Internet Challenge To Television / Edition 1

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Overview

After a half-century of glacial creep, television technology has begun to change at the same dizzying pace as computer software. What this will mean--for television, for computers, and for the popular culture where these video media reign supreme--is the subject of this timely book. A noted communications economist, Bruce Owen supplies the essential background: a grasp of the economic history of the television industry and of the effects of technology and government regulation on its organization. He also explores recent developments associated with the growth of the Internet. With this history as a basis, his book allows readers to peer into the future--at the likely effects of television and the Internet on each other, for instance, and at the possibility of a convergence of the TV set, computer, and telephone.

The digital world that Owen shows us is one in which communication titans jockey to survive what Joseph Schumpeter called the "gales of creative destruction." While the rest of us simply struggle to follow the new moves, believing that technology will settle the outcome, Owen warns us that this is a game in which Washington regulators and media hyperbole figure as broadly as innovation and investment. His book explains the game as one involving interactions among all the players, including consumers and advertisers, each with a particular goal. And he discusses the economic principles that govern this game and that can serve as powerful predictive tools.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

Focusing on both the effects of government regulation on the television business and the economics of communication technology, Owen, a communications economist, presents insights in both areas that are refreshingly different from the mass of speculation recently published about the nexus between television and the Internet...Owen's book is recommended for anyone interested in the television industry or the economics of the telecommunications industry.
— B. P. Keating

Choice - B. P. Keating
Focusing on both the effects of government regulation on the television business and the economics of communication technology, Owen, a communications economist, presents insights in both areas that are refreshingly different from the mass of speculation recently published about the nexus between television and the Internet...Owen's book is recommended for anyone interested in the television industry or the economics of the telecommunications industry.
Harold Furchtgott-Roth
This book provides an insightful view of the evolution of new media technologies by the leading authority on video economics.
Kirkus Reviews
An instructive, if misnamed, volume on emerging technology in the fields of television, telephony, and computers. Owens, an economist, tends to approach his subjects with the issue of cost-effectiveness foremost. He treats his material methodically from both historical and prognostic points of view, covering radio as a precursor to television and making predictions on the success of high-definition television (HDTV). In the case of telephones and televisions, there is a further division into analog and digital subsets, and with television additional stratification between broadcast and cable media. Much of this discussion is quite helpful, and Owen certainly renders the technical jargon far more clearly than a typical owner's manual for a product does. For instance, he offers an instructive discussion on the origins of the word "broadcast," employing a comparison with "narrowcast" to underscore the importance of bandwidth to predigital and non-computer-based forms of communication. Similarly, Owens makes strong use of charts and diagrams to elucidate his contentions. His political stance, on those rare occasions when it can be discerned at all, is innocuously laissez-faire, criticizing both monopolies and government-sponsored protection of the industry. However, the study eventually sinks under the weight of too much material crammed into too slim a volume: confusion inevitably results, despite the helpful glossary. More importantly, the issue of convergence between television and the Internet—the very phenomenon that the book's title suggests is central—comes late in the discussion and is given short shrift. Owen seems somewhat behind the curve, predicting thattelevision/computer convergence is further off than it may actually be, though his points about the requirements for higher computer speeds and greater memory capacity are well taken. Despite its future-oriented hype, more useful as a historical text than a handbook for the 21st century. (53 line illustrations) .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674003897
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 388
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce M. Owen is the president of Economists Incorporated. He has written and coauthored many books and articles on the economics of the media.
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Table of Contents

Preface

PART ONE: The Basics

Television, the Internet, and Consumer Demand

Successful Media Technologies

PART TWO: The Analog Communication World

Nonelectronic Media

The Evolution of Broadcast Radio

The Tragedy of Broadcast Regulation

The Evolution of Broadcast Television

The Evolution of Cable Television

Early Direct Broadcast Satellites

PART THREE: The Digital Communication World

Understanding Digital Media

Networks and Pipelines

The Internet

The CB Fad: A Cautionary Tale

PART FOUR: Future Digital Media

Direct-to-Home Digital Broadcast Satellites

Wireless Cable

Digital Television

Television by Mail

Video on the Web

Conclusion

Appendix

Glossary

References

Index

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