Cover image for The inside story of interactive TV and Microsoft WebTV for Windows
The inside story of interactive TV and Microsoft WebTV for Windows
Feinleib, David.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego, CA : Academic Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxvii, 366 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
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HE8700.95 .F45 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Interactive Television is a budding, yet potentially revolutionary, technology application. The future of the Internet, World Wide Web, and television are marching towards a shared and interconnected future, where the Web and television will eventually be linked. In this book, David Feinleib tells the real inside story of the people and companies that took the risk to enter this next age of television and computer. Here you will find the insights of both the individuals and companies that are exploring this digital, interactive future. * First-hand accounts of industry veterans who made the decision to explore new forms of television and the Internet. * Complete narration of the adverse set of issues as told by advertising agency executives, producers of popular favorite television shows, and everyone in between. * Tells the evolution of Interactive Television, offers a technical reference to the new technologies involved, and details case studies of the cutting-edge companies that have begun to bring interactive content to the public today.

Author Notes

David Feinleib was the Microsoft program manager for the interactive television and data broadcast components of WebTV for Windows, a component of Windows 98, and for the Broadcast Server. He began his career in personal computers by writing shareware programs for Windows 2.11. At Microsoft, he started out as a technical evangelist in the Developer Relations Group and later worked in software development.

Table of Contents

Prologue / The Emmy Awards 50th Anniversary Essayp. xiii
Prefacep. xix
Acknowledgmentsp. xxi
Introductionp. xxiii
Terminology and Abbreviations at a Glancep. xxviii
Part 1 Business Case Studies, Interviews, and Narrativesp. 1
Chapter 1 Interactive Television Overview and Originsp. 3
Introductionp. 3
Enhancing Television Programs by Adding Datap. 6
The First Interactive TV Trial: Qubep. 7
The Full Service Network and Perceived Valuep. 10
The Mathematics of Enhanced TVp. 14
Interactivity That Workedp. 16
Exploring the Genresp. 20
Newsp. 21
Sportsp. 22
Documentaries and How-to Showsp. 23
Game Showsp. 23
Getting Startedp. 24
Pacific Bluep. 26
Moeshap. 28
Show Me the Moneyp. 30
F/X: The Seriesp. 33
Types of Interactivityp. 34
Chatp. 35
E-Mailp. 35
Backstoryp. 36
Buy It (Transactions)p. 36
Story So Far (SSF)p. 37
More Like This (MLT)p. 37
Working with Television Stations and Networksp. 39
Viewing Themesp. 40
Conclusionp. 41
Glossary: The TV Food Chain and Its Major Componentsp. 43
Jobsp. 43
Entitiesp. 44
Chapter 2 Tribune Companyp. 45
Questions and Expectationsp. 47
The Coming Horizontal Battlep. 47
From Repurposing to Prepurposingp. 48
The Vertical Blanking Interval (VBI) Projectp. 49
Business and Content Issuesp. 53
Bridging Cultural Gapsp. 55
Cross-Industry Cultural Gapsp. 56
Conclusionp. 57
Chapter 3 MSNBC Interactive: Telling Stories with Softwarep. 59
Start It Upp. 59
Bringing Independent Cultures Togetherp. 60
The Development Cyclep. 62
The Daily Schedulep. 63
Producing Great Contentp. 63
From CD-ROM to Interactive Televisionp. 64
Advertising and Storytelling: A Fine Balancep. 65
Chapter 4 NBC and Interactive Programmingp. 67
Enhanced Broadcast Group: A Historyp. 67
