Thanks to major advances in server technology, TV producers should find it easier to implement interactive content into programme content. 'TV producers are worried,' said Doug Stoddart, director of Purple Lizard, the company that supplied the voting system for Channel 4's Big Brother 2. 'The problem is that making interactive programmes has been an expensive and time-consuming business. Only the largest production outfits have been able to afford to risk making interactive TV shows.
?But now producers can buy customisable interactive applications "off the shelf",' continued Stoddart. 'These ready-made applications suit a wide range of interactive functions and represent a significant cost saving for programme-makers wanting to make interactive TV shows.
?While contracts with platforms, networks and partners still have to be negotiated, producers can now make a single agreement enabling them to use the interactive application across multiple shows.'
Advances in technology mean that British TV is now at a stage where making interactive television programmes can be both realistic and affordable and, with the revenue-generating possibilities that interactivity can offer, lucrative.
Purple Lizard has been working with Channel 4 on a variety of projects since late 2000. It had a notable success with the Big Brother 2voting system. It also delivered the Big Brother 3interactive voting engine this year, which delivered 5.2 million votes. Other projects included Film Four, Eden, E4 and Banzai.