Suddenlink Communications is now offering interactive TV (iTV) services in the Texas communities of Tyler and Bryan-College Station.
Among other features, advertisers in those areas can now superimpose special offers onto TV screens or subscribers can telescope into a commercial with their remote controls for more information. Suddenlink plans on rolling out the iTV service additional communities the company serves in the coming months.
Suddenlink’s “billboard” service allows advertisers to superimpose the promotional offers, or other news, to update their commercials. The telescoping feature prompts a program to start in Suddenlink’s VOD platform. A spokesman for Suddenlink said future features might include an option for viewers to use their TV remote controls to request information directly from advertisers.
The iTV service also includes voting and polling, which allows advertisers to garner feedback from customers during a TV ad by giving viewers the chance to respond to on-screen questions by using their Suddenlink remote controls.
Only Suddenlink’s digital TV customers will be able see the interactive TV prompts during the ads. Customers using TiVo boxes for their Suddenlink digital services and a few customers with older digital receivers, such as Motorola DCT1000 and DCT2000, won’t be able to see and use iTV because those receivers don’t support the specific type of digital technology Suddenlink is using for iTV.
Despite a wide base of deployed TiVo boxes, Suddenlink estimated that about 90 percent of digital customers, on average, would be able to see and respond to iTV prompts in certain TV ads.
Suddenlink didn’t say what technology, such as EBIF, or vendors it was using to deploy its iTV services.