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Coactive TV featured in iTV book from NAB
(National Association of Broadcasters)

CoTVLogo.jpg (3779 bytes)

The NAB’s authoritative new book by Allison Dollar contains a wealth of useful information and insight on the status and future of interactive TV.  Included is some discussion of coactive TV and how this unconventional perspective suggests some important directions for the future.  That material is based on interviews with Richard Reisman in October 2002.

Some extracts from the coverage of coactive TV on pages 109-111:

…According to Reisman there are different forms of interaction.    ...[The less commonly recognized] form is indirect interaction with content that is in some way related to the program being watched.  Reisman says this “coactivity” is “sophisticated multi-tasking,” and believes that it will mold TV for some time to come…

…Reisman has found that current two-screen experiences are “user-hostile” in that they are designed to constrain coactivity, limiting the viewer’s options in order to focus them on the program in the interests of a presumed one-screen future.  He points out that users already surf, time-shift and multi-task...

In Reisman’s view the Web is far more than a “test bed [for iTV].”  Instead he says it is:

“…the matrix for the next stage of TV evolution.  One-screen service has its place, but for coactive multitasking with content that is tangentially related to what is on TV, a second screen will often be preferable.  One-screen viewing of enhancements may come to be seen as no more than a compromise one makes for convenience, much like Web access on a PDA.  The TV industry would be wise to recognize the Web... ...apart from the foolish business models, the connective magic of the Web remains transformative and continues to grow in power.  The TV industry has gained time to learn how to meet the Web -- but meet it it will.” 

Reisman also notes that the PC-based media servers, alluded to in previous chapters, spurred by broadband deployment and services are extending themselves into the television environment.  Likewise television organizations ought to move toward the Web...  For better or worse, the future of the TV and PC remains linked.  Richard Reisman is right:  the business opportunity ahead lies in exploiting that link.

Additional coverage on pages 97-98 includes Reisman’s observation that “…wireless laptops, PDAs, or new TabletPC devices … provide a nearly ideal second screen for iTV functions at ‘no’ cost.”

Details on this important book and how to order it are at the NAB Store Online

 iTV: INTERACTIVE TELEVISION: Tracking and Preparing for an Emerging iTV Market

AUTHOR:  Allison Dollar 
Co-president of the Interactive Television Alliance (ITA), an iTV industry trade organization, and a principal in the iTV firm, 2degree Partners of Santa Monica, CA


  • Case Studies: iTV Programmers & Advertisers
  • Overseas iTV Leadership Trends, Illustrations
  • Forecasts and Views of iTV Developers
  • New TV Industry Directions, Emerging Models
  • Quantitative Analysis, 50+ Graphs and Tables


The rollout of interactive television in the U.S. is inevitable.

iTV: Interactive TV tracks media trends and technology developments in the U.S. and Europe. Interactive services, programming and advertising will transform today's $60B television advertising business by stimulating further growth and multiplying revenues many times over.

Empirical evidence from iTV trends, case studies and overseas developments all point toward an iTV future with a far-reaching, lucrative impact on the U.S. media business. iTV profits will come from two sources - consumers and advertisers. Keys for media industry stakeholders lie in flexible business models and development of the sophisticated metrics systems advertisers require. Successful iTV developers will be those actively exploiting cross-platform distribution of iTV content, coupled with creative programming, marketing, advertiser packaging.

iTV is a totally new media environment with challenges on many fronts. Technology, legal, political, social, creative and cultural issues have slowed deployment to date. Long-term, iTV profits will not come from "new" television business models but from adaptable re-combinations and/or hybrids of existing models/ forms found in the current media market such as Advertising, Sponsorship, Pay-Per-View and Subscription. iTV will transform these basic models into advanced Transactional and Direct Response tools for more precise targeting and consumer marketing.

Eventual iTV winners will be companies fully exploiting cross-platform distribution and fostering cooperation between programmers, marketers and advertisers. Easier said than done, but to flourish going forward media companies don't have any other choice - iTV is the future.

ISBN: 0893243477

PUBLICATION DATE: March 19, 2003


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Coactive media:  Relating to media multitasking.  The simultaneous or alternating use of two or more media, such as TV and Internet (Web, etc.), especially where the using of the media is synchronized or coordinated typically (but not necessarily) on multiple devices or screens.

Coactive TV:  Relating to multitasking use of both television and the Internet (Web, etc.).  The simultaneous or alternating use of TV and the Internet, especially where the using of both media is coordinated or synchronized, and especially where the TV and the Internet browser are automatically coordinated with one another typically (but not necessarily) on multiple devices or screens.

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