– a very brief overview of emerging interactive
digital TV technologies
Peter J. Bates
t-learning Study Concertation Meeting 29 January 2003
• To look at how interactive digital TV
technologies might increase learning
opportunities in the home
Why Digital TV?
• Most ICT policies aimed are enhancing
learning are focused around the using a
• However, some evidence is beginning to
emerge that these policies might not be
widening participation to learning for
those not actively involved in learning.
• TV is a familiar device in the home
• Conduct a study into the state of the art of
t-learning – TV-based interactive learning to
the home in order to identify: -
Market trends in the uptake of TV-based digital
Alternative potential solutions for e-learning via a
TV – particularly for households that don’t have
access to a computer
Existing research into human learning and
cognitive processes and what additional research
What is interactive digital TV?
1. Broadcast/Scheduled TV
2. Personalised TV
Digital TV Market in Europe
Focus on “edutainment”
Limited use for more engaged learning
On demand learning
Big potential for informal learning e.g.
DIY, golfing, football, house and car
Eventually leading onto more formalised
Digital TV Equipment
Set-top box or an integrated digital TV
A remote controller and sometimes a
A method of accessing a digital service
A return channel (desirable)
Personal digital video recorder
Digital TV - accessibility
satellite - Sky Digital (UK), Canal+, TPS
(France), Stream & RAI (Italy)
digital terrestrial – formerly ITVdigital now
Freeview service in UK
cable - NTL and Telewest, UK
xDSL – broadband TV (modified telephone line)
Kingston Interactive Television, Hull
What is t-learning?
• TV-based interactive learning
• Having interactive access to video-rich
learning materials through a TV or a device
more like a TV than a personal computer
• Device would have to be a so-called
“consumer” device – which is easy to use and
as reliable as a television, a microwave or a
of a Learning Service
Interactive Digital TV
• Most of the technology solutions already exist
• Some are already used widely as consumer
devices but may have limited functionality
• Some have more functionality but are still too
expensive for the mass consumer market
Three “initiators of learning”
Curriculum-led learning - iTV is not the ideal
medium as it has less engagement and
involves competition for use of the TV
Problem-led learning - iTV may be best in
relation to problems in the home (e.g. home
health, cooking, hobbies). curiosity-led
For curiosity -led learning - there appears to
be a real opportunity, ranging from trivia
quizzes for the family and friends, through
collaborative educational games, to learning
journeys from TV programmes. (Mike Sharples, 2003)
Development of the Market
• Main problem – the business model that
is sustainable and replicable still needs
to be developed before digital TV
technologies solutions are able to create
mass market learning solutions.
Complexity of market
Availability of the following service and product providers
8 Publishers of video-rich interactive learning content willing to work in co-operation with education
and training service providers, in order to provide more localised or personalised interactive
7 Publishers of video-rich interactive learning content in the form of broadcast ”edutainment” or
personalised learning content.
6 Publishers of video-rich interactive content.
5 Distributor of an interactive enabled service.
4 Distributor of video-rich of digital content through many TV channels (broadcaster) or through a
personalised on demand service.
3 Devices that are capable of some form of interactivity – often software dependent.
2 Devices to convert the digital signal for viewing on analogue TV – hardware manufacturers.
1 Service carriers who operate broadband digital transportation infrastructure to the home that could
be in the form of delivery via satellite, cable, terrestrial wireless “over the air” or existing but
modified and enhanced telephone lines (xDSL).
• Not about just technology transfer, but
exploitation involves innovation transfer
to sustainable business models
T-learning Study Web site
Thank you for listening
Peter J. Bates
52 St Andrews Way