Deconstructing interactive tv networks / Kim(1999)

Citation - Kim, P. (1999). Deconstructing interactive TV networks. The Public, 6(3), 87-100.

Keyword - interactive television

Abstract

提出縱向、橫向模式的區別架構,並用以分析美國兩個「失敗」的互動電視技術系統:Time Warner’s Full Service Network, Bell Atlantic’s Video-Dial-Tone network. 認為這兩個互動電視系統仍採用縱向模式籌組資訊傳播技術網絡。

以往,用「成功-失敗」的框架來研究互動電視。「錯的技術、錯的商業模式、在錯的時間上」,就技術應用與商業經濟評估,互動電視的嘗試是失敗的。

但這只是故事其中一部分而已。本文重新從文化與政治方面,美國在籌組整合資訊傳播技術時,橫向模式(lateral mode)與縱向模式(vertical mode”)的衝突,探討互動電視在美國的運用。籌組的縱向模式,與企業-商業行動(corporate-commercial move)相關;籌組的橫向模式,與另類-公共行動(alternative-public move)相關。回顧美國傳播網絡的歷史,不論是廣播、電話、有線電視、或網際網路,證明技術掙扎在這兩種對立概念中。

互動電視(interactive television):

傳播科技的進展,人們開始想像並期望,電視能夠從單向廣播的功能,成為能夠雙向傳播的工具,開啟電視在資訊社會中的新時代。從90年代起,新的互動電視系統與服務在美國已經出現,但是紛紛獲得失敗。

As a strong model of the information superhighway, interactive TV was greeted with great enthusiasm (Solomon 1993; Zoglin 1993). It was expected to open up a new horizon in TV, where the viewer has the power to transform the one-way structure of the existing mass media into a two-way communication environment. But, as history reveals, it died out imperceptibly, Mason 1997, 1998) and was thrown into the pile of failed technologies.(P.88)

定義:提供上百電視頻道,使用者對電視內容有更多的控制,隨選視訊內容,家戶間的即時互動。(Carey 1998) 資訊服務,如購物、電子銀行、電話、等等資訊服務功能。 (Note: 似乎互動電視並沒有一個嚴謹的定義,而是在現有技術上,擴充使用者對電視機內容的控制。)

By definition, interactive television is a medium providing “greater selection of programming on hundreds of channels, … more control over and customisation of television content, … on-demand delivery of specific programs or movie, … real-time interaction between people in different households via game playing and communication ” (Carey 1998, 1). In addition, information services, such as on-line shopping, tele-banking and telephony, were actually available on the interactive TV trials. In short, interactive TV was a prototype of the comprehensive home communication medium envisioned by many telecommunications companies. Indeed, this electronic vision — one-superpipe all-communications — projected in “interactive TV” is still alive in the rhetoric of the coming information age, in various telecom industry mergers and corporate alliances and in the ideal of telecommunications convergence.

傳播技術網絡的籌組模式 | organizing mode of communication technology network

不論是電報、電話、廣播、有線電視、網際網路,在美國的傳播網路歷史上,都掙扎在兩種對立的網絡組織模式之間:縱向模式與橫向模式。
> Historically speaking, whether for telegraphy, radio-television broadcasting, the telephone, cable television, or the Internet, communication networks in America have been the site of struggle between the two polarising modes of network organisation: the vertical mode and the lateral mode.

縱向模式: 網絡的籌組,是為維護獨佔性中央控制的階層性結構。廣播網絡是典型的範例,網絡提供者嚴格的控制存取與使用,以保持完整性、可靠性與控制。服務與應用也是被預先決定的,使用者與聽閱人被視為消費定義好的內容與服務的群眾。網絡成為封閉且專賣的系統,商業模式的確保,是建構在控制服務應用的存取與使用上。
> The vertical mode means a network organised to maintain exclusive centralised control in a hierarchical structure: the broadcasting network is a typical example, in which the network providers strictly dictate the terms of access and uses in order to retain integrity, reliability and control. Services and applications also are predetermined, and users — the viewers and listeners — are thought of as “consuming mass” being entertained by pre-defined services. In this sense, the network becomes a closed and proprietary system, in which a secure business model is constructed by controlling access, uses and service applications.

橫向模式: 去中央控制的水平結構。網際網路是這種網絡的典型。與縱向模式的集中化不同,公共存取、資訊分享與交換、傳送與接收兩端的平等互動關係,是在橫向模式中重要的議題。並且,傳播技術的使用者被視為在公共空間中的主動參與者,而非消費大眾。垂直模式可類比為資訊傳播技術的商業模式,而橫向模式則是公民模式。
> The lateral mode network is the opposite of the vertical mode. It is organised as a horizontal structure with decentralised control. The Internet is typical of this kind network organisation. Contrary to the centralised economic, geographic, and technical biases of the vertical mode, public access, information sharing and exchange, with equal, interactive relationships between the sender and receiver become important agenda items in a lateral network. In addition, users of communication technology are perceived as active political participants, not as mass consumers, in the public sphere of the network. The vertical mode is analogous to a commercial mode of information communication technology, while the lateral mode to a civic mode (Calabrese and Borchert, 1996).

電訊傳播產業,在架構互動電視的營運模式時,仍採用縱向模式來建構其技術網絡。

Note