Ofcom foresees an entertaining 2028

If they haven't been axed by the Tories by then


Ofcom has been busy crystal-ball gazing again, this time plotting out what we'll be doing for entertainment in the year 2028, and how much radio spectrum we'll need to do it.

Besides the fun of futurology, Ofcom's predictions are used to establish policy. Last time it was health and transport, this year it's entertainment - which will apparently need a lot more radio spectrum, despite the fact that broadcast TV will cease to exist and the spectrum is all going to be utilised by the mobile phone companies.

The report (pdf) was compiled by a group of consultants under instruction from the regulator, and proposes three possible scenarios for 2028, with divergent spectrum requirements.

The first imagines TV viewers following broadcast schedules of HD-TV - with some in 3D - mostly broadcast over satellite but with a few terrestrial channels too. PVRs and the internet are used to catch up on missed episodes, but most viewers enjoy the shared social experience of having watched the same TV program last night. That might sound unlikely, but we are constantly surprised by the number of people with Sky+, TiVo or similar who still watch live TV when the broadcaster dictates it.

The second, slightly more optimistic, future predicts the internet providing most TV while satellite is used for live events. A household server is used to browse for content from iTunes or similar, which is then streamed around the house over wi-fi. The important bit here is the removal of the broadcaster almost entirely. Users get their content direct from producers or aggregators, such as iTunes: global suppliers who care nothing for local content or production.

The third option is similar, but replaces the home server with a mobile phone. Content becomes very personal and held in the hand. The report doesn't believe anyone's going to watch a lot of TV on their phones - users will link their handset to a big screen when they want to watch anything more than a few minutes long. Screen size is not the only issue for mobile viewing: apparently users are uncomfortable watching TV in public, as they are concerned they'll miss things going on around them, such as a mugger reaching for their bag.

You'll notice that the focus is very much on video viewing, a leaning for which the report makes no apology. Newspapers are in a quite possibly terminal decline, whilst live gigs are on course to supplant recorded sales as the biggest income for the record industry - perhaps as soon as 2012. So the future of entertainment is apparently in video.

Somewhat undermining their authority is the assertion, by the report's authors, that the cause of the decline in music sales is solely illegal copying. The fact that modern teenagers are expected to pay for mobile telephones, designer label clothes and knives, as well as the latest 45s, isn't considered pertinent.

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • IT staffing, recruitment biz settles claims it discriminated against Americans
    Foreign workers favored over US residents because that's what clients wanted, allegedly

    Amtex Systems Incorporated, an IT staffing and recruiting firm based in New York City, has agreed to settle claims it discriminated against American workers because company clients wanted workers with temporary visas.

    The US Department of Justice on Wednesday announced the agreement, which followed from a US citizen filing a discrimination complaint with the DoJ's Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER).

    "IT staffing agencies cannot unlawfully exclude applicants or impose additional burdens because of someone’s citizenship or immigration status," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, in a statement. "The Civil Rights Division is committed to enforcing the law to ensure that job applicants, including US workers, are protected from unlawful discrimination."

    Continue reading
  • Will this be one of the world's first RISC-V laptops?
    A sneak peek at a notebook that could be revealed this year

    Pic As Apple and Qualcomm push for more Arm adoption in the notebook space, we have come across a photo of what could become one of the world's first laptops to use the open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture.

    In an interview with The Register, Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V International, signaled we will see a RISC-V laptop revealed sometime this year as the ISA's governing body works to garner more financial and development support from large companies.

    It turns out Philipp Tomsich, chair of RISC-V International's software committee, dangled a photo of what could likely be the laptop in question earlier this month in front of RISC-V Week attendees in Paris.

    Continue reading
  • Did ID.me hoodwink Americans with IRS facial-recognition tech, senators ask
    Biz tells us: Won't someone please think of the ... fraud we've stopped

    Democrat senators want the FTC to investigate "evidence of deceptive statements" made by ID.me regarding the facial-recognition technology it controversially built for Uncle Sam.

    ID.me made headlines this year when the IRS said US taxpayers would have to enroll in the startup's facial-recognition system to access their tax records in the future. After a public backlash, the IRS reconsidered its plans, and said taxpayers could choose non-biometric methods to verify their identity with the agency online.

    Just before the IRS controversy, ID.me said it uses one-to-one face comparisons. "Our one-to-one face match is comparable to taking a selfie to unlock a smartphone. ID.me does not use one-to-many facial recognition, which is more complex and problematic. Further, privacy is core to our mission and we do not sell the personal information of our users," it said in January.

    Continue reading
  • Meet Wizard Spider, the multimillion-dollar gang behind Conti, Ryuk malware
    Russia-linked crime-as-a-service crew is rich, professional – and investing in R&D

    Analysis Wizard Spider, the Russia-linked crew behind high-profile malware Conti, Ryuk and Trickbot, has grown over the past five years into a multimillion-dollar organization that has built a corporate-like operating model, a year-long study has found.

    In a technical report this week, the folks at Prodaft, which has been tracking the cybercrime gang since 2021, outlined its own findings on Wizard Spider, supplemented by info that leaked about the Conti operation in February after the crooks publicly sided with Russia during the illegal invasion of Ukraine.

    What Prodaft found was a gang sitting on assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars funneled from multiple sophisticated malware variants. Wizard Spider, we're told, runs as a business with a complex network of subgroups and teams that target specific types of software, and has associations with other well-known miscreants, including those behind REvil and Qbot (also known as Qakbot or Pinkslipbot).

    Continue reading
  • Supreme Court urged to halt 'unconstitutional' Texas content-no-moderation law
    Everyone's entitled to a viewpoint but what's your viewpoint on what exactly is and isn't a viewpoint?

    A coalition of advocacy groups on Tuesday asked the US Supreme Court to block Texas' social media law HB 20 after the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last week lifted a preliminary injunction that had kept it from taking effect.

    The Lone Star State law, which forbids large social media platforms from moderating content that's "lawful-but-awful," as advocacy group the Center for Democracy and Technology puts it, was approved last September by Governor Greg Abbott (R). It was immediately challenged in court and the judge hearing the case imposed a preliminary injunction, preventing the legislation from being enforced, on the basis that the trade groups opposing it – NetChoice and CCIA – were likely to prevail.

    But that injunction was lifted on appeal. That case continues to be litigated, but thanks to the Fifth Circuit, HB 20 can be enforced even as its constitutionality remains in dispute, hence the coalition's application [PDF] this month to the Supreme Court.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022