To be clear, “interactive TV” is a generic term we use to describe three categories of technology, described below.
1. Interactive Televisions:
Nearly all the major brands now offer some version of an interactive television, which essentially means that the TV itself is connected to the Internet. (You may have heard of Samsung’s Internet@TV or Sony’s Google TV, for example.) These sets are made for the interactive experience, allowing you to “enjoy the entire Internet on TV,” as the Sony ad says.
2. Set-Top / Add-On Boxes:
These add-on devices can be used in coordination with a non-interactive TV set. They simply connect to the Internet and expand the functionality of the TV in the same way. Popular brands include Roku, Apple TV, and Google TV. Game consoles like XBOX 360 and PlayStation have similar capabilities as well.
3. Service Providers:
There are also a wide variety of providers offering services for use with television, all of which fall under this umbrella of “interactive TV”. For example, Hulu and Netflix offer streaming video services, allowing users to watch movies and shows on demand. NBA Game Time and MBL at Bat, two sports app that give fans additional content like player stats, access to highlight reels and the ability to watch up live Games.
In many ways, interactive TV is still in its infancy. Many of us already have DVRs and on-demand viewing functionality. But the real potential for interactive TV is just making its way to the mainstream.
So, what does this mean for you? Well, as a consumer, it means television is no longer going to be a passive experience. So put down those pretzels and get ready for more options, more content and more action.
But, even more importantly, interactive TV gives businesses a great opportunity to expand engagement with viewers, creating an entirely new, exciting depth of experience. If you’re interested in exploring how your business can take advantage of this emerging technology, we’d love to
discuss it with you.