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Summary:

While Interactive TV company ICTV cut the ribbon on its new office in San Jose, Calif., yesterday, don’t call it a startup. ICTV’s been trying to bridge the gap between the web video experience and TV for 10 years already. What’s really cool is that ICTV […]

While Interactive TV company ICTV cut the ribbon on its new office in San Jose, Calif., yesterday, don’t call it a startup. ICTV’s been trying to bridge the gap between the web video experience and TV for 10 years already.

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What’s really cool is that ICTV enables content providers to create interactive TV through the cable or IPTV set-top boxes people already have. There’s no need for the consumer to buy and plug in any additional hardware, and the interface can be controlled through the set-top box’s existing remote control.

ICTV works with networks including FOX, CNN and the Weather Channel AccuWeather to create specific programming that takes advantage of the interactive capabilities. These features are not added on top of the existing channel you normally watch, but are built from the ground up on an entirely new channel. For example, if you watch CNN on channel 55, you’d experience a clickable version on channel 257.

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On that interactive CNN, you’ll find a live video feed in the upper right-hand corner, just like the regular channel, but beneath it are a number of other choices. You can browse through a menu of other options such as sports, weather or entertainment news, and from there, choose from a number of stories on that topic, just as you would browse for video content on CNN’s web site.

The video options are delivered as standard MPEG streams via an on-demand infrastructure. The content programmer determines the video options through simple RSS feeds, so they can be updated and changed as often as they want.

ICTV makes its money by charging content owners like FOX or CNN to create these clickable channels. The content owners turn around and sell ads on these new channels. And since ICTV emulates a web video experience, the ads aren’t just passive, but can be clicked on in order to get more information or make purchases. The new channel also lets advertisers create a persistent ad (like a banner ad) that remains while the content plays.

While ICTV says it has a million subscribers worldwide, most of those are PCCW subscribers in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the service is being tested in small, undisclosed locations around the U.S.

ICTV is hardly alone in the interactive video space; we’ve written about web-based clickable video products from SeenON!, Asterpix, and Ooyala. But ICTV’s insistence on using video standards for programmers and existing hardware in the homes for consumers definitely makes them one to watch.

  1. [...] ICTV Creates Clickable TV Channels – NewTeeVee While Interactive TV company ICTV cut the ribbon on its new office in San Jose, Calif., yesterday, don’t call it a startup. ICTV’s been trying to bridge the gap between the web video experience and TV for 10 years already. [...]

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  2. [...] viewer can interact with the programming via standard remote, company says it’s first, but ICTV has similar technology. (emailed [...]

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  3. [...] Is Now ActiveVideo Networks Interactive television company ICTV (previous coverage) is officially changing its name to ActiveVideo Networks, a move aimed at reflecting the ways in [...]

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  4. Well, as if our society hasn’t become lazy enough, we almost won’t have to leave the comfort of our homes and couch when we can just click the TV to order. but still cool

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  5. [...] ICTV Creates Clickable TV Channels Posted by root 1 hour 2 minutes ago (http://newteevee.com) Ictv creates clickable tv channels newteevee while interactive tv company ictv cut if your comment doesn 39 t show up immediately it may have gotten caught in our trusty idg technetwork middot powered by wordpress com Discuss  |  Bury |  News | ICTV Creates Clickable TV Channels [...]

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  6. [...] TV interactive. There are some companies, like ActiveVideo Networks, that have been trucking along trying to make it happen for 10 years [...]

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  7. Greetings! The articles ICTV Creates Clickable TV Channels here are great. Thanks for having this site. I found it on Monday searching for samsung tv

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  8. [...] specializes in providing interactive TV experiences to cable set-top boxes and other consumer electronics devices, but the TAG Networks buy will add [...]

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