National Study Reveals Consumers Want Interactive TV Services Now, Willing to 'Trade Up' to Get Content

- Cable, Satellite Customers Indicate Readiness to Advance to Digital, Switch

Service Providers if They Can Get Currently Available Interactive Content -



Apr 04, 2001, 01:00 ET from ACTV, Inc.

    LOS ANGELES, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The majority of consumers understand
 what interactive television is, they want it now, and they are willing to
 upgrade from analog to digital cable, or switch between cable and satellite
 services, in order to get interactive content delivered to their homes,
 according to a recent national study commissioned by interactive technology
 companies ACTV, Inc. (Nasdaq:   IATV), Liberty Livewire Corp. (Nasdaq:   LWIRA),
 Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:   MOT), OpenTV (Nasdaq:   OPTV; AEX) and
 Universal Electronics Inc. (Nasdaq:   UEIC) (UEI).  The study, aimed at gauging
 consumer interest in getting interactive TV services and their reaction to
 various delivery options, was conducted by Boyd Consulting, a market research
 firm located in Palm Desert, Calif.
     "The study's findings tell us that consumers are keenly interested in
 getting interactive TV services and that they like all the delivery options
 they were shown," said David Beddow, CEO of Liberty Livewire and spokesperson
 for the research sponsors.  "Even with the nascent state of the technology and
 content, cable and satellite operators have a captivated, if not captive,
 audience eager to use interactive services now," Beddow said.  "Via digital
 set-top boxes that are being deployed today, we have the technology to deliver
 the interactive TV experience consumers want."
     Participants in the national study were exposed to an interactive TV
 experience in three different ways: 1) a two-screen scenario in which
 synchronized Internet content for a TV program is delivered over a PC located
 in the same room as the TV; 2) a one-screen, or "on-screen", scenario that
 drives interactive Internet content through a digital cable or satellite
 set-top box to the TV and is viewed as an overlay on part of the TV screen;
 and 3) an "on-screen" system enhanced by the ability to download the content
 to one or more handheld touch-screen devices that can personalize the
 interactive experience without disrupting TV viewing.
     While emphasizing that the study's sponsors provide all three content
 delivery configurations today, Beddow said, "The two-screen scenario, which is
 most broadly available, is clearly helping to jumpstart consumer interest in
 interactive TV services and programming.  But overall, the delivery option
 that consumers liked best was the on-the-TV-screen overlay enhanced by a
 handheld touch-screen control device, such as Universal Electronics'
 Mosaic(R)."
 
      Key Findings
      Receptivity to Interactive Solutions
      -- The single-screen TV overlay format and the two-screen TV/PC solution
         were liked equally well by more than two-thirds of consumers
         participating in the study.
      -- Personalizing interactive TV by using a handheld touch-screen device
         improved customer perceptions, with three out of four consumers (76%)
         liking the experience overall.
 
      Expected Uses
      -- Asked how they would use interactive services delivered through any of
         the three options, consumers indicated a preference for instant access
         to information such as news, sports and weather (52%), followed by
         interactive TV guide (44%), behind-the-scenes information on TV
         programs (38%), e-mail (37%), games or quizzes (32%), and other uses.
 
      Satisfaction Factor
      -- 64% of all digital cable customers and 57% of all satellite customers
         surveyed said that having the single-screen TV overlay format as an
         interactive solution would make them feel more satisfied with the
         service they currently have.
      -- These satisfaction figures increased slightly to 70% and 58%,
         respectively, with the addition of the handheld touch-screen device.
 
      Willingness to Upgrade, Switch Services
      -- Among analog cable customers, nearly one-half (47%) indicated that
         availability of single-screen interactive TV service would make them
         more interested in subscribing to a digital service.
      -- Availability of the Mosaic/handheld device enhancement drove up to
         two-thirds (64%) the number of analog cable customers interested in
         upgrading to digital interactive service.
      -- More than half (57%) of consumers said that, if they were to trade up,
         they would select whichever digital service (cable or satellite)
         offered the single-screen TV overlay format for interactive TV,
         coupled with a handheld touch-screen device.
      -- 40% of satellite customers participating in the survey indicated that
         they would switch to a digital cable service if the single-screen TV
         overlay solution for interactive services were available only through
         the cable delivery structure.  This number increases to 42% with
         introduction of the handheld touch-screen device.
 
