by ENGR. YOMI BOLARINWA fnse , mieee , msbe Broadcast Engineer

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CONVERGENCE AND BROADCASTINGbyENGR. YOMI BOLARINWA fnse, mieee, msbeBroadcast EngineerWHY CONCERGENCE?The need to increase spectrum availability has given rise to many…
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CONVERGENCE AND BROADCASTINGbyENGR. YOMI BOLARINWA fnse, mieee, msbeBroadcast EngineerWHY CONCERGENCE?
  • The need to increase spectrum availability has given rise to many innovative work, in terms of technological advancement, more efficient use of existing spectrum, infrastructure and spectrum sharing and the use of mixed wireless and wire line services.
  • This led to DIGITISATION.
  • Digitisation led to convergence
  • Digital Convergence in a technological revolutionThe proposition that all modes of communication and information will converge into a digital nexus has been circulating for about twenty-five years. One of the earliest expressions of the idea came from Nicholas Negroponte, a technologist and founder of MIT's Media Lab. In 1978, he used three overlapping circles to represent the technologies of computing, printing, and broadcasting. The most rapid growth and innovation, he argued, could be found in the area where the three inter-sected. Negroponte had overlooked the telephone system, but simultaneously, telecommunications analysts were developing their own language of merging technologies. Harvard's. Anthony Oettinger, coined the ugly neologism "compunications" to express the growing overlap of computing and telecommunications. French writers Nora and Minc independently came up with the more graceful "telematique" to express the same idea (Nora and Minc 1980). Neither term ever quite caught on, and to this day the world is still struggling with awkward combinations of terms such as "telecommunications," "information" and "computing" to label the basic technology of the information economySEARCHING FOR CONVERGENCECONVERGENCE
  • Convergence is the merging of hitherto separate technologies such as computers with telephones, radio, fax machines and television or video
  • MEDIA CONVERGENCEIn order for the media to converge, two main things need to occur:
  • Computers and televisions must be able
  • to be content interchangeable.
  • People must be sufficiently interested in
  • being able to view the same content on both devices to make implementation of this interoperability commercially viable.MEDIA CONVERGENCEList of some of the content we might see on both the web and digital television in the future:Television Content:
  • Television shows
  • Movies
  • Commercial
  • Live Sports
  • Game
  • MEDIA CONVERGENCEInternet Content:
  • Media presentations
  • Games
  • Information blocks
  • Live Sport
  • Movies
  • THE TELEVISIONWILL THE TELEVISION BE ABLE TO RECEIVE COMPUTER CONTENT?Using a laptop, ipad or smart phone, while watching televisionADVANTAGES OF THE NEW IMPROVED SYSTEMS
  • Advanced Commercials
  • Movie Previews Channel
  • News Channel
  • Enhanced travelogue, home improvement
  • and cooking shows. DEVICE CONVERGENCE
  • This means that the television in the living room will no longer be just a television, but it will be an “information” appliance.
  • In addition to being able to display video streams, it will also be able to present other types of information-web pages, on-line stock quotes, interactive city maps, virtual lectures, etc.
  • THE SMART TVTHE SMART TV
  • The Smart TV is a typical example of device convergence. It is also referred to as “Connected TV” or “Hybrid TV”
  • A Smart TV is a TV that includes at least a rudimentary OS, access to web and Internet functions, and streaming content.
  • They are like smartphones with application (app) support, which allow consumers to watch videos, browse the Internet, play games and do a lot more on a large screen.
  • SMART TV
  • They are TVs with Internet-enabled capabilities
  • Connected TVs are designed to provide a more immersive experience for television viewers by delivering interactive features such as Web browsing, social networking, video-on-demand and video streaming in addition to regular television content.
  • REGULATIONAround the world the issues being thrown up by convergence and being debated upon is, “what is the best policy platform for regulating convergence?” EVOLUTION OR REVOLUTION?The issue being debated is whether a new regulatory structure should be built on the back of existing laws and regulatory bodies, or whether entire new regulatory infrastructures are required.REGULATION
  • For many involved in the debates, caution appears to be the best way to handle what is clearly a transition period, if only on the grounds of providing precedent, especially as broadcasters begin entering the world of telecommunications and the telcos begin involving themselves in content.
