Interactive TV Service

EasyWare specialises in producing Enhanced TV (eTV) software solutions for digital TV. eTV enables the bundling of non-audio and video content with the normal broadcast stream. This gives the viewer a much richer viewing experience.

In order for a broadcaster to offer enhanced TV, its headend must be able to bundle the content with the audio and video stream and the set top box must be capable of separating the enhanced content from the audio/video content and display it on the TV screen, accordingly.

The best way to explain eTV is to show examples of what is currently being offered in places like the UK and the Unites States. Some of the most common enhanced eTV applications are:

(1) Multi-screen TV service: The screen shows different channels at once and the viewer can select and listen to one of the channels while still viewing the other options. Eg watch a film while keeping an eye on the football in a smaller window.

(2) Interactive program guide: A programme guide that allows viewers to search for content by title or actor's name.

(3) Reminder Service: An add-on to the programme guide that allows the user to set a reminder for a programme or set reminders for every programme in a particular series etc

(4) Education services: a number of educational institutions like the Open University have begun to use eTV applications to deliver educational services to its students.

(5) Games: A wide range of games from chidren's to adult' games can be made available via eTV.

(6) Play-along quizzes: (eg who want to be a millionaire) are also a very popular eTV service in the UK.

(7) Video on Demand and Near Video on Demand: are very popular and commercially successful offerings on the eTV system.

(8) tCommerce (eg TV shopping): This is still in its infancy in Europe and the United States, but there are plans afoot to push this service in a big way.

(9) TVmail: have not been able to take off for a number of reasons [eg the awkwardness of 'soft keyboards', the slowness of the system \nd the availability of other options] but has not been entirely rules out.

(10) Chat applications: Face similar problems as the TV mail application but has not been totally discounted.

(11) TV Voting: Both commercial and non-commercial voting services have proved a very popular eTV feature.

(12) Advertising: eg red button test drive requests for car manufacturers

(13) Differentiation and branding for broadcasters and content providers