     Market Opportunity
     "As important efforts continue to advance the technology for multiple
 interactive experiences involving the Internet and the television, the cable
 industry is already positioned to recruit a growing number of American
 households who will be accessing and viewing interactive TV content," said
 Beddow.  "Through set-top boxes and cable-modem hookups, cable operators have
 a tremendous opportunity to tap into the revenue-generating possibilities
 afforded in today's interactive marketplace."
     Beddow noted that about 52 million American households already have a TV
 and computer in the same room, allowing them to watch a television program
 while experiencing specially authored interactive elements of the program via
 their computers with ACTV's HyperTV(R) technology, either through dial-up, DSL
 or cable modem.  Through a joint venture between ACTV and Liberty Livewire, he
 explained, HyperTV(R) with Livewire enables TV networks, programmers and
 advertisers to deliver by PC compelling interactive Web content, Web-based
 advertising, e-commerce and community chat features synchronized to live or
 pre-recorded TV programming (or any other video-based programming).  HyperTV,
 and ACTV's other interactive TV programming technologies and services, also
 tap the power of currently deployed digital set-tops to make "one-screen"
 interactivity a reality today, Beddow noted.
     "The easy addition of interactive TV middleware to a digital set-top box
 would enable millions to watch television programs and experience
 interactivity today," Beddow continued.  OpenTV, whose software for digital
 interactive TV is deployed in almost 14 million digital set-top boxes
 worldwide, enables customers to view enhanced TV programs, shop and bank from
 home, send and receive email, and access Web content on demand.  In terms of
 digital set-top box availability, Motorola alone has shipped more than
 12 million digital cable set-top boxes to more than 100 different broadband
 network operators, Beddow said.
     "Add to these deployed interactive digital services UEI's state-of-the-art
 Mosaic -- a two-way RF touch-screen wireless control device (the IR version of
 which is already being shipped through retail outlets), and consumers can
 experience interactive TV by downloading content onto a palmtop-like touch
 screen that doubles as a handheld monitor," Beddow said.  UEI's patented
 two-way RF data communication feature allows one or more TV viewers to
 individualize their interactive experience by downloading interactive content
 directly from the digital set-top box onto the Mosaic and then to also use the
 Mosaic to control as many as 15 audio-visual (A/V) devices.  "Viewers can use
 UEI's Mosaic to individually access interactive Web content, peruse the
 interactive program guide or explore interactive options, such as e-commerce,
 games and e-mail, in the palm of their hand without interfering with others'
 TV viewing experience," Beddow said.
     A fulcrum for the interactive TV solutions advanced by the team of
 companies, Liberty Livewire is a key stakeholder in the interactive
 programming industry.  "Liberty Livewire brings to the table major independent
 post-production facilities for television and film, transmission capabilities
 through satellite and other means, as well as relationships with AT&T to host
 interactive programs to millions of simultaneous users," Beddow said.
  "We have the technology and products available right now, and we have
 receptive consumers," Beddow said on behalf of the interactive team that
 sponsored the market research.  "What we need now are cable and satellite
 operators to get the product to consumers."
     Boyd Consulting conducted quantitative, one-on-one interviews with more
 than 500 head-of-household consumers across the United States in November and
 December 2000.  An equal number of analog and digital cable or satellite
 customers were surveyed.
 
     About ACTV, Inc.
     ACTV, Inc., (Nasdaq:   IATV) is a digital media company providing technical
 and creative services, tools, products and proprietary software-based
 technologies for digital television, enhanced media, interactive TV
 advertising and personalized programming applications.  Based in New York
 City, ACTV has strategic relationships with key players in the Internet,
 television and digital technology fields, including Liberty Digital, Inc.,
 Motorola Broadband Communications Sector, OpenTV and Liberty Livewire Corp.
 For more information, visit http://www.actv.com.
 
     About Liberty Livewire
     Liberty Livewire Corp. (Nasdaq:   LWIRA) provides a wide range of
 traditional audio and video post-production, transmission, library services,
 Internet hosting, and audio/video distribution services via satellite and
 fiber to worldwide clients in the feature film, television and advertising
 industries. The company also provides interactive television service under the
 brand name HyperTV(R) with Livewire. The company has locations in Los Angeles,
 New York, Atlanta, London, San Francisco, Singapore and Barcelona.  Liberty
 Livewire is a majority-owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Group, which holds
 interests in a broad range of video programming, communications, technology
 and Internet businesses in the United States, Europe, South America and Asia.
 
     About Motorola
     Motorola, Inc. is a global leader in providing integrated communications
 solutions and embedded electronic solutions. Sales in 2000 were $37.6 billion.
 For more information, visit Motorola's Web site at http://www.motorola.com.
 
