Samsung R&D Institute Poland's Researcher Chairs Newly Formed Audio Video Committee by Digital Poland Association

In March 2024, Samsung R&D Institute Poland(SRPOL)’s expert Jakub Skwarski became the leader of new Audio Video Committee established within the structures of Digital Poland Association (a National Trade Association, or ‘NTA’), whose aim is to accelerate digitalization of audio video media landscape in Poland. Tasks that the new group is facing are, inter alia: supporting digitalization of radio (DAB+), making the audiovisual services more accessible, or cooperating on introduction of new features in audio visual sectors, such as personalized audio in terrestrial TV. Experts from the most recognized consumer electronics brands such as Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Philips, and Sony will be contributing on technical, business and legal levels to harmonize standards, activities and legal-tech regulations. The goal of its members is to present common and united front in communication with external stakeholders.

Digital Poland is a non-profit organization established in 2005, gathering consumer electronics, home appliances and IT businesses in Poland – these are importers, makers, as well as distribution companies. Contrary to other non-trade associations, Digital Poland is focused on solving issues and problems of its members, mostly in a specialized and narrow field of digital economy (e-commerce, digital education, AI, IoT, cybersecurity). Above that, the organization itself has its eyes widely open on broadcast, AV and TV receivers’ legislation initiatives what has been channeled with a decision to form this new Audio Video group, through which its members can react fast and accordingly. Typical outputs of Audio Video Committee meetings are recommendations and position papers representing the interests of the member companies. Those businesses (members of NTA) are mostly present in retail and are very close to its customers, thus can play a role of middlemen between policies and politicians, and the market. What is more, since members of the Audio Video Committee are also main competitors on the retail market, building common trust among the members is very important to help reach consensus.

SRPOL became a valuable member of NTA’s community and a significant and trusted partner thanks to our technical consulting practice and three years of experience and active participation in reviewing and commenting on the technical specifications and audio-visual regulations. SRPOL’s expert knowledge, resulting from 10 years of competencies development in our center, influenced the final versions of the following regulations in Poland:
- Downgrading HDMI version from 2.1 to 2.0b in the minimum requirements for a TV set in Poland
- Delivering arguments against audience measurement obligation imposed on TVs by National Media Institute
- Providing favorable opinion during digital terrestrial TV migration standard on adding TV receivers to financial subsidy for customers (initially it was available only for set-top-boxes)
- Accessibility Act transposition – audio and signalization limitations of TV systems facing new information requirements to people with special needs
- Electronic Communications Act – removing obligation for hybrid data support in TV receivers

The impact of Digital Poland association goes beyond Poland onto Digital Europe – a pan-European association of tech companies. And since Samsung Poland (both Samsung Electronics Poland and Samsung R&D Institute Poland) are the members of Digital Poland and Digital Poland is a member of Digital Europe, we became Digital Europe members ourselves. SRPOL acts there under Digital Poland’s flag and represents association’s interest directly, and indirectly the interest of Samsung Poland. Our contribution format is similar to this on the local level in Poland, and we work on position papers that Digital Europe Audio-Video working group submits to local governments or the European Commission. What is more, Samsung is also represented in Digital Europe by Samsung R&D Institute UK and Samsung Electronics Europe Office representatives directly.

The Digital Europe Audio-Video group is dominated by big brands – apart from biggest TV manufacturers, there are Amazon, Google and National Trade Associations mostly from Western Europe (French AFNUM, German Zvei or Anitec from Italy). Other NTAs from Eastern or Southern Europe are very rare guests at Audio-Video Committee meetings. What is more, the favorable location of the headquarters of Digital Europe with its office in Brussels gives us advantage and increases our chances of having real impact on legislation.

Digital Poland is also responsible for managing communication with public institutions, regulators and third party companies in the form of meetings or workshops to signal burning needs of its members. During those workshops, participants discuss solutions that will benefit user experience, but also having PR and media connections, the NTA increases awareness among Polish society on particular features. With the creation of Audio Video Committee, such a workshop with elements of interoperability was organized under the auspices of Digital Poland, who invited also external TV manufacturers (not permanent NTA members). During the workshop, Polish Television (TVP) and Dolby presented the implementation process for personalized audio and audio description (accessibility feature) from the production side from the past sport events, and shared plans for 2024. Afterwards Digital Poland issued a public announcement in several media channels to spread knowledge on those new audio options available in TVs, so that spectators could use them in the upcoming UEFA European Football Championship and Summer Olympics, if transmission rights' owner decide to support it. Such cooperation formula was very well received and will be used this year in reaching harmonization in delivering information to viewers on available accessibility features in programs on Polish broadcast market.

Currently, the Audio Video Committee is described as “the most influential forum of CE VD brands in the country and is best equipped to develop and promote audiovisual media solution – still there is much to do compared to partners in other countries”, admits Digital Poland CTO and Samsung Electronics Poland expert Tomasz Chomicki.