A Sample of The Program About Interactive Television and Related Technologies

Provided in the program are hundreds of learning points, each with reference hyperlinks. If you want to know more about a particular learning point just click on its reference hyperlink. Also included are numerous online demonstrations and relevant online video clips. There are no questions to answer and you work at your own pace.

Students take a multiple choice, true/false test if they want a diploma, (example of diploma)
(There is an additional charge if you want the diploma.)

The Below Sample is Taken From Section #1 (of 6 sections) of the Program,
Major Events in the History of Interactive Television

1) Reference - Winky Dink and You is often considered the first TV show to offer Interactive Television.

2) Reference - The first time someone on a telephone called in during a TV show is thought to have been during NBC's Today Show. That was in 1959.

3) Reference – Video conferencing pioneer Picturephone debuted at the World's Fair in 1964. It cost $16 - $27 for a three-minute call between the special booths AT&T set up in New York, Washington and Chicago.

4) Reference - Teletext is information and data made available via the unused VBI lines of the PAL & SECAM broadcasts. Teletext service can include interactivity and was the most popular form of early Interactive Television.

5) Reference - The National Bureau of Standards and ABC (the network) experimented broadcasting the time over the VBI television signal.

6) Reference - TV technicians were initially trying to offer closed captioning services when they developed teletext.

7) Reference - Teletext was developed by engineers from the BBC and Independent Broadcasting Authority.

8) Reference - The BBC version of Teletext was originally called "Teledata" but later it was changed to "Ceefax". It was based on a Teletext page containing 24 rows of 32 characters per row while the IBA version, called ORACLE (Optional Reception of Announcements by Coded Line Electronics,) allowed 22 rows of 40 characters per row. The Teletext system became operational in 1976.

9) Reference (optional) - Like Teletext, Viewdata (sometimes referred to as Videotex) provided a public information system, but there are significant differences between it and Teletext. This interactive videotex system was developed in the late 1970s by the telecommunications department of the Post Office. It was launched in 1979. Later the name was changed to Prestel.

10) Reference - Prestel data was transmitted to a set-top box via telephone lines.

11) Reference – Analog (analogue) Teletext technology does not work in digital televisions. There are no Vertical Blanking Intervals (VBIs) in DTV streams. (The Vertical Blanking Interval (VBI) can carry information other than video or audio, including closed-caption text and stock market data.) However Digital Teletext was developed which can deliver interactive TV advertising with hyperlinks.

12) Reference - Qube was the earliest commercial service to bring Interactive TV to homes in the States. Warner Amex, a joint venture between Warner Communications and American Express, developed Qube for cable customers in the later 1970s and was first offered in Columbus, Ohio in December of 1977. Qube offered 30 channels.

13) Reference (In the reference hyperlink, type in “Qube” in Pioneer Electronics' site search field.) - QUBE used the only manufacturer at the time that had developed adequate two-way (interactive) technology. That was Pioneer Electronics.

14) Reference (In the reference hyperlink, type in “Qube” in Pioneer Electronics' site search field.) - The idea for Qube came when Steve Ross, the president of Warner Communications, experienced a Japanese hotel's closed circuit Interactive TV system, which Pioneer Electronics in Japan had built. This was in 1975.

15) Reference - In 1988, the BBC broadcasts "What's Your Story?". It's a children's TV program where viewers were asked to call in to the show and offer suggestions on what subjects the show should be about. The best suggestions were used (presumably).

16) Reference - Downtown Digital was a 1990 partnership between Viacom and AT&T that explored and developed early American interactive television programming. Downtown Digital created programming for kids and gamers, as well as an interactive version of Entertainment Tonight.

17) Reference – 1990 - Canadian cable TV provider Vidéotron starts using its first Vidéoway terminals in Quebec (Canada). It’s been touted as one of the first interactive television systems in North America.

18) Reference – In 1996 an experiment using analog TV technology was carried out by the JWT agency and the cable provider Videtron. It showed that advertising using Interactive TV more than doubled viewer attention when compared with ordinary TV advertisements.

19) Reference - Videtron (Videotron) presented an interactive Kellogg's Frosties (the cereal) TV commercial, an Interactive TV milestone. It allowed the viewer to select different scenarios at different stages in the commercial.

20) Reference - In 1993 Bill Gates is said to have called Interactive Television "the wackiest race in the world".

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