The Digital Media Manifesto



L. Chiariglione


A list of hurdles blocking the success of the Digital Media Revolution



The following is a preliminary list of hurdles. At this stage it should not be taken to be the result of a consensus, but more as a stimulus for further contributions.



Bit access

The provision of digital broadband to end users. Technologies to provide a bitrate capable of enabling end users to access the majority of DM are amply available but their practical deployment is stalling. We need to understand why this is happening.

Conflict of expectations

End users tend to think that DM should give them more, not less than they do today, as a minimum the same. Content providers would like to exploit DM to try new business models. Often technology, devices and service suppliers find it impossible to provide solutions satisfying conflicting expectations.


In many cases players on the value network require technology support to run their business. To retaini a level of control they often use proprietary technologies. While translation/adaptation/conversion is always possible, the cost of doing so may negatively affect the economic viability of the distribution system.


Content distribution involves a complex system where different players, bound by legal/business agreements and assisted by different technologies, operate to achieve the goals of the distribution. Compliance provides players on the value chain with the means to verify that each player operates according to the agreed rules. Setting up a compliance system is a remarkably complex undertaking.

Technology licensing

The ability to obtain licensing of standard technologies that is capable of supporting various business models. Today the standard development process is not capable of providing the flexibility necessary to cope with use of standard technologies for Digital Media.

Content consumption device

Today many DM consumption devices are part of closed distribution chains where devices are a part of the service provider offer. This causes market fragmentation and is one of the causes of the poor performance of some services such as satellite pay TV. A DM consumption device for protected content would remove fragmentation and provide wider access to content. Two requirements are: usability and interoperability.