Re: DIGITAL TV just around the corner

Gary Handman (
Mon, 12 Apr 1999 17:04:36 -0700 (PDT)

..just back from a conference last week. Read Stan's note, and, of
course, I can't help but
throw my snide 2 cents in, too (I guess that's four cents Canadian,
Oksana). I find no end to the hilarity in the fact that the industry seems
to be pushing another high tech delivery gew-gaw in the face of
pathetically atrophied content. One wonders: if one tenth the combined
price tag for rejiggering broadcasters and livingrooms for the brave new
world were pumped into national arts funding, maybe there'd be something to

Gary Handman

At 12:28 PM 04/08/1999 -0700, you wrote:
>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