     About OpenTV
     OpenTV (Nasdaq:   OPTV; AEX) is the world's leading interactive television
 and media solutions company. OpenTV builds a complete software and
 infrastructure platform that enables digital interactive television and brings
 on-demand content to other digital communications devices.  OpenTV solutions
 are crafted to meet the needs of all digital communications networks and
 include operating middleware, content applications, content creation tools,
 professional services expertise and strategic consulting.
     OpenTV software has been shipped with or installed in 13.9 million digital
 set-top boxes worldwide and has been selected by 40 digital cable, satellite
 and terrestrial Communications Networks in over 50 countries, including BSkyB
 in the United Kingdom; TPS and Noos in France; PrimaCom in Germany; Via
 Digital in Spain; Stream in Italy; DIRECTV(TM) Latin America LLC; and
 EchoStar's DISH Network in the U.S. In addition, more than 31 digital set-top
 box manufacturers have licensed OpenTV's software, and OpenTV's software
 developers program has more than 900 independent developers and content
 service providers.
     Worldwide headquarters for OpenTV is located in Mountain View, Calif.
 Information on OpenTV is available at http://www.opentv.com.
 
     About Universal Electronics
     Universal Electronics Inc., based in Southern California, develops
 software, and builds and markets pre-programmed, easy-to-use wireless control
 devices and chips principally for home entertainment equipment and the
 subscription broadcast market.  The company's product lines include such
 wireless interface technologies as combination keyboard/remotes and
 touch-screen remotes.  UEI licenses its patented technologies and database of
 infrared codes to companies selling into the cable and satellite industries,
 and to original equipment manufacturers.  The company also sells its universal
 remote control products to distributors and retailers in Europe, Asia, South
 America and Australia under the One For All(R) brand name.  Additional
 information about UEI may be found on the Internet by visiting
 http://www.ueic.com.
 
     This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made
 pursuant to the Safe-Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation
 Reform Act of 1995.  Words and expressions reflecting something other than
 historical fact are intended to identify forward looking statements.  These
 forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties,
 including the timely development, ordering, delivery and market acceptance of
 products and technologies identified in this release, maintaining the
 exclusivity identified in this release, and other factors described in the
 companies' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The actual
 results that the companies achieve may differ materially from any
 forward-looking statement due to such risks and uncertainties.  The companies
 undertake no obligations to revise or update any forward-looking statements in
 order to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this
 release.
 
 

SOURCE ACTV, Inc.
    LOS ANGELES, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The majority of consumers understand
 what interactive television is, they want it now, and they are willing to
 upgrade from analog to digital cable, or switch between cable and satellite
 services, in order to get interactive content delivered to their homes,
 according to a recent national study commissioned by interactive technology
 companies ACTV, Inc. (Nasdaq:   IATV), Liberty Livewire Corp. (Nasdaq:   LWIRA),
 Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:   MOT), OpenTV (Nasdaq:   OPTV; AEX) and
 Universal Electronics Inc. (Nasdaq:   UEIC) (UEI).  The study, aimed at gauging
 consumer interest in getting interactive TV services and their reaction to
 various delivery options, was conducted by Boyd Consulting, a market research
 firm located in Palm Desert, Calif.
     "The study's findings tell us that consumers are keenly interested in
 getting interactive TV services and that they like all the delivery options
 they were shown," said David Beddow, CEO of Liberty Livewire and spokesperson
 for the research sponsors.  "Even with the nascent state of the technology and
 content, cable and satellite operators have a captivated, if not captive,
 audience eager to use interactive services now," Beddow said.  "Via digital
 set-top boxes that are being deployed today, we have the technology to deliver
 the interactive TV experience consumers want."
     Participants in the national study were exposed to an interactive TV
 experience in three different ways: 1) a two-screen scenario in which
 synchronized Internet content for a TV program is delivered over a PC located
 in the same room as the TV; 2) a one-screen, or "on-screen", scenario that
 drives interactive Internet content through a digital cable or satellite
 set-top box to the TV and is viewed as an overlay on part of the TV screen;
 and 3) an "on-screen" system enhanced by the ability to download the content
 to one or more handheld touch-screen devices that can personalize the
 interactive experience without disrupting TV viewing.
     While emphasizing that the study's sponsors provide all three content
 delivery configurations today, Beddow said, "The two-screen scenario, which is
 most broadly available, is clearly helping to jumpstart consumer interest in
 interactive TV services and programming.  But overall, the delivery option
 that consumers liked best was the on-the-TV-screen overlay enhanced by a
 handheld touch-screen control device, such as Universal Electronics'
 Mosaic(R)."
 
