Make way for digital television

John Riley looks at the issues involved in digital television.

John Riley looks at the issues involved in digital television.

John Riley

Groundswell

It's been a long time coming but looking at the success of early adopters such as Abbey National or the Woolwich, interactive digital television has truly come of age in just a few months.

So, for any credibility with the board or their marketing colleagues, IT directors now need to be able to discuss intelligently the implications, the technology and issues such as cost and pricing structures surrounding digital TV.

The impact looks set to be enormous. Take Abbey National's experience: from a standing start in May the bank secured 450,000 e-banking registrations and achieved a 2% purchase response from 300,000 site sessions. Digital TV already accounts for 10% of its overall e-commerce transactions.

In retrospect it makes sense. For the average e-purchaser, the PC is a pain to use, with only about a 30% take-up anyway. The Wap brigade have shot themselves in the foot by over-inflating expectations, which leaves the way clear for TV.

Implications for IT directors are many, especially for those thinking strategically. At the very least, TV will bring major presentational revamps and put unexpected demands on the back office - Abbey National has maximum load at 7.59pm, when Coronation Street ends.

This revolution is here to stay - ignore it at your peril!

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