Monday, 11 May 2015

Grad Prog (13 May): Public Broadcasting to Internet Protocol / Screening "Awake In Your Dreams"

MedicCity UK, Room 3.17/3.18


Dr Marko Ala-Fossi (University of Tampere, Finland)

‘The Short Future of Public Broadcasting: Replacing Digital Terrestrial TV with Internet Protocol?’

According to recent European estimates, the life expectancy of broadcasting as a free-to-air television platform may not be more than 15 years. Both the BBC and YLE, the public service media companies in the UK and Finland – as well as the UK regulator Ofcom – have independently reached this conclusion in recent reports about the future of news, media distribution and digital terrestrial television (DTT). Although broadcasting is expected to be necessary at least until 2030, all three organizations assume that after that time DTT can be switched off and – under certain conditions – completely replaced with IP-based solutions for PSM delivery.

This is not the first time a new distribution technology has been expected to replace earlier one(s). Television was expected to replace radio, FM to replace AM, DAB to replace FM, etc. But so far the telegraph is the only communication technology that has been completely displaced by newer systems. In the light of retrospective analysis in this paper, the idea of IPTV taking over DTT is a more sophisticated version of this “black box fallacy”. Predictions of the early demise of the DTT are also contradictory. For example, in the UK Ofcom continues to support DAB digital radio broadcasting. The Finnish case is perhaps more straightforward as the spectrum for digital radio is used in clearing the 700 MHz band from DTT for mobile broadband use. But it is evident that in both countries the expectations of the growth of the mobile media ecosystem and economic profits are part of the force driving the latest version of an old idea.

Using a theoretical perspective combining new institutionalism and political economy of communication, this paper examines potential and existing problems in replacing one sort of socio-technological system, i.e. broadcasting, with a completely different one. There are crucial technical difficulties and normative questions also arise. Would it be possible to secure universal access to public service content on a common platform? Would new gatekeepers emerge with access to IP-related data on users’ identities and locations? How might data flows be tracked and managed? And how secure might such data remain?

430-530pm, Shemin Nair (Salford PhD sutdent)

Film screening and Q and A

Awake in Your Dreams

Laura needs a redemption from her haunting dreams.


Laura experiences her kid’s death in her dreams at the very same time it happens. But she can’t respond as she is in a state called as sleep paralysis. And she experiences a series of hallucinations and dreams. Louis tries to rescue her. The film has a surreal form and is non descriptive and non narrative.

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