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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.
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Chapter 7: A Perspective on Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting in Japan

Kiyoshi Nakamura and Nobuyuki Tajiri


Kiyoshi Nakamura and Nobuyuki Tajiri INTRODUCTION Digital technologies have greatly changed the environment surrounding the broadcasting industry, resulting in drastic changes to the traditional economics of broadcasting. Digital technological innovation supported by the Morse code-like idea of 0s and 1s and advanced multiplexing technology are blurring the once distinct boundaries between information communication/ telecommunications and broadcasting causing these markets to converge. Negroponte (1995) predicted that the ‘telephone will become wireless, and the TV become wired’. Innovations in digital technology, however, are progressing at an even greater speed than predicted by this ‘Negroponte switch’ hypothesis. Now, television can be viewed from the mobile phone, and phone calls can be made through one’s cable television connection, increasing the interdependency of fixed (wired) and mobile (wireless) technologies all the more. Moreover the creation of new industries can be expected from such technological convergence. In Japan there has existed a dual system of commercial broadcasting, which is dependent on advertising income, and public service broadcasting, which is dependent on licence fees. However, new changes to the broadcasting landscape such as digitalisation, the growth of new subscription broadcast business models, and the birth of Internet broadcasting as well as mobile broadcasting or ‘podcasting’ have begun to shake the foundations of this ‘cosy duopoly’. From an industrial organisation perspective, it can be said that digital technology is simultaneously giving rise to changes in the broadcasting industry’s market structure and market conduct. Horizontal and vertical integration between broadcasters and telecommunications firms including the Internet portal site operators...

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