The Technological Development on Interactive TV

             The Web and the Internet are the latest technologies to be harnessed by companies trying to develop interactive television. This paper reviews the efforts of technology companies and broadcasters to combine television and the Web in their products and activities, and how users are already using them both at home. It reviews some research on the way that TV and the PC/Internet are used at home, and suggests some way that the Web could be integrated with television use. Unlike earlier interactive television projects, where the innovation was largely conducted behind closed doors and among consortia of companies, the innovation environment in which Web-based interactive television is being developed includes a huge number of existing users, technology and content suppliers who play an active role the innovation process. The concept of social learning is suggested as the area of development of tools to understand the process of technical, social and cultural change around innovation of this sort. In particular the idea of poles of attraction is introduced to understand why a huge numbers of supply side players and users are orienting towards the Internet as a possible solution to interactive television. 1. Introduction Of all the visions of the future of television (note 1), interactive television (I-TV) is perhaps the most radical and powerful. In this vision the ubiquitous television set will change from being a device to watch television shows or films into a home terminal for access to and interaction with networked interactive technology, programs and services. The possibilities and benefits of the technology seem self-evident, if only they can be made to work effectively and at a modest price. Many times we have been told to expect interactive television any day now. (note 2) However, after millions of dollars spent, and many pilots and service closures, most of us are still no closer to having interactive television than a few hundred searchable teletext pages, and some phone-in TV shows.

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