Interactive TV service now on

Interactive TV service now on
Melanie Reynolds The UK’s first interactive TV service is now available via NTL’s TV-Internet set-top box. The communication company’s service, delivered via a BT phone line, offers customers access to shopping, news, sport, travel and local information through their TV. A keyboard is available for sending e-mail. The service will be offered via digital terrestrial TV and NTL’s own cable network later this year. The service has been designed for ease of use. “The whole essence of what we’re doing is making the content feel like television,” said Jason Rogers, technology director. “It doesn’t look like small text and a million different frames like an Internet page.” The company intends to add games over its network from the autumn. “We’ve been developing relationships with a number of providers to develop games onto our set-top platform,” said Rogers. The network connection offers the prospect of multi-player games. NTL is already looking for enhanced set-top box performance next year to better display graphics and content. It is also seeking to improve the box’s connectivity using greater bandwidth ISDN, ADSL and cable modem lines. “We’re trying to drive the whole level of functionality up by exploiting the power of these boxes along with increased Mips and richer graphics,” said Rogers.


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