interactive television

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A broad category of actual and potential television applications that opens up a channel of communication between the programme-maker and the viewer or develops the television along the lines of an internet browser through which viewers can order products and services and access information. Traditionally, interacting with television was restricted to choosing which programmes to watch, writing a letter to a broadcaster, or participating in a phone-in. Digital television has enhanced but not radically extended these capabilities. Some sports services allow viewers a choice of various camera angles filming an event. In the 1980s, teletext applications were introduced that allowed viewers to browse ‘pages’ of information such as channel guides, weather reports, and national and local news. Digital television has extended these facilities. In the UK, many programmes supply supplementary information accessed by pressing the red button on the remote control. In the 1990s web TV products were introduced, that afforded web browsing and email through the television, although it lacked mass-market appeal, possibly because of the difficulty of reading text on a standard definition television screen.

Subjects: Media Studies — Marketing.

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