The Longest Fortnight

In 1967, famous producer Daryl F. Zanuck’s epic feature film The Longest Day depicted the momentous occasion that was the Normandy landings by the Allied forces in France. It was an action-packed film that showed in detail how difficult it was to land an army on heavily fortified beaches against a determined enemy.

Despite great precision in planning, many things still went wrong with the invasion and casualties among the Americans, for example, were very heavy. Still, by the end of the day, the Allies managed to grab a foothold on the beaches. The significance of the day was the fact that the Allies now had a small but important foothold in Europe, one that was designed to end the dominance of Nazi Germany on the continent.

Zanuck’s film reminded me how we started what seems to be The Longest Fortnight in Astro’s Techonology & New Media history.

It all begin last Tuesday. We launched the new Astro PVR, an integrated set-top box with a hard drive, or one with an external hard disk drive. Then it was the Astro B.player which puts Astro on the iPhone App store for the very first time. To top it off, we completed this trilogy by greeting Thursday (today) with the newly revamped http://www.astro.com.my containing several new self-servicing features in addition to its new, fresher look.

However, the biggest portion of our fortnight has just begun with the mobilization of various operational teams for the World Cup 2010 finals. We’ll not only be broadcasting it in HD but my own team (which has grown from 4 persons to 9, and soon 10) will be leading the web and mobile streaming of the matches. Manifested by the B.player, this will be the big online presence that is designed to give Astro it’s foothold on a new media landscape dominated by the Catch Up TV portals from Media Prima.

Our foothold will be all the more important because we’re launching it via web and mobile at the same time.

In this tumultuous and frenetic time, it’s been tiring and exhilarating as we worked through the obstacles of bugs and technical glitches. But we’ve allied ourselves with the best vendors. It’s made us work 14-hour days. But come 8th July 2010, we’re going to finally be making history with our own D-Day. Our own Normandy landings. With 64 live-streaming events and over 300 VOD clips, this will be our signal that Astro has turned the tide.

Best of all, it will be exactly 66 years to the day (Tuesday, albeit the 6th) that the Normandy Landings took place. Frankly, I’ll enjoy being part of history again. The Longest Fortnight would be all worth it when I look back in years to come; when we showed the world that history would be changing yet again, thanks to an awesome Astro B.yond team.

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About Michael

Passionate about all things related to OTT Video and technology. Currently managing HOOQ Singapore.

Posted on 03/06/2010, in Broadcast Musings and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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