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UN agency adopts new single standard for interactive TV worldwide

UN agency adopts new single standard for interactive TV worldwide

The United Nations telecommunications agency has approved a new one-size-fits-all standard for interactive TV (iTV) services that will enable providers to develop material for programmes that can then be distributed worldwide without extra labour or cost.

Under the new measures approved by the Geneva-based International Telecommunication Union (ITU), viewers anywhere in the world, for example, can access data on a football player while watching a match without the service provider having to implement any of the modifications previously needed.

Previously, proprietary or country-specific standards forced content providers to develop different product versions for each market.

The new standard means content will stay true to the author's design in all markets – a key concern for advertisers. Content providers will also find that it removes barriers to entry and reduces risk, while helping to advance the functionality of iTV services. The need to drive iTV services is seen as particularly relevant to the market in the United States, where services have been slow to develop.

ITU is a worldwide organization that brings governments and industry together to coordinate the establishment and operation of global telecommunication networks and services. It is responsible for standardization, coordination and development of international telecommunications including radio communications, as well as the harmonization of national policies.