Benefits of digital broadcasting

Plum and Farncombe developed for the GSMA a summary of the benefits of digital broadcasting that flow to players on the broadcast value chain.  The benefits for the broadcasting industry of the transition to DTT include:

  • An increase in the capacity of broadcast transmission networks by improving spectrum efficiency (i.e. more data can be transmitted per unit bandwidth)
  • Provision of better signal quality which increases robustness to interference and picture degradation
  • The support of HD services and interactivity
  • A potential reduction in transmission network energy usage
  • The implementation of single frequency networks (SFNs) instead of the independent parallel networks which are common in analogue broadcasting.

In addition:

  • The take-up of digital TV is likely to boost sales of TV sets and digital video recorders
  • Digital TV could lead to positive upstream benefits in terms of increased time spent watching TV and greater demand for digital content
  • In a competitive multi-channel, multi-platform environment, DTT provides opportunities for terrestrial broadcasters to address the challenges posed by pay TV operators and the Internet.

The report also addressed the issues around consumer benefits and the relative timing of producer and consumer benefits. The role of government support and intervention in respect of benefits was also addressed.