NBC Enhanced Broadcast Staffp. 68
Maximizing Existing Assetsp. 69
Broadening Our Scopep. 70
Creating Templatesp. 73
Schedules and Cyclesp. 74
Interactive Programming: From Infancy to Adulthoodp. 76
Chapter 5 Behind the Studio Gate: Why Interactive TV?p. 79
A Television Studio Primerp. 79
The Network-Studio Battlep. 81
Finding New Revenue Streamsp. 81
Key Questionsp. 84
Interaction: The Real Meaning of Multitaskingp. 85
The "Threat" of Interactivityp. 85
Interactive Television: Value for the Studio and the Consumerp. 87
Interactivity: When, What, Who, and Why?p. 89
What the Major Studios Producep. 91
What's My Motivation?p. 92
Chapter 6 Baywatch: A Tale of Two Culturesp. 95
Act I A Fairy Tale of a Talep. 95
Scene I Introductionp. 95
Scene II Once upon a Time at Microsoft ...p. 96
Scene III The Art of Slinkingp. 100
Scene IV The First Interactive Showsp. 100
Act II Of Buyouts and Delayed Launches ...p. 103
Scene I Enter the WebTVp. 103
Scene II Initial Obstaclesp. 104
Scene III The Importance of Distributorsp. 105
Scene IV Previous Interactive Experiencep. 107
Scene V Finding a Common Languagep. 108
Act III The Journey Beginsp. 110
Scene I Choosing the Episodesp. 110
Scene II Of Budgets and Promotionsp. 111
Scene III North to Alaskap. 113
Scene IV Alaska Anecdotesp. 115
Act IV Creating the Enhancementsp. 119
Scene I Back at the Studiosp. 119
Scene II Return to Realityp. 122
Scene III The Crossover Link Compromisep. 126
Act V Getting Down to Businessp. 131
Scene I Contract Issuesp. 131
Scene II Publicity and Testingp. 133
Act VI The Futurep. 133
Chapter 7 The Brand Dialoguep. 137
The Role of Broadcasters and Content Producersp. 137
Putting Technology to Usep. 138
The Role of Advertisersp. 139
Brand Management in a Convergent Worldp. 141
Conclusionp. 142
Chapter 8 The Message Is Not the Mediump. 143
Convergencep. 143
Market Conversationsp. 145
The Web as Conversation Hubp. 146
Facilitating Conversations as Marketsp. 150
Dividing Laborsp. 153
The Divine Awful Truth, Part IIp. 154
Good-bye Consumers, Hello Customersp. 155
The Roles and Rules of Televisionp. 155
The Roles and Rules of the Webp. 158
Funding Illusionsp. 160
If We Hurt Them, They Will Comep. 162
Marketing Returnsp. 166
The Killer Servicep. 168
The Need for Directory and Securityp. 169
The Metadirectory and Convergencep. 170
A Choice, Not an Addictionp. 173
Chapter 9 The Coming Convergence: Implications for Audience Measurement and the Media Industriesp. 175
The Historical Role of Mediap. 175
Convergence: What Is It?p. 176
Adopting the New Technology: Measuring Audience Trendsp. 177
Implications for the Media Industryp. 179
Advertisersp. 179
Advertising Agenciesp. 179
Content Producers-Broadcastersp. 179
Research Solutions for the New Agep. 180
Chapter 10 Digital Renaissance and T.A.G.: You Have a Story to Tell. So Do Wep. 183
Once upon a Time ...p. 183
The Digital Renaissance Historyp. 184
T.A.G., You're Itp. 185
Redefining the Art of Storytellingp. 186
The Medium-Tag Dynamicp. 186
Content Mappingp. 187
Casting a Larger Net: Broadcast, Multicast, and Singlecast Contentp. 187
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: When to Use the Fairest Authoring Tool of Them Allp. 190
Conclusionp. 191
Chapter 11 Data Broadcastingp. 193
New Kinds of Datap. 195
Web Content and Filesp. 195
Streaming Audio and Videop. 197
Tickersp. 197
Technology Considerationsp. 198
Broadcast Data Characteristicsp. 199
Conclusionp. 200
Part 2 Engineering and Technologies: the Broadcast Architecturep. 201
Chapter 12 The ATVEF Specification and the Broadcast Architecturep. 203
Common Standards: One Architecture, Many Platformsp. 203
