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Digitization and Media Convergence

Tanja Storsul and Anders Fagerjord


From the 1980s onward, media technologies have gone through a phase of digitization . CDs and digital music media replaced records and tapes in the 1980s and 1990s, and movies are increasingly being produced and distributed digitally. Newspaper production has become computer based and the news is distributed not only on paper, but also digitally on the web. Satellite television is completely digitized in many countries, cable networks are partly digitized, and in several countries terrestrial networks for television are being digitized. Furthermore, various models for digital radio are being tried out. And new digital media services, based on platforms like the web or the mobile phone, have become important in many parts of the world. Digitization is the process of coding signals as numbers. When signals are digital, computer technology can be and is involved in all stages of production, as well as in distribution and media use. One single computer can be used to create and consume variants of all media. An important aspect of digitization is that the boundaries between different media have been brought into question and a presupposition has developed that we are in an era of media convergence . According to Webster's Dictionary , convergence literally means “the act of … moving toward union or uniformity,” and is used to describe a number of phenomena: in physics, math, and ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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