Sunday, 2 June 2013

Developing Technologies in TV and Film: Interactive and Internet TV

The TV and film industries are rapidly changing especially with regards to new and developing technologies. In previous posts, I looked at satellite and cable television, the move from analogue to digital technologies in both film and television and now I will look at interactive and internet television.


Television and film are becoming more interactive with the aid of social networking and other emerging technology. Interactive television is becoming increasingly popular with many modern television having a ‘return path’ so not only can information flow from the broadcaster to the consumer but also vice versa. This means that people will be able to buy goods through their televisions, change the outcome of a television show (for example The X Factor and voting on who wins) and click on advertisements to find out more about a product or service that is of interest to you. However many are critical of such technologies because not only do they allow the consumer more freedom of choice and a viewing experience that is more clearly targeted at them but it also means that broadcasters are collecting information about the viewer.

NHS Direct run an interactive TV service where viewers can search for their local health services by putting in their postcode and they are testing the idea of having people able to book an appointment with their GP through their television. This can be good for homes without internet access and for those who have resisted new technologies as they can do it through their remote controls, a device they are already familiar with. However interactive TV is currently slower than the internet and many people still see the television as a source of entertainment rather than a means of interaction.

The internet has had a huge impact on the TV and film industries with close to a billion people now having access to the internet. In 2005 Google became the highest valued media company in the world and YouTube has become a huge viewing platform for people across the world. In order to stay competitive, TV and film companies have had to become more flexible and allow consumers greater choice in the way they watch films. To help combat film piracy from illegal downloads, there are now a huge range of legal ways to stream films over the internet such as the Lovefilm and Netflix subscription services. Similarly On Demand services from Channel 4 (4OD) are now also available on the internet meaning that audiences can watch what they want, when they want. Internet televisions will offer On Demand, live television and catch up television and may even have cameras that can watch the viewer and target adverts by their responses to others.

Next up I will look at High Definition, streaming and On Demand services. 

More in this series:

Satellite and cable TV
Move from analogue to digital technologies 
HD, streaming, On Demand, Pay Per View, Digital Recorders