      Key Findings
      Receptivity to Interactive Solutions
      -- The single-screen TV overlay format and the two-screen TV/PC solution
         were liked equally well by more than two-thirds of consumers
         participating in the study.
      -- Personalizing interactive TV by using a handheld touch-screen device
         improved customer perceptions, with three out of four consumers (76%)
         liking the experience overall.
 
      Expected Uses
      -- Asked how they would use interactive services delivered through any of
         the three options, consumers indicated a preference for instant access
         to information such as news, sports and weather (52%), followed by
         interactive TV guide (44%), behind-the-scenes information on TV
         programs (38%), e-mail (37%), games or quizzes (32%), and other uses.
 
      Satisfaction Factor
      -- 64% of all digital cable customers and 57% of all satellite customers
         surveyed said that having the single-screen TV overlay format as an
         interactive solution would make them feel more satisfied with the
         service they currently have.
      -- These satisfaction figures increased slightly to 70% and 58%,
         respectively, with the addition of the handheld touch-screen device.
 
      Willingness to Upgrade, Switch Services
      -- Among analog cable customers, nearly one-half (47%) indicated that
         availability of single-screen interactive TV service would make them
         more interested in subscribing to a digital service.
      -- Availability of the Mosaic/handheld device enhancement drove up to
         two-thirds (64%) the number of analog cable customers interested in
         upgrading to digital interactive service.
      -- More than half (57%) of consumers said that, if they were to trade up,
         they would select whichever digital service (cable or satellite)
         offered the single-screen TV overlay format for interactive TV,
         coupled with a handheld touch-screen device.
      -- 40% of satellite customers participating in the survey indicated that
         they would switch to a digital cable service if the single-screen TV
         overlay solution for interactive services were available only through
         the cable delivery structure.  This number increases to 42% with
         introduction of the handheld touch-screen device.
 
     Market Opportunity
     "As important efforts continue to advance the technology for multiple
 interactive experiences involving the Internet and the television, the cable
 industry is already positioned to recruit a growing number of American
 households who will be accessing and viewing interactive TV content," said
 Beddow.  "Through set-top boxes and cable-modem hookups, cable operators have
 a tremendous opportunity to tap into the revenue-generating possibilities
 afforded in today's interactive marketplace."
     Beddow noted that about 52 million American households already have a TV
 and computer in the same room, allowing them to watch a television program
 while experiencing specially authored interactive elements of the program via
 their computers with ACTV's HyperTV(R) technology, either through dial-up, DSL
 or cable modem.  Through a joint venture between ACTV and Liberty Livewire, he
 explained, HyperTV(R) with Livewire enables TV networks, programmers and
 advertisers to deliver by PC compelling interactive Web content, Web-based
 advertising, e-commerce and community chat features synchronized to live or
 pre-recorded TV programming (or any other video-based programming).  HyperTV,
 and ACTV's other interactive TV programming technologies and services, also
 tap the power of currently deployed digital set-tops to make "one-screen"
 interactivity a reality today, Beddow noted.
     "The easy addition of interactive TV middleware to a digital set-top box
 would enable millions to watch television programs and experience
 interactivity today," Beddow continued.  OpenTV, whose software for digital
 interactive TV is deployed in almost 14 million digital set-top boxes
 worldwide, enables customers to view enhanced TV programs, shop and bank from
 home, send and receive email, and access Web content on demand.  In terms of
 digital set-top box availability, Motorola alone has shipped more than
 12 million digital cable set-top boxes to more than 100 different broadband
 network operators, Beddow said.
     "Add to these deployed interactive digital services UEI's state-of-the-art
 Mosaic -- a two-way RF touch-screen wireless control device (the IR version of
 which is already being shipped through retail outlets), and consumers can
 experience interactive TV by downloading content onto a palmtop-like touch
 screen that doubles as a handheld monitor," Beddow said.  UEI's patented
 two-way RF data communication feature allows one or more TV viewers to
 individualize their interactive experience by downloading interactive content
 directly from the digital set-top box onto the Mosaic and then to also use the
 Mosaic to control as many as 15 audio-visual (A/V) devices.  "Viewers can use
 UEI's Mosaic to individually access interactive Web content, peruse the
 interactive program guide or explore interactive options, such as e-commerce,
 games and e-mail, in the palm of their hand without interfering with others'
 TV viewing experience," Beddow said.
     A fulcrum for the interactive TV solutions advanced by the team of
 companies, Liberty Livewire is a key stakeholder in the interactive
 programming industry.  "Liberty Livewire brings to the table major independent
 post-production facilities for television and film, transmission capabilities
 through satellite and other means, as well as relationships with AT&T to host
 interactive programs to millions of simultaneous users," Beddow said.
  "We have the technology and products available right now, and we have
 receptive consumers," Beddow said on behalf of the interactive team that
 sponsored the market research.  "What we need now are cable and satellite
 operators to get the product to consumers."
     Boyd Consulting conducted quantitative, one-on-one interviews with more
 than 500 head-of-household consumers across the United States in November and
 December 2000.  An equal number of analog and digital cable or satellite
 customers were surveyed.
 
