Tomw Communications Pty Ltd - Media Release

Interactive TV is Broadcast Industry's Worst Nightmare

26 September 2001, Canberra, Australia: A new interactive TV standard adopted by Australian free-to-air broadcasters may bring chaos to the broadcasting industry, according to IT consultant Tom Worthington. A Visiting Fellow in the Department of Computer Science at the Australian National University and Director of Tomw Communications Pty Ltd, Mr. Worthington presented at the Communications Research Forum, in Canberra today:

"Interactive TV standards will be the broadcasting industry's worst nightmare. By incorporating Internet and the web, iTV creates a trojan horse for deregulated digital broadcasting. This may be good for consumers, but creates major problems for business and for government regulators."

Australian free-to-air broadcasters have recently adopted the European Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) as the Australian standard for interactive TV. MHP is based on Internet and web standards and so offers compatibility and convergence between TV and the Internet. Mr. Worthington gave an overview of the technology, its business and policy issues. He argued broadcasters would have to understand the more open internet practices to survive.
As an indication of convergence in the electronic information fields Mr Worthington suggested that web and TV content providers should now look at converged content for TV set-top boxes.

"A few weeks ago Australian free-to-air TV broadcasters agreed to adopt the european Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) format for interactive TV (iTV). What few seem to have yet realized it this is based on the same Internet standards used for web pages. As well as a type of "super teletext" system for TV, this can also be used for multimedia documents on set top boxes. This can provide a new market for electronic content. With some minor adjustments to regulatory settings, this may rescue the Federal Government from its datacasting policy debacle, or cause it to sink further into the mire."

In 1999 Worthington was elected a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society for his contribution to the development of public Internet policy. At the Australian National University he is presenting courses on wireless Internet and web site design using the latest international standards.

Media Enquires:
Tom Worthington FACS, Email: tom.worthington@tomw.net.au Tel: 0419 496 150 International: +61 419 496 150
More details:

This media release with links to referenced material is available on-line at: http://www.tomw.net.au/media/20010926.html

TomW Communications Pty Ltd, PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia
E-mail: tomw.communications@tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150 A.C.N. 088 714 309

See also:

Web page by Tomw Communications Pty Ltd A.C.N. 088 714 309 - Comments to: webmaster@tomw.net.au