VisionConsult’s Interactive TV report

Interactive TV Report



„Interactive TV“ is a report from the team that researched and authored VisionConsult’s popular „Internet @ Digital.TV“ and „Opportunities in Streaming Media“ reports. It totals over 290 pages and includes more than 100 charts, figures and illustrations.

Enhanced or Interactive?

VisionConsult reports on interactive results from all the key players, and considers the potential of various levels of interactivity, from „Enhanced TV“ (no return path, signals broadcast in the TV stream), to full interactivity. OpenTV is already in 16 million homes, and Microsoft TV claims it has 15 million committed to its platform. US interactive TV commerce is forecast to reach $4.4 billion by 2004, with US interactive households totalling 32 million by 2004, up from 5 million today. BSkyB is already generating interactive revenues at the rate of $120 million a year.

The report is rich with illustrations of the major interactive applications to date in the USA and Europe. Interactivity is at the earliest stages of development, but significant implementation has now been carried out, especially in Europe, and there is much to learn from.

Digital Industry Ecosystem

VisionConsult also evaluates the digital „Ecosystem“: Digital Cable, Digital Terrestrial and Digital Cable, each sector’s progress, the type of set top box and return path specified, and estimated roll outs. There are 20 million existing set top boxes in the market that could not be upgraded to the MHP platform, for example.


Find answers to the following questions:

  • What are VisionConsult’s forecasts for interactive TV penetration and revenues?
  • Is interactive TV likely to create revenues on its own, or should it be seen as a method to add value for subscribers, and thus to reduce churn?
  • What type of TV Commerce works best, links to TV programming offers or links to bricks and mortar sites?
  • What is the installed base of leading interactive middleware suppliers, such as OpenTV, MediaHighway, Liberate and Microsoft TV?
  • What have been the successful implementations for interactive TV for each of the leading markets and players
  • How many people have been using key services such as gaming, gambling and Internet access, and how much have they been spending?
  • Who are the leading service providers, who can assist broadcasters develop their interactive services?
  • What are the prospects for digital rollout in the USA, including satellite, cable and terrestrial platforms?
  • How much interactivity is being planned in the United States, and what level of sophistication is planned, or needed, for set-top boxes?
  • How has interactivity been achieved by digital terrestrial TV platforms?
  • How much interactivity is possible without a return path?

The report aims to assist management and business strategists (as well as Technical Management that needs to understand the market environment) in organizations including TV Broadcasters, Cable TV, Satellite, Regulators, TV Programming, Consultants, Financial Institutions, and Software, Hardware and Set Top Box companies.


Barclay Dutson

The research and editorial team has been led by Barclay Dutson, a founding Director of VisionConsult International. Following a career with Polaroid Corporation, he entered the new media field by undertaking research on the Sloan Fellowship Programme at the London Business School.
He was then appointed a Strategic Consultant for Channel 4 TV UK, prior to founding VisionConsult. Barclay is a frequent speaker and moderator at Streaming and New Media Conferences in Europe and the USA, and is a member of the International Webcasting Association’s Conference Committee, and Penton’s Streaming Media Europe advisory board.

Barclay is a veteran consultant, whose clients have included Aerospatiale, Astra, Avid Technologies, Central TV, Channel 4 TV, Chyron, Daimler Benz, Nortel, and Telenor. He led the team responsible for VisionConsult’s popular Internet@DigitalTV and „Opportunities in Streaming Media“ reports.
Barclay carried out interviews and research at IBC Amsterdam, Seybold Boston, NAB Las Vegas, and AIC’s European Interactive TV conference. Research was also undertaken in the Boston, Berlin and Paris offices.

Stephen Drayson

Stephen, a BA Honours Business Studies student at the University of Hertfordshire, has spent a placement year with VisionConsult researching Streaming Media and Interactive TV. He has reported on European TV Conferences, including IIR’s Interactive TV in London, and researched European Digital TV companies. He has assisted with forecast modelling and scenario developments in the report.