Digital TV

For years, the broadcasting and computer industries have proclaimed that “convergence” was just around the corner. Both have had different things in mind, of course, and each has claimed to be the driving force behind the must-have new services that were about to change the consumer’s life. However, just because a technology is possible doesn’t create demand for it. HDTV is a prime example of that – no-one thought great pictures were worth the extra cost. Likewise, numerous interactive TV offerings have been too dull to warrant dedicated equipment and extra bandwidth, and countless tests have proved that a short walk to the video shop is more attractive than parting with huge sums of cash for video-on-demand.

However, the unrelenting growth in computing power and open standards are impacting dramatically on what’s possible – and affordable – and finally helping turn the hype into reality:

  • DVD now allows quality video in the home
  • hand-held consumer DV camcorders can deliver pictures to rival those of their shoulder-mounted, analogue predecessors – at a fraction of the cost
  • broadcast-quality video can be edited and packaged on a desktop PC faster and to a better standard than in a TV edit suite that ten years ago would have cost thousands of pounds to hire for just a few days
  • broadband Internet technology is set to slash the cost of distribution.

The result is that just as the hundreds of channels now being made available by DTV (digital TV) services have surpassed the few analogue TV channels available previously, they too will soon be overwhelmed by a limitless number services delivered via the Internet

 

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