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Video Guide Part 1: Market Situation and Applications

Digital Television/Set Top Boxes - Part 2

Different means are available to receive digital television. Regardless of your choice, a set top box is necessary to receive it. The box is used to reconvert digital signals into analog images and sounds and to transmit these to a television, PC or another device. The type of set top box required varies according to the transmission type. There are devices for cable reception and satellite reception on the market which cost between $300 and $500. However, a box designed for digital cable reception can not receive digital satellite television (and vice versa). Currently the market is still dominated by set top boxes developed for direct broadcast satellites (DBS). HBO in the US and BSkyB in Britain offer part services via digital satellites already. US Cable networks like DirecTV or EchoStar will soon push cable set box boxes too. Models designed for terrestrial reception are under development in the US, Britain is already right on track for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT).

Digital TV images or data services can be received using Digital Video Broadcasting, whereby the reception quality is much better than that of analog television. Something else to pay attention to is the cost of use which is comprised of a monthly basic charge according to a set rate and a charge which is possibly dependent on the actual use (pay per view). Conservative estimates project that television transmission will be exclusively digital (and no longer analog) by the year 2008. The market share of digital user devices is then expected to be 95%.

Read Part 2 to find out how the market has developed for companies.