August 23, 2013

Korea Telecom to Offer IPTV Service

On Tuesday, Korea Telecom (NewsAlert) (KT) announced that it would start offering an HTML5-based Web service known as Olleh TV Smart. The service will allow viewing from any video-capable device, such as a TV, tablet, PC or smartphone.

By using HTML5, KT (NewsAlert) can support multiple platforms, and thus serve more customers. The technology allows users a more interactive experience.

A good example of this experience is how different watching a baseball game would be with Olleh. When a player appears on the screen, users can call up statistics, past games and other related information without waiting for the game announcers to do so. 

Image via Shutterstock

The technology can be applied to viewing an instant replay of any game activity on demand. KT is working on adding this technology to other sports as well as some non-sports shows including political, cooking or travel shows.

The service will add more features in the future. Interactive education channels, cloud-based games and music are expected in a few months.

KT will be working with Seoul-based Alticast (NewsAlert) to deliver the interactive television services for Olleh. Alticast provides technology that makes TV more interactive.

Seongnam, South Korea-based KT provides high-speed Internet and telephone services for landline and mobile customers.

Traditional TV watching has largely been a passive activity. For many viewers, the most common activity was to change the channel.

Making the environment interactive improves the viewing experience and opens up revenue streams for vendors. Instead of simply watching an ad for a product and filing it away mentally, users could access digital coupons that appear on screen and be scanned into a smartphone.

The concept faces some obstacles, however, as interactivity usually targets individuals, which doesn’t necessarily lend itself well to group activity. If a group of friends watches American Idol, and voting on a performer comes up, how would a vote be tallied if the group was split on who should advance to the next round?

In a way, interactivity is nothing new to television viewing as viewers have long been able to ‘follow along’ on their PCs or laptops. Many shows display relevant tweets from Twitter (NewsAlert).

What KT and Alticast have done is make interactivity more convenient by putting it and the video content available at the same time on the same device. If viewers adopt the technology, passive TV watching and the term ‘couch potato’ would become as obsolete as ‘dialing in’ is now.

Edited by Alisen Downey


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