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The Future Of Interactive TV

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Interactive TV is becoming increasingly popular simultaneously with technological advancements in the television industry. Television manufacturers are now attempting to differentiate their modules to become more interact able to meet the forever changing needs of the consumer.

People now want everything instantly and as fast as possible. They expect to get access to the internet wherever and whenever they need. This means that they also want the internet and online features on whatever they can as well such as radios, phones, TVs, iPads, etc.

Changes in the Industry
All of the major television manufacturers are now try to create the best interactive experience through new and improved smart TVs. Smart TVs are trying to increasingly trying to integrate the web with television using a range of interact able functions.

The majority smart televisions can now stream their customer’s favorite shows instantly when they want through Netflix, BBC iPlayer, 4od, Lovefilm, itv player, and Channel 5 Demand. There is an increasing amount of people who now prefer to watch various series and films when they want compared to using traditional TV and tuning into their favorite shows.

Interactive TV is also placing the emphasis on its ability to share and show your favorite videos on YouTube without have to pass around your smart phone, iPad or gather around a computer screen. Social media is now becoming part of the viewing experience updating your friends on what you are watching and rating your favorite shows.

There have been great advancements recently for interactive options on your television. For sport you can now watch multiple matches simultaneously, get goal alerts, news. The BBC set up a great interactive service for the Olympics to watch any sport desired or switch between them speedily and easily. Interactive TV is becoming incredibly popular with big events like the Olympics or Wimbledon to enhance the viewing experience for viewers.

Viewers now want to fully engage with certain big events that are often being massively covered in the news and media. Even shows like the X Factor have an increased use for interactive TV, with the ability to vote or interact with each other through your television becoming increasingly popular.

The Future Possibilities
Interactive communities may become increasingly popular with the ability to interact with your friends and talk about various shows. Xbox for instance has the option to see what your friends are watching and communicate with them while watching the show. They have a virtual living room in which you and your friends can sit together with your created avatars and hang out online.

Multiple applications for smart televisions are an up and coming market because of the popularity and influence of smart phone applications. Microsoft’s Android technology looks set to capitalize on this market to compete with Apple in an application industry which they dominate. Interactive television has provided a great opportunity for them to meet the increasing merge of computers and television.

The Problem
The problem with interactive TV is that although the usage is increasing; TV apps are rarely used. The interact-ability can be awkward and slow with the remote control and can be frustrating to navigate across various app features. If there are also multiple people watching the TV, the interactive menu can be irritating making them opt to just watch live TV.

This means that the option of a hand held device like an iPhone, iPad, laptop, or mobile is a lot more appealing. The apps on these hand held devices are also taking over the traditional uses for the TV such as TV listings, recording programs, putting on reminders for your favorite shows.

Therefore, there is perhaps space and a need for television technology to improve in order to compete with the fast, smooth flowing functions of say the iPad. When interactive television technology becomes easier and quicker to use there will be plenty of advantages of interacting on a bigger screen compared to using a hand held device.

What do you think? Will interactive TV become increasingly popular and integrated into our daily viewing experience?

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James Duval is very enthusiastic about technology and writes various blogs with his expert opinion towards the industry. He blogs for Softel Subtitling who specialize in interactive television.

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