FCC Moves Interactive TV Ahead

The possibility of bringing integrated voice, data and video services to homes around the country through television took a big step forward last week when the Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking for 1/2-megahertz of broadcast spectrum for an interactive video service.

The action was in reply to a petition for permanent radio spectrum space by Reston, Va.-based TV Answer, a company that has developed a system that works via the FM Sideban radio frequency and can be hooked up to any conventional tv source.

The system uses a set-top receiver/transmitter, similar in size to a cable tv converter, that sends radio frequency microbursts of digitally encoded data to a headend receiver for computer processing.

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