Advanced Television


Advanced television is an array of features enabled by digital technology that significantly change analog television as it has come to be known during the 20th century. The term "advanced television" was first used at the MIT Media Lab in the early 1990s to explain why High definition television was only an early step in the foreseeable enhancements to the medium. In 1996, David Weiss defined "advanced television" in his book, Issues in Advanced Television Technology to describe "an agglomeration of techniques, based largely on digital signal processing and transmission, that permits far more program material to be carried through channels than existing analog systems can manage." Today, advanced television can be characterized by four features: time shifting, addressability, interactivity and interoperability.Time shifting allows the audience to control when content will be seen. Digital video recorders (DVRs) and video on demand (VOD) are the two technologies that enable time shifting of television programming. In the US at year-end 2008, 29.8 million were DVR subscribers and 41.7 million households were VOD enabled. "In Singapore, the upstart mioTV(an IPTV service provided by incumbent telco SingTel) has a robust VOD offering that includes movies, local content and more than 50 popular US programs as early as 24 hours after the programs’ US premieres. Content is supplied on a subscription basis." Addressability allows the advertisers to direct messages to different segments of the audience; the audience can also self select the content and commercial messages they receive. Segmentation can occur at geographic, demographic, behavioral and self-selected individual household levels. Interactivity empowers the audience to respond to or bypass content; the advertiser and media can benefit financially from measuring audience response. Now television commercials can enable audience response to a variety of offers using the standard remote. The same response mechanisms that can be used to ask the audience for information or transactional responses can serve as the basis for consumer database marketing. And with that, it becomes natural for media advertising, relationship marketing, and promotion to converge.In India, "Dish TV allows a viewer to access information about their bank account and various banking products held at India's largest bank." Interoperability means that the same program and commercial content viewed using a television receiver can cross platforms and be viewed across a multiplicity of platforms/appliances, not just the TV, but also the PC, the mobile handset, the iPod, etc. From a technical standpoint, interoperability between media platforms "requires that all the media has to adopt the same fundamental compression scheme."

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