Digital Broadcasting

Digital Broadcasting

Policy and Practice in the Americas, Europe and Japan

Edited by Martin Cave and Kiyoshi Nakamura

Digital television is transforming both broadcasting and, as a result of convergence, the larger world of communications. The impending analogue switch-off will have a major impact on households all over the developed world. Digital Broadcasting considers the effects of digital television on the availability, price and nature of broadcast services in the Americas, Europe and Japan. It shows how this depends upon what platforms – cable, satellite, fixed or wireless broadband – countries have available for use and also upon government policies and regulatory interventions.

Chapter 12: Platforms for the Development of Digital Television Broadcasting and the Internet

Hajime Oniki

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, innovation and technology, technology and ict


Hajime Oniki INTRODUCTION In Japan, digital television (DTV) for terrestrial broadcasts was introduced in December 2003. Due to historical, political, and other reasons, the introduction of DTV is considered merely as a replacement for analogue with digital content; there has been little discussion regarding its impact on business practices and industry structure. Accordingly, the benefits of DTV are said to be those of technical improvements such as spectrum saving, noise prevention, finer images (HDTV), and multi-channel capability. The impact of the digitization of television, however, will reach far beyond those technical improvements for at least two reasons. First, it can increase viewer satisfaction by expanding their choices with regard to the timing of watching programmes.1 Further, it is now possible to increase the usefulness of the content to consumers by processing it with computer and storage technologies. DTV programmes may be used and reused, with possible modifications, for educational, cultural, business, and other activities.2 The potential benefits from this are so great that it is impossible to imagine them at present.3 Second, DTV has provided the possibility for television to compete and/or co-ordinate with the Internet. In short, the Internet is a system for transmitting digital information on a global scale. DTV is a system for broadcasting digital information. It is evident that DTV and the Internet can and should work closely together for the benefit of society. However, because of certain historical reasons, DTV and the Internet at the present time are still two mutually...

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