High definition digital television
The report by Messrs Forni and Pelchat seeks to determine the extent to which the probable deployment in the United States of fully digital high definition television systems represents a threat to Europe’s strategy and choices in this field. The conclusions reached by Messrs Forni and Pelchat are based upon one certainty and one observation: - The certainty is that the future looks fully digital, but the question is when this will come about. - The observation is that MAC D2, in spite of its undoubted qualities and its being ready to use, is failing to impose itself as quickly as it should if it is to be viable as a transitional standard. Notwithstanding this however, not all the problems have been resolved. There are in particular: - technological problems such as the development of flat screens, and the optimisation - for terrestrial broadcasting - of the compromise between picture quality, coverage and channel width; - commercial factors, resulting in particular from the cost of components. In any event, the NTSC (Never Twice Same Colour) system will be around in the United States until at least 2008. Against this background, the MAC D2 system still holds a trump card in its ease of encryption and in particular the fact that it is at present the only available means of broadcasting to the 16:9 format. Of course European broadcasters and producers cannot be forced to use this standard and format. At the very most they can be encouraged to do so. Therefore the problem today is that of financing the necessary incentive measures. The issue is an important one and concerns: - securing some return from the substantial investment already made; - the situation of our electronics industry; - applying the European Directive of May 1992; - finally, the future of the European "Eurocrypt" open encryption standard faced with the proprietary systems "Syster" (Canal+) and Videocrypt (Bsky B).
Short title:
HD digital television
Start date:
End date:
Project leader:
Office Parlementaire d´Evaluation des Choix Scientifiques et Technologiques of the French Parliament (OPECST)