April 19, 2007

The Changing Future of TV

The Changing Nature of TV in an "On Demand" Era

What you want, when you want it, where you want it!

This round up of new technologies from the BBC website gives you an overview of how digital imaging technologies are developing and will change the nature of TV quite fundamentally. Below this piece shows  the planned implementation of the UK switchover to digital. There is a BBC case study of how several families now percieve the schedules of TV in the era of media PCs and personal video recorders linked to high speed broadband.

The Great Digital Switchover 

The most important change ever in British Broadcasting will start to take place in 2008. This process will set in place the communications infrastructure that will probably make the UK the country with themost comprehensive fully digital broadcasting infrasturcture in the World. Hopefully it will still ensure that underlying these dramatic changes the ethos of public service broadcasting is maintained against the onslaught of total commercialisation. Below is a map of the planned process. Presumably it is something more than a coincidence that the system is due to be finished in Olympics year.

The digital switchover from analogue starts next year (2008) and is due to be completed in 2012 (just in time for the Olympics!) 

Map of digital switchover in UK

Family Case Studies

Family 1: The One TV Household

We could get a digital video recorder, and maybe we will. I'd rather do that than have a fragmented family where we don't see each other because we're all watching different programmes in different rooms.

Family 2: Owning a Media PC

Now, we hardly ever watch live TV - when we do it's either the news or sporting events.

Family 3: Owning a PVR (Personal Video Recorder)

The coming technology is even better. Currently, a PVR can only record what a channel transmits.

Broadband will change the broadcasters' role. Producers will put their catalogues online, on a pay-per-download basis, allowing intelligent broadband-connected PVRs all over the planet to browse and directly source material that matches our tastes.

Get the full story here

Changing Content Provision for New Technological Vehicles: Ricky Gervais on his internet work. This includes a video link to Gervais

Whitehaven: Reactions from Residents about being first fully digital town in the country

The Guardian had their reporter on the spot in October when the BBC 2 analogue service was switched off here are some of the comments:

Andrew Davies, who runs a guest house in the Cumbrian coastal town, said the process of becoming the first place in Britain to have its analogue TV signal switched off had been ill-thought-out and expensive.

It cost Mr Davies - who runs the eight-bedroom Glenfield guest house with his wife Margaret - around £1,000 to convert his business to digital. Initial estimates had put the cost as high as £5,000.

"We did not want or need digital TV," said Mr Davies. "It is a financial burden that has been put upon us without any consultation whatsoever.

"I am very cynical about why they chose to do this first in Whitehaven. Perhaps they thought we were a small town with a poor infrastructure who would not make a big fuss if it went wrong. If it was Kingston-upon-Thames there would have been riots on the streets."


TV on demand from the BBC

Will Digital Destroy the TV License?

BBC Changes Mark a Digital Future 

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