Q1: How Interested Are You in Free Interactive TV?

Wellll... July 21, 2016
We asked folks to answer 10 questions about “Next-gen TV,” the consumer appellation for the TV content distributed via new technology from the Advanced Television Systems Committee, a collection of engineers charged with developing the nation’s over-the-air TV delivery standard. ATSC 3.0 promises interactive, non-linear and portable functionality, as well as support for 4K and other advanced audio and video technologies.

TV Technology asked a series of questions to gauge the level of interest in these advanced features. We had 101 respondents, 67 percent of whom work in “content creation, app development, media distribution or communications.”

Links for full results of each of the 10 questions follow the comments.
Synopsis: The overall response indicates positive but not enthusiastic interest in free interactive TV. Forty percent said they were “very” interested; 45 percent are “somewhat” interested, and 15 percent, “not at all.” Reasons vary, but the comments convey a general sense of interactivity fatigue.

  • Why???
  • I have all the interactivity I can handle, thank you.
  • I don’t want to be interrupted when I am watching programing. Commercials are distracting enough. All the “replace your computer with your TV” projects I have seen so far have failed.
  • Hasn’t the internet ruined us enough already?
  • I tend to be a passive viewer of television programming. Just not interested in “second screen” experiences, as I think it distracts from the narrative.
  • Happy to veg out when watching my shows. Unless I can win actual money playing “Jeopardy,” I’m good with my current system.
  • I guess without seeing it and understanding what it’s all about... hard to say if I’m interested.
  • It sounds interesting, but I’m uncertain of what equipment it will require.
  • I’d have to see how the interactivity is used to know if I will be interested. If it’s all advertising-based, I probably won’t be very interested. If it’s for polling and content feedback, I am much more interested.
  • Not being interactive seems unnatural.
  • I rarely use the pay TV interactive options so would probably not use them on free OTA.
  • Without this business model, TV is dead.
  • For me, television isn’t interactive, and wasn’t meant to be. Television at the basic level is news, local information, network programming with primetime fare and some televised sports. And at the most basic level, able to be received at home for no cost other than watching a tolerable number of advertisements.
  • It would depend on available features, like embedded links, etc.
  • I simply want to watch TV on my TV, and my only complaint with the service I receive is the decades long lip-sync error that for some reason the broadcasters can never fix.
  • Everyone forgets that television is an entertainment medium. More and more, a large part of the day involves digital. When we get home I think most working people still want entertainment without having to “think” or interact with the entertainment medium.
  • In today’s context, TV is not considered interactive mostly because of the lack of a user interface. That said, availability of free television on devices like phones and tablets removes those barriers.
  • I’m not sure how that would work in actuality, but it’s an interesting concept that should be explored.
  • Why not? With smart TV technology, there is a way to push links that could be clicked through that scroll across the bottom of the screen.
  • As a pioneer in interactive TV, I have always believed it will be a much more reliable and interactive experience than what we currently have!
  • We have the ability to interact with our shrinking world in ways never imagined even a decade ago. Television should be part of the new connectedness, which can only happen if we break out of our silo and connect with other systems. By connecting with other networks, we can leverage the strengths of multiple paths to create a new possibilities. For example, television is one-to-many, but one-way. LTE, the internet and others nets are two-way, but one-to-one. We create new possibilities when we use each for what it was designed to do best, but combine them in a was that is seamless to the user.
  • It would depend on how “interactive” it might be, and the extent of privacy-invasive tracking (cookies, etc.).
  • Cornerstone of democracy—if they would focus on their original educate, inform and enlighten public service core.
  • The ease of accessing the internet on a computer, phone or tablet will most likely be much easier than on a TV.
  • [It] would depend on the nature of the interaction and where I was consuming the content.
  • You got my attention at “free,” but I hesitate to jump right in on something new.
  • Sometimes we miss a show that is over the air and it gives a chance to catch-up.
  • I have tried the BBC’s attempts at this and they are very irritating.
  • I’m not sure there is a reason for it to be like the internet. That is what the internet is for. I’m more interested in great storytelling when I watch TV.
  • It depends on the content and the utility of the interaction... Normally, if I’m looking to relax and suspend my disbelief for a couple hours or binge watch a Netflix series, I’m not likely to whip out a keyboard/mouse or tablet to “supplemental surf.”
  • Not sure why interactive would be useful.
  • Television is entertainment. Interaction is work. Sometimes interaction is entertaining.
  • What’s the “back channel?” Isn’t broadcast TV one way?
  • I like relaxing when I watch TV. If I want to interact, I’ll use my computer or smartphone.
  • I would like it to show me other programs that might interest me.
  • Opens new creative ways to communicate, share ideas, tell stories... the list is endless.
  • I live in Portland, Maine, and signal levels inside houses are very low. Increased services would only benefit if signal levels increase.
  • There will always be the ongoing demand for RF frequencies, but OTA is in the public interest. Government, TV manufacturers and TV stations have been negligent in educating the public about the benefits of free television service.
  • I’m sick and tired of having to pay high rates for a cable system that forces me to pay for and get channels I don’t need or want in my home.
  • I only use OTA TV now.

  • All 10 Questions About Next-Gen TV...

    Q1 How interested are you in free television service that's interactive, like the internet? <- You are here.

    Q2 How do you feel about a free TV service that activates a device to deliver emergency alerts?

    Q3 How interested are you being able to view free TV on smartphones, tablets and laptops in moving cars, trains, or other mobile environments?

    Q4 How interested are you in the ability to move from TV to tablet to smartphone without missing a scene in a show or a play in a sporting event?

    Q5 How interested are you in a free Ultra HDTV service?

    Q6 How interested are you in a free TV service that provides immersive audio, replaceable dialogue and other advanced audio capabilities?

    Q7 How do you feel about advertisements based on data mined from your personal media usage?

    Q8 Would you be willing to buy a set-top box or other hardware peripheral to be able to receive free Next-Gen TV?

    Q9 How much TV do you watch per day? (Include TVs, tablets, laptops, PCs and smartphones.)

    Q10 Do you work in content creation, app development, media distribution or communications?

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