A critical analysis of the most significant technological change in Canadian television history.
Digital technology has revolutionized modern television but what exactly has changed? The history of the digital transition is one of great scientific achievement, expensive failures, and significant political and industrial power struggles. In Shut Off: The Canadian Digital Television Transition, Gregory Taylor examines the technology, institutional players, and the policies that have shaped Canada's efforts to switch from analogue to digital television broadcasting.
Taylor shows how digital television is part of a global media movement by comparing the Canadian experience with the ways in which the digital transition has been managed worldwide. Shut Off is about more than television - the digital transition is also a precursor for new developments in mobile digital media. The wireless spectrum freed by the move to digital television is a multi-billion dollar public resource, whose auction is impending. The book reveals how digital broadcasting has been the site of dramatic change in the political economy of Canadian media, and questions the market-driven process through which the still incomplete transition has unfolded. Considering wide-ranging issues such as equal access and television as a public good, Taylor highlights public and institutional actors in the policy process to provide an analysis of government and industry.
Succinct and insightful, Shut Off is a timely assessment of a period of technological and economic upheaval in Canadian broadcasting.