Contents | < Browse | Browse >
== TVI Interactive Viewpoints By: Duncan Fraser ==
Will interactive television be dominant on PC or ITV?
The interactive future which will be delivered by Cable, Telco or Satellite
systems will not necessarily need a desktop computer as the communications
component. People will prefer to get those services through their TV
meaning set top boxes which will be an important component of those
systems. (Set Top boxes are small electronic enclosures that attach to a
television and provide the intelligence for the TV to interact with an
information provider) Solutions that are designed today with the vision of
making them available for interactive television will provide those
companies who invest in them a head start in the information revolution
that broadband two-way communications systems could provide.
TVI Interactive Systems currently deliver Amiga CD32 CD-ROM entertainment
systems with interactive television based applications that bridge the gap
between the limited number of TV based systems and the promise of future
offerings. Our planned broadband interface will integrate with the current
system as services from the communications vendors come on line giving
users an upgrade path to ITV. The systems we deliver today include on-line
interactive banking and related products developed for VanCity Savings
Credit Union. VanCity is Canada's largest credit union with over 200,000
members and over 4 billion dollars in assets. VanCity will offer
interactive television banking early in 1995 to its 200,000 plus members
enhancing its other well regarded customer service options.
In a recent study by ALI (American Lives Inc.) for Hewlett Packard a sample
of more than 6,000 consumers pointed out that even the technologically
advanced would prefer interactive TV over a PC solution. This gives
VanCity's decision to develope interactive television based applications
another positive endorsement.
The ALI HP Report quotes: "On Relation to Technological Advancement"
" An interesting finding has surfaced in HP's recent focus group and survey
results. Despite what may have been the initial conventional wisdom
regarding technologically advanced consumers, the way that these early
adopters and innovators want to actually receive interactive services has
changed dramatically. These innovators, many whom have laptop computers,
fax modems, on-line services and other computer peripherals want
interactively through the television rather than the computer.
Survey respondents were categorized into four groups: laggards, average,
intermediate and innovators (based on the number of technological or
consumer electronics products owned and services used).
The market is at an early stage of development, so most people among the
whole sample (59%) did not know enough to compare the two or were neutral.
However, among those who had an opinion, ITV wins by more than two to one:
28% prefer ITV over the PC, vs. 12% who prefer PC over ITV.
Laggards: Not asked because they either owned no computer (or had no
plans to purchase one within two years) or had no cable.
Average: TV-35% PC-15% Don't know-47%
Intermediate: TV-37% PC-15% Don't know-48%
Innovators: TV-45% PC-16% Don't know-39%
Whole Sample: TV-28% PC-13% Don't know-59%
As far as desired applications for the innovator group, enhanced news
(which includes financial information) came out on top (again preferred on
TV vs. PC). Approximately 39% of innovators like enhanced news vs. 26%
of average respondents. Other desired applications by innovators included:
home shopping (35% vs. 21%), games (23% vs 14%) and education (22% vs.
This study allows us to conclude that developing interactive applications
with only the PC as a platform may be short sighted as they may be
superceded by TV based applications or need to be reworked for ITV.
The Amiga which is one of TVI's development platforms, lends itself very
well to creating these television interactive applications, due to the many
TV based graphics and interactive multimedia development tools available
for it as well as standard NTSC or PAL television outputs provided on all