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The Labour Party now in government is committed to deliver digital broadcasting for 95% of British people by the end of this decade. How important is this goal for our society?

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QUESTION - The Labour Party now in government is committed to deliver digital broadcasting for 95% of British people by the end of this decade. How important is this goal for our society? In today's modern society, the collective media are increasingly combining their resources to enable their content to be consumed through various means. This constantly increasing convergence has provoked limitless discussion, which has brought to light numerous benefits and drawbacks of, and has become the essential characteristic of, today's "New Media". This term, "New Media" can be quite indistinct. As more and more technologies are developed, that which was once new media subsequently becomes outdated and is no longer considered to be a contemporary form of communication. But, generally, when referring to new media, we refer primarily to the Internet, particularly the World Wide Web, and to developing digital technology. Digitalisation has become the basis of almost every form of contemporary media. This is a major transformation from traditional media, which used various analogue systems and were therefore, for the most part, incompatible. Now, the majority of media operates using the binary code of the digital system, and so the content of television, radio, the Internet, etc., can be easily amalgamated into larger, closely linked services. ...read more.


In effect, the consumer can create their own channel. Another key feature of digital television is the EPG, or Electronic Programme Guide. The EPG provides the viewer with listings of all channels and their schedules and a synopsis of the programme, along with other relevant information. A clear advantage of digital TV is the picture and sound quality that it offers. When viewing an analogue transmission, factors such as weather conditions, or a weak signal being received. This causes the picture to become "fuzzy", or to flicker among other problems. A digital signal is not affected in this way. Whenever a signal is being received, the picture and sound are clear and crisp. However, there are rare cases when the signal is effected by factors such as extreme weather conditions, and we lose the transmission altogether. But these are very few, and new technologies will be increasingly able to combat this problem, enabling a good quality picture to be delivered to the consumer at all times. However, for reasons unknown to the general public, the Government has been hesitant and uncommitted to putting the switchover to digital into action. At the minute, the UK leads the way in terms of digital technology and has the highest up-take in the world of digital television. ...read more.


We have, as human societies, dealt with these new problems and challenges in the past, and we will surely do so with the latest wave. It is, as always, up to us." Brian McNair, 'The Media: An Introduction', Briggs and Cobbley, 2002. I personally believe that achieving this goal of an analogue switch off and relying solely on digital technology is extremely important for our society as a whole. This achievement would preserve our place in the world as being at the forefront of modern technological advancements in broadcasting, which can only have positive effects on the state of the country's economy. Creating a nation of digital TV viewers and radio listeners will enable production companies to concentrate on supplying quality programming, and the opportunity to tailor specific channels to smaller niche groups. Consumers will have a wider choice of quantity as well as quality, as more channels will become increasingly available. Viewers can choose to watch or listen at times which are personally suited to their needs, instead of having to work around schedules dictated to them. Once the Government begins to put the digital switch-over into action the country's population should begins to see the effects and hence the multiple benefits they will come from it. And years from now we will reflect upon this time as we do on previous advances in technology, and future generations will learn of the 'analogue era' as a thing of the past. ...read more.

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