Intertext Consortium Established to Promote Interactive Television System|
28 November, 1995
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation
Wink Communications, Inc.
NHK Enterprises 21, Inc.
Samsung Electronics Japan Co., Ltd.
Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
NEC Home Electronics, Ltd.
Victor Company of Japan, Ltd.
Pioneer Electronic Corporation
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
TOKYO -- A group of major companies from the electronics,
telecommunications and advertising industries will establish a new
organization, the Intertext Consortium, to promote and encourage
early development of a new interactive television system in Japan,
with the goal of starting such broadcasts in 1996.
The consortium will provide a forum for information exchange on the
new interactive TV system, originated by Toshiba Corporation, Sony
Corporation, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, Ltd. and Nippon
Telegraph and Telephone Corporation.
The new interactive TV system utilizes Japan's current terrestrial TV
and teletext broadcasting system and standard telephone lines, and
offers substantial advantages in installation and operating costs
over fully digitized interactive systems.
The Intertext Consortium will promote the new interactive TV system to
broadcasters, TV program production companies and advertising and
marketing companies both in Japan and overseas.
The interactive TV system will use software for interactive TV
applications developed by Wink Communications, Inc. of Alameda,
California, U.S.A. (President: Brian Dougherty)
- Examples of the New Interactive TVs:
The interactive television offers viewers a wide range of services,
including teleshopping, interactive quiz shows, opinion polling and
- In teleshopping, viewers can receive more detailed information and
order more easily than in conventional broadcasts.
- In entertainment, such as quiz shows, viewers can easily participate
by using the TV remote controller.
- In TV polling, viewer's opinions can be instantly researched and
tabulated by means of a TV remote controller to enter and send viewer's
- Outline of the Interactive TV system:
The system consists of an interactive TV broadcasting system, network
server, telephone lines and home-use TV receiver. The broadcasting system
consists of an interactive program production system, data storage system,
TV program transmission system and multiplexing equipment.
The new system utilizes data codes left unused in current television
signals to carry additional information. The information carried by these
codes is fed to a dedicated decoder in the TV receiver that executes the
commands that it contains.
This approach is based on the vertical blanking interval (VBI) data
broadcasting method, and works as an extension of Japan's current system
for teletext broadcasting. Using 4 VBI lines, information can be delivered
at a rate of approximately 5 kilobytes per second. The system also
incorporates a standard modem in its dedicated TV set or set-top box,
which both enables broadcasters to send additional information via
telephone lines and allows viewers to respond interactively.
TV makers will develop and commercialize TV sets that incorporate a
dedicated decoder and a telephone modem, and set-top boxes will also be
available for users who want to use such device with current TVs. Telephone
companies will develop networking technologies for interactive information