State grants €1.86m to LTV to update playout system

On June 4 the Latvian government agreed to finance Latvian Television  (LTV) to the tune of €1.86m for updating the television's program playout system.

Playout is a term for the transmission of radio or TV channels produced by a broadcaster. Should the playout system crash, viewers would only see a black screen. The system at LTV is so outdated this is a real possibility.

LTV launched a tender on May 20, 2019 for purchasing the system, but only one offer was deemed suitable after review. The offer stands until June 20, for the amount of €1,538,564 without VAT. It includes warranty costs and any associated costs.

The tender committee at the television has not yet made a decision to act on the result.

Ivars Āboliņš, head of Latvia's broadcast watchdog, the National Electronic Mass Media Council, said in the government meeting that the new system would ensure HD quality for the cable TV audience, bringing it up to date with other televisions.

The broadcast authority said the new playout system is to be installed by January 1, 2021.

The current system was purchased in 2010 second-hand. The manufacturer has ceased support since 2014. The system still runs on Windows XP. Microsoft ceased support for this operating system in 2014.

Latvian Television is owned by the state joint-stock company “Latvia State Radio and Television Centre”. It also owns the Latvian Radio stations and, by extension, the LSM news portals in Latvian, Russian and English.

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