence-holders have chosen the right way in aiming at a technologically ambitious and open system, which will enable the future provision of so-called new services. An open, technologically advanced distribution system is a basic requirement for Finnish communication enterprises to be able to really produce content services and not just pack and transmit foreign content products.
In the light of the present knowledge, it seems that it was a wise decision to select the MHP standard, which was created through voluntary cooperation within the European industry, as the basis for the system. The chosen standard gives the Finnish communication and IT enterprises an edge over others to develop business and new services. I hope that they will seize this opportunity.
Finnish communications has an established tradition of both content and IT know-how. With the help of digital television these two can be combined. Quite evidently, Finland, as the model country in telecommunications, is expected to show new, innovative solutions also in digital television broadcasting".
Source: Ministry of Transport and Communications
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