Thursday, March 15, 2007

20 Seconds to Comply

This BBC article on whether HDTV should be available via Freeview ties vaguely in with something I was reading the other day on universal access to communication. The argument is whether everyone should be allowed equal access to technology X, or whether markets should decide.

In the article I read, the question was whether the state should push for universal access. The technology in question was internet communication.

In the article above, the push for universal access is being driven by a "group of broadcasters, retailers and manufacturers" - yup, all the corporations.

It's not much of a surprise, I guess. Each actor chooses the appropriate method for themselves in a particular context. All this talk of whether markets are more efficient overall or not is just smokescreen. Markets are only efficient when they benefit "you".

The funny thing is that a) nobody seems to be asking whether HDTV is needed, but then that's true of 95% of stuff today, and b) the consumers themselves are utterly confused by it all:
More than one-third (37%) believed that they were already watching HDTV. With only an estimated 250,000 HD boxes on the market, this is clearly not the case.
This mirrors confusion, uncertainty and general "do I need this?"-ness of the next range of video media - HD-DVD and Blu-ray. Why do I need to buy all my stuff again?

Many people still don't particularly care if they have analogue or digital. Why should they?

When did we get begin to be told what was important to us and what wasn't?

1 comment:

David said...

I rather quite liked the property of analogue signal to degrade linear with the reception quality. Meant that if I had interference, at least I could still get some sort of picture/sound. With digital, I'm stuck with MPEG compression errors, or fairly quickly no picture/sound at all. This is kinda important for me, especially as the summer rolls in, due to interference from French broadcasts.

(Hmmm Apparently I have a blogger identity. I'll be buggered if I know how. I blame being logged into google. Oh and blogger comments can't use the small tag :( )