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Digital TV / I Want My Enhanced TV / Experiments

Interactive television isn't really a new idea. Almost every television station sends data with their signals already. Closed captioning and descriptive audio are sent to millions of televisions everyday, but only a small percentage of the viewers actually see (or hear) any of it. These are a great benefit to those who can't hear or see the television, but they are very limited in their interactivity. For many households, the television is the most popular appliance. So, why is it less interactive than a $10 video game?

(older idea of interactive TV) In the 1980's, TCI and Time Warner tested out their own versions of interactive television on some test markets. Subscribers to their services could shop online, play games with people across town, and do a lot of the things we dreamed an interactive TV should offer. Most of the testers found the service very useful, but neither TCI nor Time Warner could cover the costs of operating the service while keeping the prices reasonable for the consumer.

Instead of using an external network connection, as these experiments used, digital TV is going to embed interactivity inside the broadcast signal. There is little cost in sending the interactive data out to every viewer with a digital television.

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