Re: DIGITAL TV just around the corner

Oksana Dykyj (
Thu, 8 Apr 1999 12:28:32 -0700 (PDT)

At 11:05 AM 4/8/99 -0700, you wrote:
>Supposedly the deadline for all TV stations to offer a digital signal is
>2006, although it is contingent
>on 85% of US households owning the new digital tv' it may take
>longer for the implementation.
>For those who can't afford it, there will be converter boxes allowing them
>to see a letter- boxed
>version of the new programming on their old ntsc tv's.
>Individual tv stations will have to spend several millions to upgrade.
>To keep up, it means purchasing new vcr's, tv's, cameras, satellite
>receivers, etc.
>So How does a college go about planning for this eventuality..????
My two cents (one cent in U.S. currency):
Quite frankly, I'm not very excited about it. I attended High Definition
Television demonstrations in the early 1990's and here we are almost 10
years later...

Like anything else, academic institutions will eventually change over as
required. It will ultimately be dictated by curriculum needs. In the best
case scenarios it will come as a result of consultations between the
instructional technology people, the media librarians and the faculty.

Because the technology changes so quickly, long-term planning constantly
needs to be revised. I recently visited a university that planned high-tech
language labs 5 years ago. The design and final implementation ended up out
of the hands of the people running it in the last stages (18 months), and
of course now that the labs just opened they need changes, updates, etc.
There is also the issue of convincing faculty members to rethink the way
they teach in order to incorporate the available technology. Some resist,
others embrace it.

In the mean time institutions replace equipment yearly. This year, here at
Concordia, there's some thought in purchasing digital 8 cameras as students
are already doing work in a variety of digital formats. We're buiying more
DVD players than we did last year but we're still replacing old VHS players
with new VHS players.

I've noticed that at the consumer level you can't seem to get away from the
digital sales pitch. In Montreal, our monopolizing cable provider is now
offering digital service in many areas, based on the fact that they
recently put in fiber optic lines in the streets. That's great, but my
apartment building has regular cable lines running from the street to the
apartments, so even if I had a digital tv, I would still have an analog
signal coming into my apartment.

Oksana Dykyj voice: 514-848-3443
Head, Visual Media Resources fax: 514-848-3441
Instructional & Information Technology Services
Concordia University
H-342, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W,
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3G 1M8