We are in the midst of switching to digital TV but UK households could face another change to their TV sets with a parliamentary inquiry now forecasting a second wave of switchover, but this time moving them from the airwaves to the internet.
The House of Lords have suggested that every channel should move to the internet, in effect freeing up the spectrum for other uses such as mobile phones.
The Lords committee said, “Eventually the case for transferring the carriage of broadcast content, including public service broadcasting, from spectrum to the internet altogether will become overwhelming.”
The proposed future move comes just months after most of the UK’s 26 million television households changed their TV sets from analogue to digital. The digital switchover has increased the number of terrestrial channels from 5 to 50 however the internet will allow for an unlimited amount of content to be transmitted, while also costing much less.
BT, TalkTalk, Sky and Virgin Media are advancing with the times and connecting more television sets to the internet while also offering on demand facilities.
Will TV be better off on the internet?
There is no doubt that the internet has changed the dynamics of music and publishing forever and it seems inevitable that it’s only a matter of time before television follows suit. In fact, we could go as far as to say that switching off the terrestrial signal will be the beginning of the end of television as we know it.
The popularity of TV over the internet is already a huge success. Last year BBC iPlayer was so successful that they received requests for nearly 2 billion television and radio shows. Even though internet based TV is still mainly watching on desktop PCs, smartphones, and tablets, they are generating much more traffic than they used to. In December, 7 million BBC programmes were requested via connected TVs, which was an increase of a massive 1000% on the previous year.
While many TV’s are now being built with access to services such as LoveFilm, eventually, televisions will probably have inbuilt internet connections as well as inbuilt digital recorders, thus eliminating the need for a box. In fact there are rumours that Apple are developing a new future of TV’s with this very aspect as well as a programme guide being stored online, the remote control becoming obsolete and the ability to use an app on our mobile phones to control the channel instead.
TV sounds like it has endless opportunities and limitless bounds if it moves to the internet and essentially giving us the power to choose for ourselves what we want to watch and when. We think it sounds very exciting and we can’t wait to see how TV will change with the times.