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.)
Sample is Taken From Section #1 (of 6 sections) of the Program,
Events in the History of Interactive Television
1) Reference - Winky Dink and You
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
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
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.
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.
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
"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).
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.
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.
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.
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
20) Reference - In 1993 Bill Gates is
said to have called Interactive Television "the wackiest race in the