According to the Commission communication on 24 May 2005, the advantages of digital TV are obvious:
- Better picture and sound quality
- Better reception on portable and mobile devices
- More channels for TV and radio
- More efficient use of the radio spectrum, freeing frequencies for other services
There are also drawbacks, however. Only the most recent TV sets and tuners are ready for digital TV - other users will have to buy set-top boxes or new sets. The Commission expects this market to increase to 20 million units a year within the next five years.
The introduction of digital TV may also make it impossible to videotape movies and other TV programmes to watch them at a later date. Discussions are currently underway at the World Intellectual Property Organisation on the so-called broadcast flag, a form of digital rights management for TV, which would allow broadcasters of digital TV to determine exactly what a user may and may not do with a programme they are receiving.