Source Pravda.Ru

3 billion dollars – to keep in step with CNN

Everything should be paid for, including digital television.

Right after the US which declared its intention to fully refuse from analogous broadcast and to go over to digital broadcast by 2006, Europe also started to speak about it. However, raging nature does not allow to Europe to think about digital television. But what about Russia which has nothing better to do than to think about television of the future? Moscow really occupies itself with this question.

The government should revise terms of introducing digital broadcast. This opinion was expressed on Tuesday, at the meeting with journalists by the director general of Russian Television and Radio Net, Gennady Sklyar. “If Europe goes to digital broadcast, while we remain in analogous one, this will be an enclave which cannot develop,” – Sklyar stated.

At the moment, introducing of digital broadcast in Russia is planned for 2014. Sklyar is persuaded that these terms “could be shortened.” According to him, a big state loan is necessary, in sum of at least 3 billion dollars. With these means, going over to digital broadcast is possible in 5 years. While speaking about development strategy, Sklyar noticed that on the base of already existing net, federal corporation net should be created which could secure all possible kinds of telecommunication services. The net will guarantee free broadcast of state TV channels and of the channels for which people will pay some user payments, RIA ‘Novosti’ reports.

And finally we have touched to the main subject – money. The necessary sum was called above. The state, Mr Sklyar says, should take a big loan. Though, who will pay it off? This is a secret. Apropos, in the United States, a year was necessary to receive the total approval of introducing digital broadcast. That was a problem of hen and eggs: equipment producers did not want to go over to production of new models while there were not so many TV channels, at the same time, broadcasting companies could not decide to investing money in creation broadcasting programmes while not so many people possessed digital TV sets.

Moreover, digital TV set producers stated that these TV sets would coast at least by $ 250 more expensive than usual ones. The debates could last for years, though federal commission on communications reconciled supporters and opponents of digital television, which issued an order prescribing to TV set producers to equip new TV sets with digital tuners.

The US government could be understood: going over to digital broadcast sets free analogous frequencies which are fully charged now. These frequencies will be set on auction, and the government accounts on receiving billions of dollars. So, there is profit and technical progress at the same time.

But what could Mr Sklyar offer to Russian citizens in addition to the prospect of buying a new and expensive TV set? Nothing, if I am not mistaken.

Yegor Belous PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Vera Solovieva

Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/08/13/45632.html

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