Until now, the great digital switchover has not got me very excited.
I knew it meant that at some stage over the next five years, the other-half would have to give in and sanction the purchase of a shiny new High Definition television with all the extras.
In fact, the switchover is due to start next year in some locations, so by 2012 at the latest I'll definitely be viewing the world in mind-numbing clarity.
However the true glory of what is about to happen has only just dawned on me.
2012 marks the end of the captive audience and the beginning of the on demand revolution. We will no longer have to make an appointment with our favourite programmes at their convenience, but at ours.
More importantly, I'll never have to turn off the Test Match Special and be forced to watch Simon Cowell or whatever user-generated-content show is currently top of the ratings.
Virgin Media has an embryonic on-demand service which does currently ease my domestic prime time conflicts. Sky has its 'Anytime' service too, but both are limited to programmes they have negotiated suitable rights for.
Many of us have improvised our own pseudo-on-demand services with Sky+ and other Personal Video Recorders. But of course this requires premeditated viewing decisions.
The on-demand revolution will create a major headache for advertising agencies and brand marketeers alike. If the consumer is in total control of what they watch, it's unlikely they'll sit through a lengthy commercial break.
On-demand will mean you'll never being forced to watch an advertisement ever again!
Much of our traditional television content is now finding its way onto the web too. Many of the traditional broadcasters now have embryonic on-demand web based services too. Most of these services are marketed as 'catch-up TV' as time slots around 'first to air' content is still valuable advertising inventory.
ITV will soon be offering online simulcasts of ITV1, ITV2 and ITV3 programmes taking away that time delay.
Channel-5 goes one further, with its Five Download service allowing content to be viewed online up to a week before public broadcast (for a fee of course).
All have their own technology for doing this.
However, the BBC is in talks with ITV and Channel 4 over plans to launch a unified on-demand TV service. The aim is to enable viewers to download and watch programmes up to seven days after their original broadcast - no matter which of the three broadcasters they've come from.
It is being described as Freeview for the web.
The service is codenamed Project Kangaroo and although initially internet based, it will ultimately deliver on-demand services via the Freeview box too.
The reality is by 2012 it may not be necessary to buy that seven grand 52-inch plasma HD TV I've been dribbling over in Selfridges after all.
Sadly all I'll really need is big monitor for my PC and a fast broadband connection.
* Chris Tomlinson is head of digital at WAA (waa.co.uk). Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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