Simon Crees <(Address removed)> said:
A Lords committee said today that all television should be broadcast via
the internet, leaving the airwaves free for mobile phones.
The government should draw up plans to have every channel, including
those from the BBC, broadcast over the internet, freeing up the spectrum
for other uses such as mobile phones, the House of Lords suggested.
"Eventually the case for transferring the carriage of broadcast content,
including public service broadcasting, from spectrum to the internet
altogether will become overwhelming," the Lords communications committee
said in its report on internet infrastructure.
In principle this is the beginning of a very good idea.
My neighbour has Talk Talk TV. It's a box, not unlike a Sky+ box, that receives TV over t'internet. (It's not available any more, superseded by the Youview box which operates in a similar fashion, but they've not given her one yet.)
Broadly speaking, how it works is that whichever TV station she wishes to watch, or whichever 'catch-up' programme she wishes to watch (from the beginning), it is streamed down the broadband line to her box and to her TV. If she changes her mind and zaps off to watch something else, then the Talk Talk server stops streaming the first thing and replaces it with her new choice. And so on. Yet, as far as she is concerned, her little remote is just selecting a different channel, just as it would if she was tuned via Freeview or Sky.
So, her total bandwidth for TV is only ever enough to stream one 'thing' at a time to her one box. She can also use other bits of her bandwidth for other internet purposes without either interfering with each other.
Now, if we assume that she, or any of us, has a requirement for a 'personal' bandwidth with this capacity or ability, whether that be through air (4G, etc) or down a fibre or wire, then surely it makes the general 'broadcasting' of TV stations through the air relatively pointless and redundant.
Ok, yes, there's the issue of remote places with crap or no broadband, fixed or mobile, but maybe these would be addressed by switching off the 'general' TV broadcasting that's occupying huge bandwidth using an outdated distribution method, in order to enhance the personal data capacity. Once we all have that capacity, there's no need for duplication by keeping through-air TV and radio broadcasting.
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