Edited by Ruth Towse and Christian Handke
Chapter 13: Has digitization delivered? Fact and fiction in digital TV broadcasting
Media and communication technologies have during the past couple of decades gone through one of the most radical changes in their history, namely the transformation from analogue to digital technologies. This change has massive influence on the whole chain from production to consumption of media and communication services. However, digitization is a gradual process and can have different development speeds in different part of this chain. We can, for instance, have a digitized backbone but an analogue access network, and we can have analogue production while deploying digital technologies in the distribution systems. The development patterns will, furthermore, vary in different parts of the world. In this chapter, we focus on the digitization of broadcast TV and examine the implications in terms of variety, quality, interactivity, convergence, and mobility. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the discussions concerning the new digital paradigm for broadcasting started, there were a number of myths and promises. Presently, we are in a position to assess the results of the processes of digitization in a more realistic manner and forecast some of the major elements of future developments.
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