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Developing iTV Framework Applications

The Interactive TV (iTV) Framework in Windows Media Center provides third parties the ability to develop Windows Media Center applications that combine traditional TV with interactivity similar to that of the Internet and personal computer. The iTV functionality in Windows Media Center in Windows 7 enables media and broadcasting companies to deliver this rich content and services to their customers.

While the popularity of television is unquestionable, keeping viewers tuned in has grown more challenging. Interactive television programs using the Windows Media Center iTV Framework make it possible for programmers and broadcasters to capture and retain the attention of elusive viewers.

From live sports programs to reality TV to game shows and beyond, audiences everywhere are using their existing remote controls to interact. Broadcasters can now allow viewers to vote for their favorite contestants and instantly see the results, play along with game shows, change camera angles on sporting events, and view exclusive, behind-the-scenes content related to their programs. Viewers can interact with television content they are viewing in three ways:

  • Interaction with the television itself
  • Interaction with TV program content
  • Interaction with TV-related content

iTV applications are associated with broadcast content and are triggered by tag packets that have been inserted in the content stream by one of two sources: the tuner or the headend.

iTV is an integral part of many digital TV services and provides a browser- like experience for users. For example, iTV applications might allow end customers to view the latest new headlines, local weather conditions and forecasts, stock quotes, sports scores, or many other types of enhanced content while watching television.

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