ERIC Number: ED188214
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug
Reference Count: 0
VIEWDATA--Interactive Television, with Particular Emphasis on the British Post Office's PRESTEL.
An overview of "Viewdata," an interactive medium that connects the home or business television set with a central computer database through telephone lines, is presented in this paper. It notes how Viewdata differs from broadcast Teletext systems and reviews the technical aspects of the two media to clarify terminology used in the systems. The paper suggests, for example, that although Viewdata is marketed as an "interactive" medium, the degree of interaction so far available on the system is still limited. The development of Prestel, a Viewdata system used by the British Post Office, is discussed in detail, and its technical characteristics are described. Some of the problems encountered in introducing the system in Great Britain are considered and the relevance of those problems to efforts to market the system in the United States are discussed. The paper questions whether the need for the medium has yet been demonstrated beyond the speculations of futurists and calls for market research endeavors. It suggests that a delay in the adoption of any one particular system as standard in the United States would be advantageous in that it would allow competing, and possibly more attractive, systems to be developed further. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Great Britain; Viewdata
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (62nd, Houston, TX, August 5-8, 1979).