Digital, Interactive and Personalized Development Since 2000

Digital Television

Digital Television

Diversified and Personalized Development

Entering into the 21st century, new technology developed and people’s requirements and expectations for television-viewing experience also have changed. Multifunctional, interactive, personalized and smart television has become the trend for television development. During this period, digital and smart television are two innovations in television development.

The advent of digital television (DTV) is a great leap in television technology, which is closely related to the availability of inexpensive computers. Unlike cable and satellite television which uses analog signals to carry audios and videos, digital television uses digital encoding to transmit television signals (Kruger, and Peter, 2002). DTV has many advantages over analog television.

DTV has higher transmission efficiency than analog TV, since digital signals are much more compact than analog signals they take smaller space of spectrum then analog television and therefore they have more space to offer more programs for audience. Besides, digital signals are unlikely to be degraded when they travel along the spectrum, therefore DTV could provide high quality images and sounds. Apart from traditional television services, DTV could also provide more innovative services like electronic program guides, multiplexing, etc. ((Song, Yang and Wang 2015).

By providing more options and more services for individual viewers, digital television takes the market in China rapidly. China started to pilot digital TV in June, 2003, and according to the Chinese government's plans, by 2010 the existing cable television in cities above county levels in most areas of the country will be digitized. The analog signals within the country will be switched off in stages between 2015 and 2018. The development of digital television is both the result and the facilitator of the privatization of the television-viewing trend.

Before the 21first century, watching television is a family-focused activity in China. It is a tradition for the whole family to sit together in the living room and watch television programs. According to scholars Ruoyun Bai and Geng Song (2015) the 2000s witnessed a twin development of television. On the one hand the privatization of television viewing has been greatly intensified via mobile devices and the internet, on the other hand, there is a return of television to public spaces through digital billboards or mobile screens installed on public places.

The popularity of mobile devices and the development of digital encoding for television not only has transformed the way of watching television but also has profoundly changed the concept of television. Before the 21st century, when talking about television, images of people gathering around and sitting before a television set will come into our mind. But in modern society, when talking about television, there are multiple devices could be referred to, from public billboards to personal cell phones. As long as they could play television programs and broadcast television shows, they could be regarded as a form of television. Therefore, in the twenty first century, to watch and broadcast television programs is not the advantage for traditional television, in order to compete with other devices with similar functions and meet the requirements of the audience, television needs to explore new directions for its development. Smart television is an option for many television companies in the twenty first century. Smart television always converges computers, television sets and set-top boxes togehter therefore it can also be called as hybrid TV and it integrates the function of many other devices to make itself a multi-functional machine.

To meet the demands of the new generation and to compete with new technical devices, smart television seems to be a temporary solution to maintain its status until one day there is another great leap in television technology which could transform the way of watching television fundamentally.

To accommodate the development of digital technology and smart television, a new fashion of television viewing mode is becoming extremely popular in China, which is an interactive way of watching videos pioneered through interactive video websites. The interactive mode of watching videos now has been adopted by basically all large video websites in China and has been added into many television programs.

Digital, Interactive and Personalized Development Since 2000