appointment viewing: With the launch of new kid on the DTH block Tata Sky, interactive services that offer choice, control and convenience are going to be the differentiating factor in television viewing.
STAR News is the first to launch its interactive news service through its channel, Actve STAR News, which will be available on the Tata Sky platform.
As the name suggests, the viewer will be empowered to customise his TV viewing experience. For instance, if you want to watch the news, you can, at the punch of a button, have an array of choice from among current news, top stories, headlines and features.
STAR News has always claimed to be the prototype for various industry benchmarks and prefers to call itself the people's channel. Its early bird entry into the interactive news channel arena works further in that direction. Actve STAR News will be a premium service for Tata Sky's subscribers.
If you are a Tata Sky subscriber, you will find an on-screen prompt on your TV set, which will direct you to press a red button on your remote to tune into Actve STAR News. On pressing this button, you will be directed to the opening page of Actve STAR News, where the screen will be split into four option windows: STAR News, headlines, top stories and features/specials.
Clicking on any of the four options will lead you to a screen where you can view only the selected option. Easy access and television viewing at leisure is the high point of this service.
Uday Shankar, CEO and editor, MCCS, says, "In line with MCCS' motto of 'Aapko Rakhey Aagey', this is the first concrete step towards expanding viewers' choice and giving it that missing hint of interactivity."
Shankar adds, "Television viewing has been linear till date, so this will be a welcome change and is surely an indicator of the way news is going to be consumed in the future. We are confident that viewers will respond to and adopt this latest feature enthusiastically."
Debraj Tripathy, branch head, Delhi, Maxus, says, "The highlight of the interactive service is the choice on offer and the icing on the cake is payment for choice and good sound and picture quality. DTH is expected to make it big in India as a market and will surely do so owing to differentiating parameters like quality and specific addressability."
Manish Porwal, executive director, Starcom, feels that while, overall, DTH is a force to reckon with and is essentially the next big wave after cable and satellite television, the launch of STAR's interactive channel is a spec as of now. When more channels come into the picture and get together in this respect, something concrete can be summed up.
© 2006 agencyfaqs!