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1.3. Present

Today, digital TV provides both interactivity and high definition. Whereas HDTV is the major adoption driver in the U.S., interactive TV is already a reality in Europe, where major terrestrial broadcasters, as well as cable and satellite operators, already claim millions of digital subscribers, accounting for roughly half of the worldwide audience. According to Strategy Analytics, in 2000, Western Europe accounted for 62% of the audience, North America 18%, Asia-Pacific 10%, Latin America 1%, and some predict a potential worldwide market of over 70 million [DEVICETOP]. Because these set-top boxes are likely to interface with a wide range of smart accessories, the overall number of devices expected to process interactive TV content is expected to be much larger.

As an example, the BBC views iTV as a major strategic long-term investment. Its Natural History unit is tasked with producing a wealth of new programming with associated interactive and online areas, covering new programming as well as established series, such as the long-running Wildlife on One. The series Great Britons already allows viewers to vote via iTV, and the Omar Shariff-narrated Pyramid was accompanied by the world's first iTV adventure game, as well as widely accessible competitions. Two very successful series were Walking with Beasts and The Blue Planet, both of which experienced massive levels of interest.


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