Thursday, 17 December 2009

Screen your calls

Verizon has launched a Caller ID application for the TV. The application which will be available on the FiOS TV platform enables TV viewers to see who is calling them in an information box in the corner of their screen. The information appears for several seconds allowing viewers to decide whether or not they want to pause the TV program and answer the call.

Caller ID is being implemented by an increasing number of operators and represents an opportunity to add value to an existing service in a competitive marketplace. It’s also another example of next generation widgets and applications being aimed at a TV audience.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Hybrid TV services on the rise in US

According to a piece of research by IMS nearly 55 per cent of all TV households in the US will have access to internet video by the end of 2010 and 25 per cent of these households will be capable of hosting internet video on the TV set.

As IMS Research consumer electronics analyst, Rebecca Kurlak points out, the games consoles are already addressing the internet video market with gamer demographics well suited to experimenting with new services such as Sky Player for the xbox.

Away from the games consoles, Connected TV’s have the opportunity to aggregate digital media from around the home into one device accessed via a portal. As the amount of content available increases, only a poor user experience can limit mainstream adoption by consumers.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Shop by Remote

Christmas is around the corner and what is the one thing we all do at Christmas? Shop! So, instead of travelling to your favorite department store, would you shop through the television?

In the US, HSN has teamed up with Comcast to roll out an interactive television shopping application to 8 million of Comcast’s users. TV viewers can browse for products that range from clothing to home products and electronics. Shoppers can then select the quantity, colour and size of objects using their remote.

With the average transaction time estimated to be less than 60 seconds, it looks like the TV is shaping up quite nicely for online shopping.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

HbbTV Marches On

IRT has just announced that it hosted the first HbbTV interoperability workshop last week and that version 1.1.1 of the specification has been submitted to ETSI.

Representatives from ANT attended the event and have commented that it was extremely successful. Live satellite feeds containing HbbTV signals, plus test feeds generated by IRT provided the framework for interoperability testing against 17 different applications.

The speed at which HbbTV has grown is great to see, especially as we have seen strong interest in our own ANT Galio HbbTV Platform. The submission of the specification into ETSI is another important milestone and demonstrates how well the group is working together.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Wikipedia on the TV

Vudu has announced that it has integrated Wikipedia into its service, meaning movie buffs can select the Wikipedia item from a menu to find out what the website has to say about the movie. They can then navigate through the website as they would on a computer.

It’s another example of how digital TV is being used to aggregate content from a variety of sources. OTT widgets and applications are paving the way for fully integrated TV services delivered over broadcast and broadband.

As more digital media content becomes available to consumers the user interface and user experience become increasingly important, understanding the different ways in which a consumer interacts with a PC and a TV for example is essential.