Overview

Lifesciences

Internet Technologies

Broadcast Technologies
and Content Management

Information Displays
and Speech Recognition

Wireless
Performance


The use, content availability, quality of viewings and configurations of television are changing thoroughly, as enabled by technological changes underway. Some of these technologies are already developed but not yet in use, and other technological advances are underway at stunningly impressive rates. The amount of consumer and content provider spending that will be sponsored hereby is of very major importance for all nations. There are any number of ways to invest.

Digital broadcast and digital reception of television has arrived in technological terms, but has been deferred for practical and political considerations. The Government mandate for digital broadcast has been postponed several times because broadcasters do not wish to begin before viewers have digital sets, while manufacturers of digital television ("DTV") sets do not wish to manufacture these before households can receive digital broadcast. A breakthrough of this chicken-and-egg stymie is as certain as the sun rising tomorrow. New life has been pumped into the DTV transition. As of summer 2004, 1,445 DTV stations were on the air, compared to fewer than 200 just three years ago. High-definition content is booming. Cable is now offering high definition television (“HDTV”) service to 84 million homes nationwide, providing clear, bright digital programming for the consumer.

The importance of completing the DTV transition is apparent when considering the immense benefits that will be provided by the major release of additional spectrum that the analog to digital transition will provide. The licenses for newly available electromagnetic spectrum will be auctioned by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") providing the funds to assist low-income consumers with the DTV transition. New and innovative wireless broadband services will be available to the consumer as wireless providers purchase the 700 MHz band. And, most importantly, a significant portion of the spectrum will be made available to public safety officials throughout the country. Use of this spectrum will assist first responders during national and local emergencies.

Digital broadcasting requires complex encoders to compress transmission of television, and decoders to rebuild images at receiving ends. Digitalization allows such manipulations, in turn enabling a great variety of upgrades. Resolution will be greater. Definition and color will be better. Software to make this happen is ready, and there is more on the way.

Perhaps most important of all, the television set will be used interactively. Cable companies have been planning this for years and they are launching such services now across a very broad front. Television sets and home computers grow ever more similar, and much of what one says about the TV set can also be said about PCs. Both will be able to receive much of the same content, by and large, and both will be interactive. The greater use will, we believe, go to cable and direct broadcast television.

Cable companies are more accustomed to supplying content than are communications carriers. The DSL line and direct television broadcast will make inroads into the use that cable might claim, now or potentially. Nevertheless, cable has the upper hand because of its established abilities to secure content and to sell and serve customers in an entrepreneurial, effective way. Viewers, through interactive devices, will determine what they wish to see. Content providers will broadly prosper. Advertisers will have a great new means of being interactive with prospective customers as well as a marvelous new tool to deal with interested persons.


 

 

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