RealTime IT News

TV/Internet Trial Launched in Canberra

The CSIRO's Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Computational Systems (ACSys) has developed a new digital technology which combines the quality of TV with the flexibility and search functions of the Internet.

Residents in the Canberra suburb of Aranda are currently trialing the technology which is travelling to homes via a high-speed Internet linkage from the ongoing TransAct trial.

The TransAct trial which ACT Electricity and Water (ACTEW) has been investigating since 1995, provides super high speed links to the Internet, digital telephony and cable TV to homes, and the CSIRO project now adds a new dimension to the trial.

Initially, the ACSys trial will provide a selection of movies that have been digitised by the CSIRO to both home TVs and computers, and over time new services will be added.

Kerry Webb from ACSys, said "this trial is the first step towards taking these technologies, that work here in the lab, out to people's homes."

"Imagine being able to search through the evening news to get only the stories you are interested in. You could simply type 'national politics' or 'sports' and sit back and watch what's happening in politics or what your favourite sports hero got up to today," he said.

Eventually the new technology will providers users with an interactive Internet guide to what's on. As well as having the ability to browse through a movie to check if its content is suitable for children or worth watching at all.

Webb said the trial will determine the best way to combine TV broadcasts and Internet-based electronic program guides, which will form the basis of future services.