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Last Updated: Monday, 27 November 2006, 06:04 GMT
How will we watch TV in 10 years?
Leading figures from the television world have given their predictions for how TV will evolve in the coming years - and what it means for viewers.

THE SCREEN STAR

Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais
We put out some free videos [online]. We just made little films, little sketches. But I don't think we could do that as a business venture.

You can't compete with great DVD and video. You can't knock up an episode of The Sopranos or 24 on a little handheld digital camera. I don't think you'll ever be able to sidestep TV or DVD, but TV companies will embrace it.

THE SOAP PRODUCER

Kath Beedles, Emmerdale series producer

Emmerdale series producer Kath Beedles
I love YouTube and stuff like that - but part of me thinks if you put that on telly, it would be like a slightly downmarket You've Been Framed.

You can get some gems and people who are picked up by TV companies because they've obviously got real talent, but there's a lot of dross out there.

THE BBC NEW MEDIA BOSS

Ashley Highfield

BBC new media director Ashley Highfield
You're probably going to end up with an evening's viewing which builds a schedule around you. It might be on-demand, it might be scheduled due to your age, or likes and dislikes.

Even within the same channel, we might end up watching different things based on recommendation engines and social software.

THE INTERNET PIONEER

Paul Cleghorn, Tape it off the Internet

Paul Cleghorn
The distribution in five or 10 years is going to be invisible. You're just going to get all this stuff on whatever device you want to watch it on.

I still think that's going to be the biggest screen in the house, which is the telly. There's a lot of people watching telly on laptops at the moment, but it's not a brilliant experience. You have to balance it on your knee.

THE PRODUCTION COMPANY

Tim Hincks, Endemol

Endemol UK creative director Tim Hincks
The rumours of the death of the big networks are exaggerated - as long as they change with the times. And they do represent quality and attitude that we need in an increasingly fractured universe.

In an on-demand world, they will be less dominant but their values may be exactly what we're looking for as we blindly feel our way through what's on offer.

THE VIEWERS' GROUP

Jocelyn Hay, Voice of the Listener and Viewer

Voice of the Listener and Viewer chairman Jocelyn Hay
For a huge number of people, their only leisure activity and relaxation is to watch something on the box at home at a time to suit them at the end of the day.

That need and demand will continue. It may be changed by video-on-demand, when people have access to an archive of programmes, or extra digital channels. But there will still be a demand, provided the quality is there.

THE VIDEO-ON-DEMAND GURU

Dan Marks, BT Vision

BT Vision chief executive Dan Marks
In 10 years time, TV is likely to mean something slightly different. Let's say - how will we be accessing our entertainment and communication needs in 10 years time?

It's likely to be from a wider variety of devices in and out of the home. That's key to it - at the moment there's one device, the television set, which dominates the consumption of entertainment but does a relatively limited number of things.

THE DIGITAL TV CHANNEL

Claudia Rosencrantz, Living TV

Living TV controller Claudia Rosencrantz
There's a revolution going on now with people able to do different things in different rooms and they can pursue different interests.

But I still think they will come together and watch television when the content is appropriate, and a sufficient volume of people will want to watch in the evening because they just want to relax.

THE RESEARCH ANALYST

Benjamin Lehmann, Jupiter Research

Jupiter Research analyst Benjamin Lehmann
The internet really now provides a feasible way to watch broadcast quality content for a growing audience who are spending more and more time online.

But there's no evidence that it will replace TV. The idea that even in the next 10 years things are going to change drastically is probably flawed. It's going to be a slow and gradual change as new media emerge.






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