Policy and Practice in the Americas, Europe and Japan
Edited by Martin Cave and Kiyoshi Nakamura
Chapter 12: Platforms for the Development of Digital Television Broadcasting and the Internet
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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