NAB: Digital TV targets viewer interests

Electronic commerce is available now through the device most familiar to the masses: the television, Oracle's Larry Ellison said this week in his keynote address at the National Association for Broadcasters (NAB) conference. 'Digital television is real and it is here today,' said Ellison.

Electronic commerce is available now through the device most familiar to the masses: the television, Oracle's Larry Ellison said this week in his keynote address at the National Association for Broadcasters (NAB) conference.

"Digital television is real and it is here today," said Ellison, Oracle's founder, chairman and chief executive officer.

Digital television is being used to deliver interactive services through televisions, phones and network appliances, Ellison added.

"The Internet is changing the way that we do everything," Ellison said. He added that linking the television to the Internet provides real-time access to viewers' behavior.

With information on viewers' personal interests stored in a central repository, digital television can target viewers with tailored advertisements, events and product information, Ellison said.

Already, in the U.K. television-based interactive services are taking off at the rate of 100,000 new users each month, he said. In the U.K., there are now 1 million [M] users of interactive services, he added.

With the largest interactive service deployed worldwide, BSkyB's new interactive digital service known as British Interactive Broadcasting (BIB) runs on Oracle technology, according to Ellison. BIB utilizes Oracle's Video Server, as well as the U.S. company's database and application server, he added.

BIB's interactive services allow users to purchase movie or concerts tickets by clicking on an icon on their TV screen. The Oracle database determines which icon shows up on the viewer's screen, said Ellison.

Using a remote control device, users can access shopping, banking, information, games, education and e-mail through their television set, he said.

For example, a user can locate where a movie is playing, read the review, and buy a ticket or movie soundtrack, he said. Personal address information is stored in the viewing panel located inside of the set-top box.

As users acquire cable television or digital subscriber lines, they will be able to access video-on-demand, which will let viewers watch any television program whenever they chose to, according to Ellison. "Oracle is using existing networks and exploiting new networks as they become available," he said.

Oracle, in Redwood Shores, California, can be reached at +1-650-506-7000, or at http://www.oracle.com/.

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