Broadcast Networks creates interactive test facility for ITV

Systems integration specialist Broadcast Networks has completed an installation for ITV that allows the broadcaster to test its interactive service on SKY.

The new facility is based at ITV’s London headquarters and involves a Red Rat programming system and 60 set-top boxes that are fed satellite signals from their RF distribution system. The output of these STB’s is fed to two 52in Sharp LCD screen at full HD resolution. The screens are monitored by an interactive team whose job is to test the effectiveness of ITV’s “red button” service.

ITV1 launched on SKY Digital in 2001, and all 16 main regions are now available, making it possible for viewers to receive any programs on the ITV network. ITV2 is also available for those with a SKY subscription. This innovation has given ITV the ability to reach more than 20 million digital satellite viewers.

Interactivity is now widely used by broadcasters who want to directly involve audiences in program content. It is particularly relevant for advertisers that use it to create more engaging television campaigns. By pressing the red button on their remote controls, viewers can become actively involved with a product, service or brand. For advertisers, the function allows a return path that creates a two-way dialog with potential customers.

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