What is the Future of Digtial TV? – Is That The Right Question?


Linear TV is still pretty strong across all standard transmission media. The advent of ‘new disruptive TV services’ are only actually being seen over ISP infrastructures. It is easy to become a WebTV Company but really hard to become a Broadcaster as you need a license. So the Future of Digital TV is still fairly clear. What is not clear is what is the Future of the Digital TV Business Model. Look at this example – some OFCOM boffin recently stated that all UK Broadcasting should be made to go over the Internet and the DTT spectrum used for something else. LOL! Putting all of your eggs in one basket is a route to failure i.e. everything on the Internet. An infrastructure prone to failure, with a shaky QoS offering and it can be called inefficient as it is. Apart from that all over the Internet is a rather strange idea considering that 30% of the UK is under served for Broadband…The population does not all live in a metropole and yes there is a Rural Broadband initiative but it needs massive funding another Government issue. All over the Internet is not a good business model for the ISPs who would have to bear the burden of all that data infrastructure investment with only flat-rate subscriptions – or would we see a return to pay for what you use model?  If this is the case does OFCOM suggest that the License Fee be included in the Broadband subscription?  See how complex it all becomes!

Each technology has its place.  The Future of Digital TV is that Digital TV Broadcast is needed, Digital TV on Broadband is needed and Digital Satellite is needed. These are all ‘transmission media’. The Future of Digital TV is all about the ‘Business Model’ which I believe is actually in the hands of the Content Producers and the Rights Holders…They have set about maximising the distribution of Content by allowing everyone to sign up and everyone to distribute as mentioned by Johann and Broadcasters panicked as they thought they would be usurped so they too signed deals with Connected TV CE manufacturers in a ‘pull-the-rug-from-under-my-own-feet’ business model. How silly it is becoming; even Starbucks and Toys-R-Us are getting into the act! However in reality the average household has only a certain amount of money to spend on Premium Services. There are very few households that have several Premium TV subscriptions…So presently the fragmentation of the Digital TV Business is actually over a single transmission medium which is Broadband and there is the chaos…Which leads to a re-phrasing of the question What is the Future of Digital TV over Broadband?

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