A Truly Interactive Mobile TV Test?

from the for-real? dept

Two things that haven’t always made full sense to us here are all the various attempts (pre-dating the web, even) of offering “interactive TV” that were really “enhanced TV” and the efforts to create mobile broadcast TV. On the “interactive TV” efforts there wasn’t any real “interaction,” but users could do a little bit more than simply sit back and watch. As for mobile broadcast TV, it might have some niche appeal — but in an age when people are used to time-shifting TV it’s a lot more limited. More importantly, mobile phones are communications platforms first. The main reason people are buying them is to communicate with others. The content consumption features are nice, but in most cases secondary. So, even as wireless companies rush headlong to offer broadcast TV over mobile devices, it would seem that more interactive solutions are more likely to catch on. That’s why it’s interesting to see what appears to be a test of a mobile TV offering that includes some real interaction. The test, taking place in Norway, is with a music television show. It has the “standard” interactivity of letting people vote, but will also let viewers communicate with each other. This may not be a solution that does eventually catch on, but it’s one of the first we’ve seen in a while that actually tries to take mobile TV further, by recognizing the core nature of the mobile device as a two-way communications platform.

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Comments on “A Truly Interactive Mobile TV Test?”

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Ivory Bill says:

Re: Why not just add the cell phone feature to our

The obvious solution to this specific problem is IPT over EV-DO…. but at least one provicer (Verizon) prohibits it. It will be interesting to see how long the prohibition lastss, as IPT is such an obvious solution.
Methinks that the prohibiton will last until Verizon (or whoever) has two competitors for high-speed wireless in a given coverge area. At that point, max revenue per subscriber will become secondary to just keeping the customer.

Perry (user link) says:


I worked at AT&T’s Downtown Digital (NYC) where we were building shows for the Florida interactive trials in the very early 90’s. To me, the content was always the weakest link. Until the “killer app” in interactive programming comes along ITV is something that will limp along and remain a footnote. The technology is there but why spend it on voting??? Why spend millions of dollars on ITV for voting when a phone call works just fine (American Idol).

When you really think about it, people can not do two things at one time. They watch, and then the google that Prada purse after the show. No one wants to stop the flow of the “moment” to do something else. Not at least with shows. If TV gets away from the “story” model then we may see the killer app eventually emerge. I’d say 20 years away at least. When you think about it, how successful is Web TV? I know no one who uses that service. Is it even still around?

Joe Snuffy says:

Re: Content

I disagree with yor statement, “When you really think about it, people can not do two things at one time.” I am almost always doing two differant things while watching TV. Usually surfing the net or playing BF2. Recently I started putting jigsaw puzzles together while watching TV. It’s not the “we” can’t do it. It’s that “you” can’t do it.

Adam says:

Re: Content

WebTV was a very successfull platform for a number of years as I was a subscriber. WebTV is still around but now better known as MSNTV which has taken their set top boxes to a broader user base by incorporating broadband into their existing platform. I no longer use WebTV/MSNTV since I started to need more capabilities only found in a pc environment. But I do know a few people that still use it for internet access. If you do a basic google search on msntv or webtv you’ll come up with many results with info and users who use the service and have built web sites of their own. But all in all it was just a cheap solution for internet without having the need for a computer.

Perry (user link) says:

Re: Re: Content

Please don’t miss my point. I can indeed walk and chew gum at the same time. However I only want to be ENGAGED IN one thing at a time. Sure I can have the tube as background like a cd or radio, but if I’m engaged in a movie or episode, I do not want to interupt the flow. Matter of fact, I tivo everything just so I can skip the ads for that very reason.

But that’s just me.

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