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The revolution from Interactive Television

The emergence of new services requires the restructuring of transmission networks that must adapt their capacity to new requirements without incurring large costs for the end user.

There are many things that have happened since the appearance of telecommunications, as with man, the beginning and completion of the different stages led to revolutions that brought about the great changes. The development of computing, the analog era, then satellite, digital and finally the convergence of these could be called, broadly speaking, as the stages of telecommunications. The emergence of new concepts changed market expectations where direct and constant communication became the basic premise, media such as TV were wrapped in concepts such as Interactivity and Segmentation that required a change in the technological field, in the way of doing business and approaching the market. Since the early 70's the first forms of interactivity were manifested through telephony, teletext and analog technology. Already in the 80's Interactive TV (ITV) changed its base to the digital multimedia era where new services such as PPV and VOD were born, which required redesign of networks and new technologies. By the 90's, the growth of the Internet created new media and languages that manifested the interactive language according to the platform and technology used. TV changed its paradigm of creation in terms of technology, advertising and distribution.

The new network architecture and its features

The emergence of new services required the restructuring of the transmission networks that had to adapt their capacity to the new requirements without incurring large costs for the end user. Today operators must take into account different aspects when designing their network architecture because the merger of TV and Internet implemented the concept of "open access". This new system is the ability of several providers to deliver services, content or applications through HFC networks that were originally designed for closed environments where there was only one provider. These networks did not have multi-service platforms that allowed the transmission of all types of content, making bandwidth management, routing and multiple provisioning impossible. On the other hand, users did not have the ability to select content and access providers, forcing them to receive standard services. These technological obstacles were overcome with the emergence of multi-service platforms such as DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) and the evolution of CMTS (Cable Modem Termination System) and DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) systems, networks then allowed the selection of ISP and MSO services and providers. . But this selection implied other changes of greater importance in terms of structure and size of the network, concepts such as QoS (Quality on Service) emerged that gave priority to the services that required greater bandwidth while organizing the transmission of the rest. This prioritization gave way to the birth of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) where content hierarchies were created between operators and providers, filtering and addressing applications such as MPLS (Multi-protocol Label Switching) were included in the networks that allowed users to send the requested services. This provision of differentiated services brought service management modules, subscribers and providers to the network. Operators should keep in mind that the administration of the service must ensure that the contents reach their final destination along the network, the QoS parameter came to help in the testing, quantification and solution of delivery problems of multiple formats without affecting the rest of the requests.

Vendor management now requires network control and configuration systems to be managed where filtration and routing parameters allow for quick access, each operator must create virtual routes where intelligent flow is key. The software of the routers is now based on VNR (Virtual Network Router) technologies that allow operators to configure up to 15 routes that can be shared with other providers and where the concept of fragmentation is eliminated, the information of the provider, the service and the user travel through the same channel. The operator must maximize the concepts of density, interoperability, scalability and reliability that ensure fault detection, maximum use of bandwidth, RF terminations and the reduction of additional equipment such as converters and LAN switchers. As for the administration of subscribers, conditional access and the identification of the same are made keys to prevent unauthorized users from accessing PPV services, the system must be able to support each user choosing a different combination of services and providers, without neglecting the parameters of security and billing. Each user must have some degree of isolation that allows the flow of information. The process of identification, location and addressing is today in real time, network operators assign several ranges of addresses to their suppliers avoiding the delay in locating a single identification parameter as it was handled in smaller networks. Finally, the billing system and the accounting process become a key part of the network, the networks no longer manage cost standards for their subscribers, the systems support accounting and dynamic and immediate billing based on time of use and volume of traffic within an event-driven mechanism that starts and ends the measurement and instant billing.

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In short, the network architecture has modified its dimensions and complexity based on a single base, differentiated services. The initial simplicity where the headend retransmitted signals was left behind, today the networks are a conglomeration of multiple servers that channel their services through network administrators, the next step will come when operators manage to solve the problems of unlimited access to content in the most remote places on the planet with optimal quality, speed and economy.

The new services and contents:

The contents offered are the fundamental material for the consumer to be attracted to the network, the services become a complement that expands the market and increases revenues. The new networks offer general and segmented content that varies according to demographic, geographical, socioeconomic criteria, etc. The main categories can be summarized as follows: local or community content that includes weather information, traffic, news, places of interest, among others. The virtual store where you can find recommendations about banks, restaurants, supermarkets, warehouses and related aspects such as promotions and launches, which give way to e-commerce services that form the basis of new businesses. Finally, the entertainment category offers aspects such as virtual libraries, horoscopes, white and yellow pages, advertising and marketing information with the possibility of personalized information according to areas of interest. The entertainment area is mainly made up of large databases.

