What is Interactive Television?
Interactive television technology allows a viewer to become an active participant of TV programs instead of just sitting as a passive observer. Interactive television has appeared thanks to, on the one hand, experience acquired through using the Internet and long-term habit for the television.
Internet and television exist independently of each other. Either has its own audience. TV viewers are far more numerous. Though it is obvious that Internet users do watch the TV. This is may be the most advanced part of TV audience. Looking at the screen of a TV set and identifying it with a monitor such TV viewers are very likely to regret they cannot interfere with the program course, address questions to guests and presenters, and share their opinions. But if a viewer is given such an opportunity then the channel or a program audience could be expanded by many times. Nowadays we want not to just obtain information from the TV screen but have our judgments, reaction for events considered, see the reflection of our own ideas on the screen.
In the web a user can react on processes taking place in it, modify it and immediately see the reaction to modifications done. In fact it is interactive communication the television is deprived of. However television has its own strengths with information reason among the most important ones.
Any TV channel aims at capturing the audience and the number of viewers directly depends on quantity and quality of methods, i.e. information reasons. Throughout television history a lot of methods have been invented.
However we are not able anymore to perceive and process huge amount of data that provides continuously expanding information flow. Pace of the life is accelerating while time for information processing is decreasing and the volume of information is uncontrollably augmenting. Viewer will perceive only what is close for him/her, what he/she wants to learn. If information (including ads) is boring he/she will ignore it. Therefore messages in droves go by for nothing.
Interactive television allows removing all unnecessary and keeping only necessary, in other words, information can be customized, processed in the way it could find its consumer and reach those who need it. Moreover tracking interests and preferences of a viewer it is possible to select and prepare right information meeting his/her needs.
A dream of all advertisers is to provide viewer a possibility to shop at any moment. The biggest desire and strongest decision to buy some goods usually emerges while watching ads. After a while a viewer will already switch his/her attention over to something else. Interactive television makes shopping possible with a quick pushing the button at any minute for whatever number of viewers. Thus interactive television advertising has far more potential than the traditional.
In many countries interactive television is extensively used not only as a way of affecting the program being watched or as a way of instantaneous social poll, kind of a game (various TV quizzes and so forth) but in much wider terms. This includes on-demand delivery of content when any film or show available in a broadcaster’s database may be called to personal screen; video and audio conferences, services like booking air tickets and shopping at home; bank operations, education, learning and professional training, information, reference upon an audience member’s request, content of magazines and newspapers, game scores, television text and video text, ads, weather forecasts and so on.
Development of hi-tech and interactive broadcasting systems in Russia is closely related to a proposed new global approach implicating mobilization of all means of telecommunication for starting interactive and multimedia channels including telephone networks, mobile and other systems.
It is absolutely clear that developing strategy of further progress in broadcasting and telecommunication is unthinkable without comprehensive and fundamental addressing interactivity challenges.