Interactive TV. This Time We Mean It. Probably

from the let's-just-wait-and-see... dept

"Interactive TV" is one of those topics that people love to trot out every few years as the next big thing, and then quickly trot back in after each trial fails. Clearly, technology keeps improving, and part of the problem has been a television industry that seems to think "interactive TV" is really just "enhanced TV" where you click the big red button to get "more info" on something. Instead, people have gravitated to things like TiVo and the internet, and moved away from live TV. However, here it comes again. Last month we noted more tie-ins between broadband and TV, and now InternetNews is wondering (yet again, but this time with feeling...) if interactive TV is a killer app? They give an example of a new "Dinner and a movie" service being tested out where you can sit down to watch a movie and with a few clicks of the remote have a pizza delivered. It's not entirely clear what benefit this has over, say, the phone or the internet, but since it's in the TV apparently it must be much cooler. The thing is, we have an interactive system in our homes already: the internet. The TV is generally a broadcast medium. When people want to be broadcast to, they watch TV. When they want interactivity, they use the internet. Admittedly, some of the lines may blur, but this push towards interactivity (so far) doesn't seem like much more than yet another way for companies to try to sell to people.

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