Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Developing Technologies in TV and Film: Satellite and Cable TV

The TV and film industries are rapidly changing especially with regards to new and developing technologies. These are constantly being updated, created, developed and emerging and producers need to be fully aware of the implications of developing technologies on production but also on the way consumers are using the media. Audiences are often drawn to new technology as it gives them greater choice and better quality TV and films to consume. I will now explore some of the biggest developing technologies and how they affect the practice of producers of media content and the experiences of the audience.

Satellite television

Satellite television is delivered through communication satellites that orbit the Earth in space. Homes have a satellite dish in order to receive programming from providers such as Sky and Freesat. Sky started in 1989 and offered people a huge amount of choice compared to the standard four terrestrial channels on their televisions. It eventually merged with BSB to become BSkyB but was always a subscription service that meant people had to pay more on top of their TV license. Then in 2008 Freesat was introduced, jointly owned by the BBC and ITV. It gave consumers even more choice with over 150 channels and meant they did not have to pay a monthly subscription fee. People had to make a one off purchase of a freesat box but could also get On Demand TV and the ability to pause and rewind live shows.

Cable television
Similarly cable television services also offer viewers a greater number of channels (as well as many in High Definition). Virgin Media deliver their television through fibre optic cables which is fast and the same as broadband delivery. There are over 200 channels including Sky channels and the opportunity to watch 3D films at home. Like Sky subscribers, Virgin Media and other cable TV consumers will have to pay a monthly subscription and may even have to pay more if they wish to watch certain pay-per-view events such as live concerts or particular football games. This can be very expensive but gives consumers more choice and means they can watch big events as they happen.