Internet Protocolp. 205
WebTV for Windows Componentsp. 207
From Components to Displayp. 207
System Software Extensionsp. 208
Architecture and Implicationsp. 209
Data Lossp. 210
Data Navigationp. 211
Beyond the Set-Top Box: Harnessing Computer Powerp. 212
Conclusionp. 214
Chapter 13 Interactive Programming and the ATVEFp. 215
Interactive Content Streamsp. 215
Receiving and Displaying Interactive Content and Videop. 216
Enhancement Announcementsp. 217
Triggersp. 221
Data Filesp. 222
Dependenciesp. 223
Contents of the Interactive Cachep. 223
Comparison of Windows 98 Interactive Television Implementation and the ATVEF Specificationp. 224
Chapter 14 Server Overviewp. 229
Broadcast Serverp. 229
Components of the Broadcast Serverp. 230
Broadcast Routerp. 233
Multicasting and Tunnelingp. 234
Internet Channel Seerverp. 235
Interactive Television Authoring Toolsp. 235
Choosing Toolsp. 236
Interactive Programming Suitep. 237
Testingp. 240
Your First Enhancementp. 241
Recording to Tapep. 244
TV Crossover Linksp. 245
Hardwarep. 245
Service Guidelinesp. 245
Chapter 15 Using Television in Your Web Sitep. 249
Determining Whether WebTV for Windows Is Installedp. 249
Launching WebTV for Windows from Your Web Sitep. 250
Embedding Television Video in Your Web Pagep. 252
Tuning the Video Controlp. 253
Looking Aheadp. 254
Chapter 16 Everything Else You Need to Know About Enhancementsp. 255
Testing the End-to-End Setupp. 255
Beaconp. 255
Replicationp. 256
Redundancyp. 256
IP Multicast Addressesp. 256
Configuring Client Announcement Addressesp. 256
Before You Start Testing Enhancementsp. 257
Enhancement Cache and File Transmissionp. 258
Replacing Files and Timeout Valuesp. 258
Commonly Asked Questionsp. 259
Known Issues and Bugsp. 260
Useful Utilitiesp. 261
IP Multicast-Router Utilitiesp. 261
VBI-Related Utilitiesp. 262
Enhancement Utilitiesp. 263
VBI Inserter Overviewp. 269
Setting Up the Norpak Inserterp. 269
Conclusionp. 271
Part 3 Technical Case Studiesp. 273
Chapter 17 NBC Case Studyp. 275
The Interactive Content Evolutionp. 275
Making Statistics Graphicalp. 276
1998 U.S. Open Golfp. 277
Preparationp. 278
Bringing New Meaning to the Term "Armchair Quarterback": The Digital Playbookp. 279
Mixing Content Delivered through the VBI and Content Requested over the Webp. 280
Successful Content Elementsp. 283
The Road Aheadp. 286
Chapter 18 Case Study: Interactive Television and Tribune Companyp. 287
Our History with Interactive Televisionp. 287
Network Infrastructurep. 288
Database-Driven and Automated Content Deliveryp. 289
Contentp. 290
Streamsp. 296
Tribune's Enhanced TV Schedulerp. 297
Centralized Control of Multiple Stationsp. 302
Looking Aheadp. 302
Chapter 19 Case Study: MSNBC and Interactive Televisionp. 305
Prototypingp. 305
Target Platformsp. 305
V1 Specificationp. 306
Headline Tickerp. 306
Show Schedulingp. 307
Links to Personalizationp. 308
Standing Linksp. 308
Advertising Spacep. 308
Other Requirements and Opportunitiesp. 308
Interactive Teamp. 308
Schedulep. 309
MSNBC Interactive Service Overview and Goalsp. 309
Elements of the Servicep. 311
System Descriptionp. 311
Network Topologyp. 311
Data Flow from Feed to Broadcastp. 312
Data Flow from Data Sources to Feedp. 312
MSNBC Enhancement Pagep. 313
Enhancement Page Detailsp. 315
Conclusionp. 320
Chapter 20 Home and Garden Television, Food Network, and Do-It-Yourself: Making "How-To" Truly Interactivep. 325
Home and Garden Televisionp. 325
Responding to Viewer Needsp. 326
The ITV Agep. 328
Going Livep. 330
Promoting ITV and Measuring the Resultsp. 333
Food Networkp. 334
Looking Ahead: DIY, the Do-It-Yourself Networkp. 335
Glossaryp. 337
Contributorsp. 351
Indexp. 357