As for services, the revolution brought all the possibilities offered by the Internet to homes through the television; the type of STB (Set Top Box), analog or digital, allows access to certain types of services, among which we can find:

EPG (Electronic Program Guide) or IPG (Interactive Program Guide) which is the first form of communication and selection for users, is an updated list of all the contents that will be available.

Navigation allows you to gather aspects related to favorite programs or areas of interest according to keywords, a list is drawn up with the addresses of each information center, and depending on the service you have, access to these sites on the Internet is direct by pressing a link button on the remote control or wireless keyboard.

Storage or recording of contents, is the function that allows the STB to be programmed to store the previously selected favorite events.

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• The reminder service ensures that the user will not lose their favorite programs; once selected the STB is responsible for notifying minutes before the start of the transmission of the program.

The TVHome allows subscribers to view the contents of other channels while continuing to watch a program.

• Parental Control is a service that allows you to block children's access to adult content.

• The reproduction of recorded events can be done even while they are on the air or at the desired time since the storage is done directly in the STB which allows it to be seen as many times as desired.

• For STBs with satellite connection the live broadcast can be paused from your TV, the STB continues to store on your hard drive until the viewer wishes to return to online streaming.

Internet-related services are part of more complex packages, email, virtual communities, agendas, instant messages, among others, can be complemented with audio, images and / or video; the user can create his Internet page by means of a personal page builder and make it available to anyone who wants to visit it from his TV, new image reproduction systems such as WebPipä (picture in picture) allow the display of images and video even if the TV does not have the picture-in-picture capability. Services that require special levels of security such as banking transactions or e-commerce can be customized, depending on the user's profile the information and advertising presented changes. The possibility of doing business through the network is now unlimited, with shortcuts through advertisements or infocommercials the possibility of purchase, requesting information or samples of products is allowed, aspects that raise the purchase momentum, create virtual markets available to countless users and generate new income.

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The new advertising:

Advertising has undergone a slow process of adapting to the new system, ITV is a simple way for advertisers to improve their campaigns, shortcuts combine the strength of immediate and direct response with real broadcast time. Thinking about the new basic premise of "added value" in services, advertisers and sponsors are looking to create interactive publications that reach the target market with the best information. The new types of advertising are based on infotainment that provides more information about the characteristics of the product offered with presentations that require the participation of the viewer, this method attracts the attention of the user and leads him to enter the network where space and time are unlimited for advertising. The possibility given to the user to select and control the content received makes everyone see what interests them, the option to change or skip the commercial information requires that today's ads have large video loads and interactivity of great impact, short TV commercials and classic forms of Internet advertising such as banners , vertical columns and link buttons are now infocommercials and full-screen videos directed according to the profile and preferences of the user, the creation of surfspots and ads by rotating topics appear only to users who have interests in the contents visited; the analysis of preferences, the study of the user profile and segmentation are the basis for the emission of targeted impact advertising that now delivers material loaded with sound, movement, information and less competitive content. The new advertising economic models are based on forms of dynamic billing where the user has pay-per-use possibilities, the schedule and the audience are no longer the basis of the price. For the new negotiations the Prime time, CPM (Cost per Thousand) or minimum fee for time (flat fee) models are no longer applicable, the development of hybrid models based on the latter is the platform managed by operators, content providers and advertisers to determine rates; the commission models for the different parties make the general payment system that is being developed. The foundation of all negotiation is the available information of user profiles, areas of interest and specific traffic characteristics that allow advertisers and sponsors to decide how to focus the objectives of their marketing plan, and how and where to expose their ads to generate greater impact and better revenue. Cable operators offer traffic analysis in terms of subscriber profile, schedules, access routes, most visited places, etc., to characterize and clearly detect the segments of different markets. Before advertising insertions, daily reports are made, by company, by user, by network, etc. to detect the response by the visitor to the interactive experiences with the advertisements, allowing to measure the impact of the campaign launched, the feedback in real time allows to make changes that improve the advertising and adapt it to the requirements of the consumers. The negotiation models will continue their evolution to the extent that operators can provide more information about users, the main obstacle of advertising in the ITV will be overcome by correctly focusing advertising campaigns on the specific target , since once the market is detected, the response is immediate.

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