     About ACTV, Inc.
     ACTV, Inc., (Nasdaq:   IATV) is a digital media company providing technical
 and creative services, tools, products and proprietary software-based
 technologies for digital television, enhanced media, interactive TV
 advertising and personalized programming applications.  Based in New York
 City, ACTV has strategic relationships with key players in the Internet,
 television and digital technology fields, including Liberty Digital, Inc.,
 Motorola Broadband Communications Sector, OpenTV and Liberty Livewire Corp.
 For more information, visit http://www.actv.com.
 
     About Liberty Livewire
     Liberty Livewire Corp. (Nasdaq:   LWIRA) provides a wide range of
 traditional audio and video post-production, transmission, library services,
 Internet hosting, and audio/video distribution services via satellite and
 fiber to worldwide clients in the feature film, television and advertising
 industries. The company also provides interactive television service under the
 brand name HyperTV(R) with Livewire. The company has locations in Los Angeles,
 New York, Atlanta, London, San Francisco, Singapore and Barcelona.  Liberty
 Livewire is a majority-owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Group, which holds
 interests in a broad range of video programming, communications, technology
 and Internet businesses in the United States, Europe, South America and Asia.
 
     About Motorola
     Motorola, Inc. is a global leader in providing integrated communications
 solutions and embedded electronic solutions. Sales in 2000 were $37.6 billion.
 For more information, visit Motorola's Web site at http://www.motorola.com.
 
     About OpenTV
     OpenTV (Nasdaq:   OPTV; AEX) is the world's leading interactive television
 and media solutions company. OpenTV builds a complete software and
 infrastructure platform that enables digital interactive television and brings
 on-demand content to other digital communications devices.  OpenTV solutions
 are crafted to meet the needs of all digital communications networks and
 include operating middleware, content applications, content creation tools,
 professional services expertise and strategic consulting.
     OpenTV software has been shipped with or installed in 13.9 million digital
 set-top boxes worldwide and has been selected by 40 digital cable, satellite
 and terrestrial Communications Networks in over 50 countries, including BSkyB
 in the United Kingdom; TPS and Noos in France; PrimaCom in Germany; Via
 Digital in Spain; Stream in Italy; DIRECTV(TM) Latin America LLC; and
 EchoStar's DISH Network in the U.S. In addition, more than 31 digital set-top
 box manufacturers have licensed OpenTV's software, and OpenTV's software
 developers program has more than 900 independent developers and content
 service providers.
     Worldwide headquarters for OpenTV is located in Mountain View, Calif.
 Information on OpenTV is available at http://www.opentv.com.
 
     About Universal Electronics
     Universal Electronics Inc., based in Southern California, develops
 software, and builds and markets pre-programmed, easy-to-use wireless control
 devices and chips principally for home entertainment equipment and the
 subscription broadcast market.  The company's product lines include such
 wireless interface technologies as combination keyboard/remotes and
 touch-screen remotes.  UEI licenses its patented technologies and database of
 infrared codes to companies selling into the cable and satellite industries,
 and to original equipment manufacturers.  The company also sells its universal
 remote control products to distributors and retailers in Europe, Asia, South
 America and Australia under the One For All(R) brand name.  Additional
 information about UEI may be found on the Internet by visiting
 http://www.ueic.com.
 
     This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made
 pursuant to the Safe-Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation
 Reform Act of 1995.  Words and expressions reflecting something other than
 historical fact are intended to identify forward looking statements.  These
 forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties,
 including the timely development, ordering, delivery and market acceptance of
 products and technologies identified in this release, maintaining the
 exclusivity identified in this release, and other factors described in the
 companies' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The actual
 results that the companies achieve may differ materially from any
 forward-looking statement due to such risks and uncertainties.  The companies
 undertake no obligations to revise or update any forward-looking statements in
 order to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this
 release.
 
 SOURCE  ACTV, Inc.

RELATED LINKS

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