Director of BBC New Media & Technology Ashley Highfield's View of the Digital Revolution

October 13, 2003
In a speech at the Royal Television and Media Society last week, Director of BBC New Media & Technology Ashley Highfield outlined his view of the digital revolution. The speech, TV's Tipping Point: Why The Digital Revolution is Only Just Beginning. Highfield's speech noted that digital TV has been based on the belief consumers want more choice of channels and programs. In his vision of DTV, it will not resemble today's television, but instead "will resemble more of a kaleidoscope, thousands of streams of content, some indistinguishable as actual channels. These streams will mix together broadcasters' content and programmes, and our viewers' contributions." The result of this will be the break down of the traditional "monologue broadcaster" to "grateful viewer" relationship, making traditional advertising and subscription models unviable.

Some of the technologies Ashley Highfield feels will drive the digital revolution are products like Microsoft's Media Center PC, Sony's new PlayStation with Internet and TV tuner capability, and advanced set-top boxes with built-in hard drives. One product in development is called IMP, the "Interactive Media Player," which has the ability to record programs in advance, stream programs live and download any contact the BBC has broadcast in, perhaps, the last week.

For a refreshing view of the future of DTV, take a moment to look at TV's Tipping Point: Why The Digital Revolution is Only Just Beginning.

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