Digital television to drive e-commerce

Broadcasters will yet find another means to reap thousands more in revenue from viewers. That and more has only just been realised.
Written by Joe Rebeiro, Contributor
Broadcasters will yet find another means to reap thousands more in revenue from viewers. That and more has only just been realised.

by Spencer Ng, exclusive to ZDNetAsia

Singapore, 8 June 2000 - Digital television which merges the interactivity of the internet with the audio-visual capabilities of television will have the potential to generate more dollars for the broadcast industry.

A logo at the bottom of the digital television screen would generate huge amounts of advertising revenue. A click on an icon that appears on the screen of a digital television would enable e-commerce transactions, bringing home shopping to new dimensions.

In addition, a multi-window display will be able to provide viewers with news of weather, stocks and sports and a user interface (the screen itself) that can enable more data and transaction possibilities to be put up if the viewer so desires.

Besides offering value propositions to the broadcasting corporations and the advertisers, it also offers business opportunities to technology providers as the window for application development grows. As e-commerce finds another launchpad to propel itself forward, you can expect cannibalization of non-convergent technologies.

From the end-user's point of view, there will be greater flexibility in choosing the amount of interactivity that you want as you can view a program uninterrupted by extra data by simply clicking it away.

Power to the consumer
According to H Tholen, a general manager for Philips Digital Networks, "the user can now, through a rating device, upload his program preferences to the service provider who will then customise the program to suit the viewer".

So in addition to having the ability to view programs based on individual preference, individuals can have somebody else do that job for them.

Another benefit for the end-user is that as technology converges, "eventually your e-mail, television, fax and telephone might have a single gateway, which would also mean a single wire into your home, a uniform graphic user interface and even a single bill", said Mr Tholen.

One of the many benefits of (DTV) is its ability to give the viewer content on demand at a click away. But the problem lies in the fact that currently bandwidth is insufficient to support this technology for the mass market.

According to Dr Richard Chernock, senior engineer for IBM, the adoption of standards based on XML such as IOTP (Internet Open Trading Protocol) and OFX (Open Financial eXchange) would greatly benefit the deveolpment of e-commerce in the TV marketplace.

This would present the viewer with an easy-to-use and consistent interface to simplify transactions, just as a TV-user, unlike a PC-user, would not have a keyboard to key in complicated commands.

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