Colin's Journal

Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.

August 24th, 2003

Free TV on-line?

Greg Dyke has announced that all BBC radio and TV content will be made freely available online, a potentially very important development. While no details of how this will work have been released, it could alter the nature of TV in a fundamental way. The amount of content that will be included is truly massive if all archive material is put on-line, but even if only new programming is made available it will quickly grow to be a substantial archive. If the quality of the on-line archive is high enough (e.g. full screen DivX rather than small Real Audio) it could even become a more convenient way to watch TV than the more usual broadcast method.

Hopefully the BBC will provide encodings of their programs that are suitable for streaming, as well as higher quality ones that are suitable for downloading. They could even take the innovative step of using BitTorrent to reduce the cost of distributing their material (something I’ve written about previously).

It will also be interesting to see whether this move has much impact on DVD sales of BBC material, and whether the money received for sales to other countries will be reduced. It’s already possible for anyone in the world with an internet connection to listen to BBC radio online, and it might not be long before watching their TV output online will be possible.

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Copyright 2015 Colin Stewart

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