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2004 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.

links and notes
  Cultural highlights | Predictions made this year  
January 1  Italy begins digital terrestrial television (DTT) transmissions.  
January 11  Icelandic television service Skjár 2 (Screen 2) ceases transmissions after less than four months. [0066]  
January  Indian government abolishes excise duty of 16 per cent that has applied to pre-recorded Video CD and DVD discs.  
January  The first commercial EVD devices are launched in the Chinese market by manufacturers Shinco, SVA and Amoi. Shinco promises to release 1,600 titles—including some from Hollywood studios—during the year. > July
January  French government lifts the ban on television advertising of books, imposed in 1992 to protect the interests of smaller publishers. The book trade agrees to advertise only on cable and satellite channels. A similar ban on advertising of newspapers and supermarkets (to protect niche magazines and small shops) is also removed.  
February 2  Merger of Granada Television and Carlton Television is completed. The new company is named ITV plc. < 1993
March 29  Revised film classification scheme is introduced by the Media Development Authority in Singapore, adding an M18 rating. Film classification schemes
March  Internet service provider T-Online introduces an Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service, T-Online Vision, in Germany.  
April  Swiss government passes a law prohibiting the release of films on video before or during their theatrical run.  
April  Forward Versatile Disc (FVD) format is announced by Taiwan's Advanced Optical Storage Research Alliance, a consortium of 28 optical storage firms and the country's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). It can store 135 minutes of content on a 6 Gb single-layer disc and 11 Gb on a dual-layer disc.  
May 5  Icelandic television service Stöđ 3 (Channel 3) ceases transmissions. [0066]  
June 9  State television service in Turkey begins transmissions in Kurdish with Turkish subtitles. Broadcasts in Bosnian and Arabic (probably the wrong dialectal version) begin earlier in the week.  
June  Specifications for the HD-DVD ROM high definition video disc format are approved by the DVD Forum. It supports both MPEG-4 and Microsoft's VC-1 compression technologies.  
July 16  Parliament in Poland approves a new Telecommunications Act, replacing the law of 2000. [0049]  
July  The first titles in the EVD format are released in China. The target number of releases for the year is now 300. The discs cost twice as much as standard DVD. > September 1
August 11  Physical disc specifications for the BD-ROM (Blu-ray read-only memory) format for high definition video are finalised and published.  
September 15  Swiss cable television company 022 Télégenčve is renamed Naxoo.  
September 1  By now only 50 titles have been released in the EVD format in China.  
September 11  Law on Public Television and Radio Broadcasting is adopted in Azerbaijan. > 29 August 2005
September 28  US House of Representatives passes the Family Movies Act of 2004 as part of Bill HR 4077 ('To enhance criminal enforcement of the copyright laws, to educate the public about the application of copyright law to the Internet, and for other purposes'). The Bill is sent to the Senate. The Family Movies Act indemnifies technologies and companies that re-edit films to excise 'offending' scenes and dialogue, a practice to which the Directors Guild of America (DGA) objects. This has been amalgamated in HR 4077 with measures to prevent piracy, which the film industry supports. See details of the Bill and its current status here.
September  Tests of digital terrestrial television (DTT) transmission begin in the Baku area of Azerbaijan.  
October 13  French government passes a law to allow cinemas, theatres and concert halls to block all incoming calls to mobile phones and all outgoing calls except to emergency services. Israel and Japan already have such laws.  
October  US retail chain Wal-Mart offers impulse-buy DVDs at checkouts for $1 each. Content runs for about 75 mins and typically comprises three episodes of 1950s television programmes, such as Dragnet, The Burns and Allen Show, Sherlock Holmes and I Love Lucy. The discs, on the DigiView label, are made in Taiwan.  
November 17  Germany and South Africa sign an audiovisual co-production agreement. [0049]  
December 7  Swiss and French governments agree a new film co-production treaty. Because Swiss producers had found it difficult to raise the 20 per cent of total finance required by the previous agreement, the threshold is reduced to 10 per cent. In the period from 2001, the two countries have co-produced 30 films, accounting for 40 per cent of all Swiss co-productions. [0049]  
December 10  Augnsýn television channel begins broadcasting in Iceland. [0066] > 2005
December 8  Estonian parliament adopts a new Electronic Communications Act, regulating all electronic communications networks, including broadcast and cable television, but not content. Broadcasters still require individual licences and content of cable channels is regulated by the state.[0049] > 2005
December 22  French government issues a decree that preserves 21 sports events (including the Olympic Games, key football and rugby matches and the men's Tour de France cycle race) for screening on free-to-air television. [0049]  
December 23  Republic of Georgia passes a broadcasting statute, establishing two public television and three radio channels to be funded from a licence fee, yet to be introduced. Private broadcasters will be licensed and must pay one per cent of annual income to the National Telecommunications Commission, appointed by parliament.[0049]  
December 23  Albania's National Council of Radio and Television withdraws the broadcasting licence of private channel Shijak TV for non-payment of its 2003 licence fees and for alleged re-transmission of programmes pirated from foreign television channels. [0049]  
December  Video rental company Blockbuster ends charging fees for late return of rental videos. Instead the customer keeps the copy and has the difference between the sale price and the rental fees already paid charged to a credit card.[0081] < 2001 June
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Page updated 19 August 2010
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