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Digital free to air TV: getting serious

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So how fast are people switching to digital, and how can the change be accelerated? What are the prospects for selling more widescreen TVs, set-top units, and other equipment? Will digital TV services attract more ads, and lead to better programs? Will the new features such as HDTV, interactive and enhanced programs lead the way? How will DTTB fare against alternatives, including: FOXTEL/Optus digital cable, DVDs, game consoles and even broadband program delivery?

The purpose of this seminar was to spread as much knowledge as possible about the progress of DTTB, and the prospects for extending it rapidly to the whole population. After years of effort, we are now at the point where people need to understand that it is real, with benefits for audiences, retailers, and the whole community.

To read discussion openers comments from the seminar click on the links below:

Session 1: STATE OF PLAY IN DTTB

  • Widescreen TVs, EPGs, STBs, HDTV: what's on the market and what are people actually buying?
  • What are the trends in audience takeup and program digitalisation?
  • Where is DTTB available, with what channels?
  • How do we compare with other countries?

Peter Webb, Consultant to DBA
Ian McGarrity, Director, IMW Media Services
Scott Lindsay, General Manager, Domayne

Session 2: THE NEXT TWO YEARS: DRIVING TAKE-UP

  • Equipment: what screens, boxes and consumer interfaces will be around; at what price?
  • Services: what will be in the next wave, and how will it attract viewers?
  • New digital-only channels?
  • Interactive, enhanced and even mutlichannel services?

Kim Anderson, Director Digital Services, Nine Network
Julie Flynn, Chief Executive Officer, CTVA
Christophe Cazes, General Manager, Marketing & Sales, Thomson Asia Pacific
Chris Winter, Manager New Services, New Media & Digital Services, ABC

Session 3: HOW TO PAY FOR ALL THIS, OR EVEN MAKE MONEY?

  • Will consumers pay more?
  • Will enhanced DTTB cannibalise analog TV?
  • What will advertisers do?
  • How will this affect production of programs and ads?

David Aspinall, Chief Operating Officer, Seven Network
Anne Parsons, Chief Executive Officer, Zenith Media
Nigel Milan, Managing Director, SBS

Session 4: WHICH DIGITAL PLATFORM WILL BE BIGGEST: FTA OR CABLE/SATELLITE?

  • Subscription digital plans, including retransmission
  • What will, and should, digital STBs be capable of doing?
  • Effect of HDTV, interactivity, fixed/radiated backchannels, PVRs and HD storage
  • Potential for an Australian version of the UK Freeview

Kim Williams, Chief Executive, FOXTEL
Bob Peters, Director, Global Media Analysis
John Porter, Chief Executive Officer, Austar


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