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WIN starts ichannel

WIN Television has become the first Australian broadcaster to integrate its broadcasting and Internet assets, delivering interactive services and the Internet via television.

The station has launched a “TV-friendly information channel” (ichannel) using existing assets from its web portal winNET.

WIN’s ichannel has been purpose-built for participants in ICE Interactive’s pilot of interactive TV in Orange, New South Wales. ICE has helped WIN to re-purpose existing web content for the TV environment and the WIN ichannel has been integrated into the ICE iTV application platform being deployed in the Orange pilot.

Pilot participants will be able to use the ichannel to quickly and easily access local Orange news, sport and weather while simultaneously watching free-to-air TV. It provides links to the Orange City Council website so pilot participants can pay their bills using their TV remote control. The ichannel also provides access to local directories such as airline timetables.

WIN chairman and owner Bruce Gordon said being able to do this was a breakthrough for pilot participants who were previously deterred from accessing the Internet and doing electronic commerce because they feared the complexity of using a PC.

“WIN’S ichannel is a compelling example of convergence,” Mr Gordon said.

“Pilot participants have an icon on their TV screens directly connecting them to local ichannel information services with a few clicks of their remote control. This makes navigation of winNET very simple.”

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