  • EUROPEAN UNION
  • Through the first half of 1998 it gathered opinions on a Green paper on Convergence issued in December 1997, which took as its starting point three options:
  • Building current structures
  • Developing a separate regulatory model for new activities, which would coexist with telecommunication and broadcasting regulation.
  • Progressively introducing a new regulatory model to cover all existing and new services.
  • EUROPEAN UNION
  • Among the general themes that arose from the submission was a strong preference for an evolutionary approach to change with the goal of creating a predictable regulatory framework that would encourage investment.
  • Two areas of discussion came to the fore:
  • Where should competition be applied and to what extent should it be balanced against sector specific rules
  • What new regulations, if any, should be applied to on-line services, especially internet?
  • UNITED KINGDOMThe UK is clearly opting for an evolutionary approach.While it acknowledges that convergence calls for new regulatory approaches, it believes that change is happening at a pace which can be handled through adapting existing regulatory bodies rather than starting again from scratch.UNITED KINGDOMIt does, however, have guidelines for handling change in its discussion of the issue, Regulating Communications:approach convergence in the Information Age issued by Department of Trade and industry, these are outlined as:
  • Greater coherence in economic regulation across all digital delivery media
  • Reassessment of the current regulatory distinctions based solely on the method of delivery to the consumer
  • Africa
  • What can Africalearn from the discussions on the regulation of convergence taking place around the world?
  • Should it be an Evolution or Revolution?
  • Should regulations be built on the back of existing rules and bodies or is a totally new approach required?
  • ISSUES WITH CONVERGENCE 1
  • TVs are consumer level devices, which mean that they have to be cheap (for the average person).
  • Being able to display the vast number of media types available today on the web (Macromedia, pdf, ps, RealAudio, RealVideo) will be expensive and challenging- you need a general purpose CPU ,RAM,OS etc. People will not be willing to pay, especially if they are not really going to use it.
  • ISSUES WITH CONVERGENCE 2
  • At this point in time, the TV and the WWW are fundamentally different – TV is a broadcast medium, with virtually zero interactivity, while the WWW is a “pull” medium, with a high degree of user interactivity required.
  • ISSUES WITHCONVERGENCE 3
  • Another reason why it was assumed that WWW and TV content may not merge is the proliferation of handheld, portable, wireless devices that let you take the WWW (information + entertainment) wherever you are.
  • ISSUES WITH CONVERGENCE 4
  • Personal vs. public – TV is an audience – based thing – many people can watch one movie together.
  • On the other hand, the WWW, and interactivity in general, is personal. One person may have very different responses compared to another, making it difficult for more than one person to surf the web together for extended periods, or participate in an interactive program, unless specifically designed for multiple players.
  • ISSUESWITH CONVERGENCE 5
  • Indeed while telephone companies look at the issue of internet, especially web-casting or cybercasting with concern, broadcasters on their part are concerned about the idea of sharing screen estate with internet content.
  • ISSUESWITH CONVERGENCE 6
  • There is also the issue of content regulation which broadcasting is subjected to but which internet is not amenable to complying with.
  • ISSUESWITH CONVERGENCE 7
  • Some Global System for Mobile (GSM) companies have aspired to provide broadcast content on mobile services. This has raised arguments of a cell phone company indulging in broadcasting without a broadcast authorisation.
  • In no distant future Digital Video Personal Recorders, DVPR’s, would be conjointly available with mobile phones.
  • A superior device, Digital Video Broadcast Hand held device DVBH, with phoning and internet capability is already available in the market.
  • CHALLENGES
  • The challenge for the Regulator(s) is to work in harmony to facilitate the possibility of their licensees’ ability to provide these value added services without any encumbrance of sectorial grandstanding.
  • The onus to work out modalities to enable the people they serve take full advantage of modern convergent services, lie collectively in the hands of government and the regulator(s).
  • CONCLUSION
  • With the transition to Digital Terrestrial Transmission, the importance of embracing broadcasting in a converged era cannot be overemphasized.
  • The Connected TV makes the broadcast viewing experience more engaging.
  • We need to constantly leverage and stay in tune with the dynamism of Technology.
  • Convergence will shape new policy and licensing regime.
  • Thank you for your attention!
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