Interactive TV

Pro Con
Hareesh Kesavan Mike Schroepfer
Edward Chang Li-Yi Wei

Bounds of Debate

Making observations on why TV as it currently stands is popular and why it will continue to be so I am not:
TV != CRT.
Definition of Interactive: Requiring frequent input and decision making from the participant

Pro : People want interactivity in TV

more and more people are spending time in the evening (after a hard day at work) on the Internet
obviously not everyone is so passive
broadcasters will try to outdo each other and offer new experiences to the public
  • key: with only a small back-channel, accurate RATINGS can be obtained
  • find out what people like, and charge the advertiser for your success!
  • why just block out certain levels of sex and violence? Why not actually dynamically "tune" the amount of sex and violence desired?
  • extension of this: tune the style (comedy, suspense, etc.) and direction of the plot while watching program
  • see more of the plot involving some "favourite" characters
sports (and perhaps action films!)
  • user-controlled instant replay
  • custom camera positions/angles
  • split-screen or picture-in-picture
Virtual reality
  • VR goggles and gloves -- more immersive feeling
  • play a character in a show - imagine the experience of being the detective (e.g. Sherlock Holmes), and trying to solve the mystery with only that which you see!
Information programs
  • News: select stories from headlines, and hit "Play"! - several levels of detail: headline, anchor's copy, field reporter
  • Do-it-yourself shows (cooking, home repair, gardening) - choose to explore certain topics more deeply, or targetting a different ability level - "explain this further", or "look up jargon in glossary"
  • Interact with information and people on Internet! - (Internet Movie Database)

Why passive TV will continue to be pervasive

Primary purpose of T.V. is entertainment
People have a broad range of choices to entertain themselves,
  • Web Surfing
  • Reading a book
  • Games (Video/Card/Etc.)
Yet TV is one of the most popular:
  • M.A.S.H, CBS, February 28, 1983, 50.1 million.
  • Week of Nov 9-15, 1998
  • ER 19.64 Million
  • Friends 16.00 Million
  • "By the start of the year 1993, 98% of U.S. households own at least one TV set, 64% have two or more sets."
  • Advertising Age
People choose it because it is passive:
  • Daily life is filled with stress, responsibility, and decision making
  • Television is popular because it allows you to escape all three
  • Even when you are tired and worn out you can watch TV
  • Has anyone ever stayed up later than they should watching a show or movie?
Because TV is passive it is a universal experience:
  • Allows everyone to share in the same experience
  • Becomes a cultural reference
Much of work in creating content is editing decisions
  • Movie cinematic effect
  • Touchdown replay
  • News
Interactivity is localized both in time and space
  • Uniform, shared forward channel
  • Allow tune in at any time(short context)
Is broadcasting most suitable for interactive content?
  • Internet ( unlimited scope and higher latency )
  • CD(DVD) ROM titles( bigger scope and low latency)
Push v.s. Pull
  • Interactivity will change broadcasting from "push" to "pull" and reduce the effectiveness for "broadcasting" information