Within the vast spectrum of today's Information society, Television is
considered to be central to most people's domestic life and to the
cultural, socio-political and consumer awareness of people throughout
the world. However, it has been primarily a medium that is passively
viewed when a broadcaster wishes to make programs available.
The arrival of Interactive Television promotes the development of new
techniques concerning interactive television and devices that enable a
person to customise their television viewing and services
This is fundamentally changing the way the television industry has
operated over the last 50 years.
Interactive television or ITV (not the troubled broadcaster) is simply
defined as the meeting of television with new interactive technology. ITV
is domestic television with interactive facilities, usually delivered through
a back channel (see glossary). Equally importantly, interactive
television allows users and viewers to interact with the content.
Interactive television is also a way of empowering the previously passive
viewer to use television in new ways; these ways range from the World
Wide Web to Home Shopping; from Movies on Demand to Video
Telephony. The unifying factor is that television is central to the
entertainment, education, information, leisure and social lives of many
homes all over the world.