The digital dividend
THE DIGITAL TELEVISION buzz is getting louder. The trials have been completed and the switchover from analogue will get underway in earnest in Ireland next year. It has been described as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” that will not only improve television picture quality, but the quality of our lives by bringing high-speed broadband access to all and delivering a range of new and as yet unimagined technical wonders into our homes.
There are, however, unanswered questions. Three-quarters of Irish homes already have access to digital television through UPC or Sky Television, so one in four consumers will need a set-top decoder to convert the digital signal into high-quality pictures and sound. The decoders will come at a cost, and while it has yet to be determined what that will be, people are unlikely to have much change out of €100.