[opendtv] Re: NEWS: LG & Funai sign tru2way

  • From: Albert Manfredi <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2008 21:46:25 -0400

Andrea Venturi wrote:

> i'd like to present myself. my name is Andrea Venturi and
> i work in Italy, since 2004, doing interactive digital television
> solutions (more on it on google..)

Ciao Andrea. For the list's benefit, Andrea translates in English to Andrew.

> as you know, interactive tv in italy started in 2003, was
> based on MHP (the ancestor of GEM/Ocap/tru2way) and it
> has been heavily promoted by the Government with not
> that big splash.. :-|
>
> there are many reasons about the failure, and it could
> worth another post another day.

I have always believed that interactive TV is way oversold in the early years 
of DTV transition. This has been true everywhere, as far as I can tell. Most on 
this list disagreed with me when this was discussed years ago. DTV gets "sold" 
to the politicians by spreading half-truths, and confusing them to believe that 
"digital" must mean "interactive," just like the Internet. It happened here, in 
the UK, in Italy, in Brazil, just about everywhere.

I remember when the governor of Sardegna felt he had been betrayed when he 
finally discovered that true interactive OTA TV required a completely separate 
Internet (2-way) connection. And, of course, that wasn't free. He had been led 
to believe that DTT itself would somehow connect people to the Internet.

Once you provide a home with real Internet access, it seems to me that general 
purpose interactive service is better provided by a PC. But certain specialized 
services might be a different matter, of course.

> anyway, i was beginning to believe that the tv service
> was to stay a couch potatoes business forever when i
> heard about this OCAP commitment in US; many deal
> between hardware producers and cable companies, this
> marketing rebrand to bump up the cool factor. (albeit i
> really don't get the pun behind tru2play.. if you want to
> tell me)

First, the pun. It's tru2way, or "true 2-way service," I suppose.

But note that the topic of that thread was the availability of built-in 2-way 
cable reception from standard DTV sets. So as far as I can tell, the main news 
here was that an agreement is being reached to allow video on demand and 
electronic program guide to become available to TV sets directly connected to 
cable systems, without having to use the special STB provided by the cable 
company. This is not general purpose web surfing. In the US, cable companies 
have opposed this direct cable-to-DTV connection for a long time.

> what are you expecting from it? which contents, whih
> killer apps (gaming, infotainment, transaction) ?

TiVo is supposed to try out home shopping with interactive TV.

Games? I don't understand how a broadcast TV signal would be useful in 
multi-player games. That would be a lot of bandwidth for relatively very few 
viewers. Something like IP multicast, most credibly over a common ISP, seems 
perfectly suited to this, instead. So, connect a large flat panel TV to a PC, 
would be my approach for games. Just connect the PC to the RGB inputs of your 
LCD or plasma TV set. Done.

> i'd like to understand.. i'd like to think that, in Italy/Europe,
> we could get back from the US a new succesfull
> technology/business model that we could have been
> running five years ago, but it was just not the right time (or
> the right people..)

I think the US is no closer to the answer than is Europe. Let's see what TiVo 
does.

Saluti,
Alberto

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