By Matthew Henry

CANBERRA: Newly-created national electronics lobby group, the Australian Digital Suppliers Industry Forum (ADSIF), has bolstered its ranks with the addition of Samsung and LG and now claims to be a legitimate representative of suppliers on issues of digital TV.

Since its formation in July this year, ADSIF has added various influential global suppliers to its membership, including LG Electronics, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony, Tatung, Topfield and Toshiba distributor Castel.

The group could be on its way towards wrenching away the spokesperson role for consumer electronics suppliers on issues of digital TV from Digital Broadcasting Australia (DBA).

AEEMA chief executive, Angus Robinson, who heads up ADSIF, said that its esteemed membership lends credibility to its voice in Canberra on matters relating to digital TV uptake and switchover.

Robinson told today that consumer electronics suppliers will be better represented by ADSIF than the DBA.

“They can belong to both if they like, but to date the DBA has represented both broadcasters and suppliers and they can’t  differentiate to the government the views of suppliers only, so they are not in a position to express a collective view independent of the broadcasters or to bring together other smaller suppliers,” he said.

Robinson hopes to encourage membership among smaller Australian suppliers and installers.

“What we hope will happen now is that the smaller companies, which right now have no representation, will join and AEEMA will become the major voice in the digital sector and will be the leading body for digital broadcasting issues in Australia from a suppliers perspective,” he said.

Robinson named BenQ and a number of Chinese manufacturers as other suppliers he would like to become members of ADSIF.

ADSIF was formed earlier this year as a breakaway group from the DBA when former DBA managing consultant, Tim O’Keefe, was ousted from the job in favour of a permanent chief executive. O’Keefe joined with AEEMA to form a peak body specifically representing consumer electronics suppliers’ interests during the transition to digital TV broadcasting.

ADSIF supports the government’s recent announcement of the Digial Action Plan (DAP) and the decision to establish and fund the Industry Advisory Group and Digital Australia.

“AEEMA also recognises that the DAP does not mention the critical issues of high definition content, digital rights management and copyright protection, but we nevertheless believe that an industry-coordinated approach to these issues is integral to successful digital uptake,” Robinson said.

“ADSIF is committed to following up with more detailed information and arguments on these critical issues”.

The chief executive officer of Digital Broadcasting Australia, Chris Williamson, declined to comment on the progress of ADSIF.