The trend for the next few years is recognizable now: digital media is constantly becoming more and more important. The vision of a perfect blend of telecommunication technology, consumer electronics and the PC will soon be a reality. What's already become commonplace in many companies will soon reach private households: digital entertainment and information at-your-fingertips for everyone, whereby digital video isn't restricted simply to the transmission of television channels. Digital technology has helped to overcome the barriers between the different media, whether we're talking about a computer or television, a video recorder or a hi-fi system. In addition, it is possible for various devices to communicate with each other via digital interfaces without any loss in quality during the transmission.
The following guide will help you to gain a general overview of the current technologies, standards and applications that are available for digital video. Part 1 takes a look at specific application fields for home users and evaluates the market situation. Part 2 is concerned with companies. Part 3 is intended for technically-minded PC users looking for information about digital video formats and compression techniques. Part 4 contains a purchase guide with specific examples, according to application areas and prices. The last part of the guide takes a look at future developments and the use of digital video technology.