TV world eyes digital future

It’s been talked about for years and finally it’s happening. Digital technology is not only revolutionising how and where people can watch television, but it is also re-shaping the industry.

And the host of new challenges confronting the TV industry look set to dominate the international MIPTV/MILIA audiovisual trade fair that kicks off here on Monday.
 
The brainstorming conferences that run in parallel with the frenzied five-day TV programme buying and selling spree are likely to be this year’s star attractions, industry watchers predict.
 
Some 12,000 senior executives from the TV, video, cable, satellite and new media worlds are scheduled to flock to this smart  Riviera resort, 5% more than last year.
 
"MIPTV featuring MILIA 2006 will be one of our biggest TV markets yet," Paul Johnson, television director for the show’s organisers Reed MIDEM, told AFP.
 
There are a number of premieres this year, including the first-ever International Interactive Emmy Awards, among television’s top prizes.
 
"This is the first Emmys to be staged outside the USA and confirms our efforts to stay ahead of the curve as digital technology re-shapes our industry," Johnson added.
 
Thanks to these latest digital advances, TV is leaping out of its box and on to PCs, play stations, mobile phones and even the iconic iPod’s latest video reincarnation. Hopes are high that these will all bring in new revenue streams,  but this metamorphosis is also catapulting viewers into the driving  seat, experts note.
 
TV fans increasingly will have greater choice and more control over what they want to watch and where, when and how to view it.
 
"The consumer will decide," FremantleMedia’s chief creative officer Gary Carter pointed out recently. 
 
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TV world eyes digital future