Within the next couple of years, the government will announce its target date for the adoption of digital TV in the UK. A date will be set for terminating the analogue signal that currently carries all non-digital TV reception. Take-up of digital TV has been fuelled by the services offered by BSkyB, the cable companies and Freeview, a consortium led by the BBC. A new world of interactive possibilities, higher quality sound and vision, and greater choice of programming is promised. But despite the rapid progress made towards consumer take-up of digital TV, concerns persist over access to the services. Is the drive towards analogue switch-off merely a ploy by politicians to raise money? Meanwhile, detractors point to the 'dumbing-down' of TV output that they say inevitably will accompany the increase in TV channels available to viewers. Civil libertarians, on the other hand, fear the potential for information-gathering and monitoring of individuals that digital TV services offer. In this 'Argument', we look at the points for and against the adoption of full digitisation and ask whether 'hitting the red button' should see the benefits of interactivity or the end of broadcasting as we know it.
|Translated title of the contribution||Digital TV: Broadcast Heaven or Dumbed-Down Hell?|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|