Interactive TV services

The British broadcasting regulator Independent Television Commission (ITC) differentiates the interactive TV services as:

  • Program-related services
  • Dedicated services

Program-related services

This refers to interactive TV services that are directly related to one or more video programming streams. These services allow users to:

  • Obtain additional data related to the content (either programming or advertising)
  • To select options from a menu, to play or bet along with a show or sports event, or
  • To interact with other viewers of the same program

Examples of some Program-related services are:

Electronic Program Guide (EPG)

EPG is a navigational device allowing the viewer to search for a particular program by theme or other category and order it to be displayed on demand. EPG helps people grasp a planning concept, understand complex programs, absorb large amount of information quickly, and navigate in the TV environment. The main features of this service are: Video Browser, Multi-Language Choice, VCR Programming, Noise filters and so on.

Pay Per View

Pay per view services provides an alternative to the broadcast environment; through broadband connections, they offer viewers on-demand access to a variety of server-based content on non-linear basis. Viewers pay for specific programs.

Dedicated services

These are stand-alone services not related to any specific programming stream. They follow a model closer to the Web, even if there are differences in hyperlinks, media usage, and, subsequently, mode of persuasion. This type of interactive service includes :

  •  Entertainment services
  • Information services and
  • Transaction services

Examples of some dedicated services are:

Interactive Games

Interactive game shows take place in relation to game shows, to allow viewers to participate in the game. These games allow users to compare scores and correspond by a form of electronic mail, or to compete against other players.

Interactive Advertising

Interactive advertising is synchronized with a TV ad. An interactive overlay or icon is generated on the screen, leading to the interactive component. When the specific pages are accessed, viewers can learn more about products, but generally, other forms of interactions also are proposed. Viewers can order catalogues; benefit from a product test; and participate in competition, draw, or play games.

TV Shopping

TV shopping is common both on regular channels and on specialized channels. Some channels are specialized in teleshopping. The chosen product is automatically displayed in the shopping basket. Viewers enter the quantity and the credit card number. Mixing elements of teleshopping and e-commerce might constitute a useful example of integration of TV and interactivity, resulting in a new form of interactive shopping.

TV Banking

TV banking enables consumers to consult their bank statements and carry out their day-to-day banking operations.

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