The term "interactive television" (abbreviated to "iTV") encompasses the amalgamation of what are effectively contradictory terms; the medium of "television" directed at the masses and individual and configurable "interactivity". An iTV format combines both elements in an intra-medium concept.
Under "television" we understand the phenomenon of production, the transmission and the consumption of moving images in a broadcasting process. The latter is definitive here. It means that the same contents are made available to all consumers at the same point in time in any given volume. Television is thus a collective medium. The justification of the communication is one-sided, transmitted from the broadcaster to the passive viewer. The broadcaster decides on the timing and the contents of the transmission.
In contrast, the elements of interactive television are individual. They allow the viewer to co-configure the television experience. This can take place on the basis of the following fundamental concepts:
- Individual modification of the TV programme received
- Expansion of the communication model to incorporate transfers from the viewer to the broadcaster
- Integration of viewer contributions to the TV event
- Integration of the viewer into the TV event
- Interaction between viewers
- Creation of a "community"
These concepts generate vast potential for the creativity of both TV producers as well as TV consumers. Interactive television is becoming a complete cross-medial experience. The television programme stands at the centre, but the interaction spaces combine the living room, the scene and cyberspace. The viewer is transformed from a purely passive recipient into a participant. He is able to experience himself within the format.
Introduction to interactive television