Interactive Television


Interactive Television (ITV) refers to a technology that enables two-way communication between a television system and its users, allowing them to engage with on-screen content beyond passive viewing. In ITV, viewers can access additional features, such as voting in polls, video-on-demand, and electronic program guides. The integration of internet and multimedia capabilities in modern television systems has significantly enhanced the interaction between users and their TV content.


The phonetic transcription of the keyword “Interactive Television” in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is:/ɪntərˈæktɪv ˈtɛlɪvɪʒən/

Key Takeaways

  1. Interactive Television (ITV) allows viewers to engage with content through features like voting, gaming, e-commerce, and social media integration.
  2. ITV provides opportunities for personalized content and targeted advertising, enhancing both viewer experience and revenue generation for businesses.
  3. ITV technology has evolved over time, with the advent of smart TVs, streaming platforms, and high-speed internet enabling seamless interactivity between viewers, content creators, and advertisers.


Interactive Television (ITV) is important because it revolutionizes the traditional viewing experience by enabling users to directly engage and communicate with the content they consume.

This technological advancement enhances the viewer’s control over their entertainment, allowing them to make choices within the programming, access additional information, and even participate in real-time discussions with other viewers.

It fosters a more immersive and personalized experience compared to conventional television, opening new avenues for creative content development and innovative marketing strategies.

Additionally, ITV fosters the potential for targeted advertising and a better understanding of audience preferences, which leads to improved viewer satisfaction and increased commercial opportunities for content creators and advertisers.


Interactive Television (ITV) is designed to empower viewers and enhance their viewing experiences by providing them with the ability to access information, interact with content, and participate in various activities through their television screens. Its primary purpose is to revolutionize the traditional, passive TV-watching experience, creating a more engaging and personalized environment for audiences. With the inclusion of interactive features such as on-demand video services, internet access, gaming options, and the integration of social media applications, ITV makes television more than just a one-way medium for content delivery.

These innovative features encourage users to engage with their favorite shows, stay connected to their communities, and discover new content tailored to their unique preferences. Another essential purpose of Interactive Television is enabling users to interact with advertisements, offering businesses and marketers targeted advertising opportunities. ITV facilitates data collection and analysis based on viewers’ browsing and watching patterns, which allows advertisers to serve targeted ads relevant to the specific preferences of the viewer.

Moreover, viewers can interact with the ads by requesting more information, sharing the ad on social media, or making purchases directly through their television sets. This not only expands the potential reach of advertisers but also creates a more efficient and effective advertising ecosystem that benefits both marketers and consumers. Overall, Interactive Television positions itself as a critical tool for evolving the television landscape, fostering more immersive multimedia experiences and greater connectivity between audiences, content creators, and advertisers.

Examples of Interactive Television

Netflix: Netflix, a popular streaming platform, offers a number of interactive television shows and movies where viewers make choices for the characters, leading to various story paths and endings. One such example is the film “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,” where users make decisions throughout the film that shape the storyline, making each viewer’s experience unique.

HSN (Home Shopping Network): The Home Shopping Network is an example of interactive television in the field of shopping. Viewers can watch live product demonstrations, receive detailed information about products, and make purchases by interacting through the TV using a remote control or calling the provided phone numbers. This leads to a more engaging and interactive shopping experience.

Interactive Reality TV Shows: Reality TV shows like “American Idol,” “The Voice,” and “Big Brother” have integrated interactive elements into their programming. Viewers can participate by voting for their favorite contestants through phone calls, text messaging, and other online platforms, directly influencing the competition’s outcome. This adds an interactive layer to the viewing experience, allowing audiences to feel more connected and engaged in the show.

FAQ: Interactive Television

What is Interactive Television?

Interactive Television (ITV) is a form of digital broadcasting where viewers can both watch TV programs and interact with various features on their televisions or companion devices. These interactive features can include voting in polls, playing games, accessing additional information, and much more.

How does Interactive Television work?

Interactive Television works by sending data through a digital broadcast signal or via internet connection, which is then received by a compatible device such as a smart TV or set-top box. This allows for two-way communication between the user and the content, enabling interaction with various features and applications.

What are some examples of Interactive Television applications?

Some common applications of Interactive Television include interactive programming guides, video-on-demand services, voting in reality shows or talent contests, streaming web content, playing games, and accessing supplementary information such as behind-the-scenes footage or trivia.

Do I need special hardware to use Interactive Television?

Yes, in order to experience Interactive Television, you will need a device that is compatible with the digital broadcast signal or service you are using. This may include smart TVs, set-top boxes, or streaming devices that support interactive features.

What are the benefits of using Interactive Television?

Interactive Television offers a more engaging and personalized viewing experience for users. It allows them to access additional content and features, such as on-demand programming, interactive games, and more. It also provides a platform for content creators to deliver unique and immersive experiences through their programming.

Related Technology Terms

  • Two-way Communication
  • Video on Demand (VOD)
  • Electronic Program Guide (EPG)
  • Personalization and Recommendation
  • Enhanced TV (ETV)

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents