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03.12.2013 14:39

Georgian television in 2020 – in the era of mandatory innovations



History of Georgian media is not long – of course, if we do not have recourse to the Soviet period. Content-wise and technically the media was progressing very slowly during the communist regime. It is very difficult to undergo any tangible changes in a non-competitive environment, being censored. But for the TV media - one of the leading media branches - continuous changes and innovations are the main preconditions of development. It was realized quite early in many countries of the world - in its civilized parts. Sincerely, what was there to realize, as the technical progress does not give ground. After all, today one may decide to watch a black-and-white movie just because of romantics or a coursework, but as for other reasons... Both the 3D cinema and HD quality represent the implementation of technical fireworks. The modern world hypothetically considers outdated understanding of time and space somewhere behind. The modern world has sunk in hipper-reality and also the society expects even newer innovations. One of these innovations was the digital broadcasting that nowadays is a common and necessary occurrence in many countries, but to us - yet a bit old-fashioned society - it still remains an unexplored innovation. And meanwhile, as I said, the digital broadcasting is an established fact, an obligation, the obligation of becoming a part of the world - a social part and not just an individual one. Well, maybe few are aware, but Georgia has taken on this responsibility - the responsibility of a swith to digital broadcasting.

A lot of people imagine Georgian TV in 2020 being the same as it is today, or was 5-10 years ago. However, after a while we shall confront the fact – the television will move to a new stage of development, the stage that is still unimaginable to us, and its viewers still don’t know what it would be like. Thus, shortly press a pause button of our TVs and ... Oops, if this function is not available by many of them, it’s OK too – just turn it off for a moment and think about our television’s future in the digital broadcasting, in the time, when, for example, even this function is going to be an ordinary thing.

At the end of the last century, development of innovative technologies provided appearance of a new system that is completely different from the old broadcasting technologies and offers new opportunities to its users. Analog TV-radio broadcasts operate currently in Georgia. The digital broadcasting uses new technical means to transmit and receive frequencies. The digital broadcasting is a technologic platform for creating a new reality. If detailed, according to the plan submitted by the Regulatory Commission, Georgia intends to use the Transmission standard DVB-T2 and Compression technology MPEG 4 standards for its switch to digital broadcasting. The broadcasting itself will be undertaken by the companies selected through tendering, equipped with broadcasting technologic equipment (Multiplex 1 and 2). However, I think, it is unnecessary to review in detail the technical data, especially if you are just a regular spectator. We just need to know that in 2006, according to "Geneva -06" plan of the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) many countries, including Georgia, became obliged to switch from analogue to digital TV broadcasting until the 17th of June 2015. Of course, we could simply neglect and not fulfil this obligation, but then somewhere in the future we would have to become surprised by Gutenberg innovativeness once again and re-invent a bicycle. And today, I think, nobody wants it to come like this.

Some way or other, Georgia will change to the digital broadcasting, also the television will unconditionally develop, frequencies will be loaded differently and we shall find ourselves in the desired hipper-reality. Beginning from the 17th of June 2015, only those users will not be able to receive television services, who receive the frequency through internal, external, or collective antennas. I meant that the people do not use satellite and cable television, i.e. new flexible resources (e.g., Silk TV etc.). Then these people will have to buy a small appliance. But, believe me, it's not going to be a very painful process, in the case that television services are going to become even more active in the market and the state shows some attention to fulfil this obligation.

I think, and we can already see that first of all such services as Silk TV, MagtiSat and etc will become active on the broadcasting market. They will try to become an intermediary in receiving the frequency for as many users as possible, so that they would not get lost and bankrupted in the digital broadcasting. A challenge of the television will be a public network, tailored to fit everybody, each person. The public network with its rewinding functions that is going to become more flexible and outdated at the same time. For example, my family already uses such a television service that is adapted to our time schedules, and not vice versa. I watch evening programs in the morning, when I have time, and my sister watches morning programs in the evening. Therefore, in today's world time is dead. But one obstacle still remains there - we only can watch the past material, whereas jumping ahead is still out of the question. It means that we haven’t killed the time yet, but I think in the future, somewhere in 2020, our TVs will have this option as well.

We all shall have our personal television in 2020. We shall be able to create a public network with our own hands, as well as a TV program and get rid of ugly broadcasts. Here, for example, I love animals, nature, and, using my RC, I pick up the programs with according content and put them in different time schedules. Later I sit there and watch nightlong the TV broadcasts, set in my personal corner. The digital broadcasting represents exactly this kind of innovations.

Another important direction of the digital broadcasting development is going to become its “internetisation”. In 2020 we’ll get lost in a virtual world. Our radios, TVs, mobile phones, tablets and computers will sink in an integrated, unified virtual world. We’ll all have our space - small or large, comfortable or efficient, and we’ll place there our music and video catalogues, news and photo-stories, time planning and love adventures. The TV will follow us everywhere – in the kitchen and bedroom, subway and by bicycling. So flexible are our television programs going to become.

Today Georgian television channels are already actively trying to introduce the digital broadcasting. However, it must be said that this process requires quite significant expenses. These expenditures are necessary, but I am afraid, in 2015 there will still remain the programs in Georgia not having this standard. Will remain and, most likely, get closed. For that reason I think that a lot of broadcast communications’ managers apprehensively look forward to the year 2015. This probably reminds them the biblical second coming to some extent, like in those days the TV companies would get chosen once more - some would stay on the side of future, and the others - remain in the past.  

Financial and technical resources, new frequencies and ways of their distribution are the issues that will play a significant role in the status of our TV in 2020. Some TV companies are most likely going to disappear. However, new broadcasters will surely appear on their spots. Some people would possibly laugh at, but, in my opinion, this is achievable in Georgian reality. But time is speeding up, the world is becoming more global, and if Georgian television stations won’t be able to keep up with them, other foreign channels might take their place. Hence, at least one manager will try to introduce new technologies, and he/she will be followed by another, and this one in turn will be followed by others more, and Georgia - with these TV programs or other ones - will in any case come to a new technological revolution, and multimedial and multilingual, integrated and global, and this time much more interactive channels. TV companies will try to find their target audience and become some kind of encyclopaedias to them. Changes will take place in the advertising market, public network – in short, everywhere we cannot even imagine or figure out.


Alexandre Keshelashvili







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