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Surveys: Massive Changes Coming to TV Broadcasting

I found three summaries of two reports looking at the future of DTV in the United States. While the two reports each had a different perspective on the DTV transition, both show digital technology significantly changing the 50-year-old analog TV broadcasting business model.

An overview of one report, U.S. Digital TV: Think Outside the Box, on eMarketer, begins with the sentence, "The U.S. Digital TV report takes you on a journey into TV's 'Twilight Zone,' where everything is about to change, where families will no longer huddle together around a glowing box in the living room during 'prime time,' where programming will be 24/7, portable, on-demand and limitless." A chart shows that "Advanced Digital TV Households" will more than double, with 111.7 million households in 2009, and slightly less than half of these households watching HDTV, DVR or VOD-enabled services.

For broadcasters, Kagan Research released a book, 50 Ways for TV Stations to Profit From Their Digital Spectrum: Providing Datacasting, Multicasting and Multichannel Services. This report examines economic considerations and projects potential profitability for services such as datacasting, offering a nationwide digital library, public service and safety uses, multicasting, network programming, multichannel services through aggregators such as USDTV, and radio.

"There are literally hundreds of applications and thousands of customers who would be interested in the benefits of datacasting services," according to Kagan's summary of the book. The report notes that broadcasters have had difficulty getting must-carry rights for multicast programming. On USDTV type services it said, "The jury is out for broadcasters over whether such a service has any potential." It asks, "Can it get the financing? Will broadcasters commit to giving up a slice of bandwidth when capacity is becoming more and more of a precious commodity?"

For more data from the research and for availability and pricing information, click on the links above.