TOP PAGE > P24 The Fusion of Broadcasting and Communications:Bringing TV Closer to Viewers

The Fusion of
and Communications:
Bringing TV Closer to Viewers

2000.12  BS digital broadcasting begins
2000.12 Bidirectional data broadcasting services using telephone modems begins
2003.12 Digital terrestrial broadcasting begins
2003.12 Digital televisions equipped with network connectivity function
2004.4 NHK Data Online launched
2006 "One-Seg" service begins
2008.12 NHK On Demand begins

Digital television includes functions for network connections allowing bi-directional data broadcasting, which allows televisions to connect to the Internet. As technology advances, television viewing will involve not only the broadcast program, but also additional content sent through telecommunications networks. We have entered the age of the convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications.

2000 -Service Available Anytime and Anywhere

Telecommunications for Digital Television

NHK's bi-directional data broadcasting services allow home viewers to participate in quiz programs and to be judges in the New Year's Song Competition program. NHK has been operating NHK Data Online since 2004, and the service complements its broadcasts with regional information.

Extending to "3-Screens":TV, Internet, and Mobile Phones

Mobile phones equipped to receive the One-Seg service appeared in 2006, and they spread like wildfire. Since then, people watching television on trains while heading home from work has become a common sight. With One-Seg on mobile phones, in addition to data broadcasting, information relating to TV programs can be accessed using the phone's communications functions.

Some 30 million homes have had ADSL and FTTH lines installed as of 2009. With advances in video coding, many video content distribution sites have appeared on the Internet, and it is now common for people to watch video on personal computers.

Hi-Vision can now be sent through digital communications networks. In December, 2008, NHK began a video-on-demand service called NHK On Demand (NOD). On the NOD, viewers can catch up the programs they have missed seeing for certain period, and also watch selections from NHK's program library.

New Media Enabled by the Fusion of Broadcasting and Telecommunications

Broadcasting is the perfect medium for distributing information to a lot of viewers. On the other hand, telecommunications allows information to be provided to individual viewers whenever they want and allows them to upload information. We are headed for a "3-screens" paradigm of using televisions, PCs, and mobile phones as we wish to get the information we want wherever and whenever we want.