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Thread: WebTV

  1. #1
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    WebTV

    Following are several good reasons why you should be sure to design your pages for WebTV:

    WebTV is the client of the future. Soon, more households will be connected to the Web through WebTV because of the technology convergence of the Web, cable, satellite, and television.
    WebTV design requires that you develop Web pages enhanced for keyboard input and navigation because the WebTV keyboard is an integral part of the WebTV system. Designing for keyboard input increases accessibility of the Web for the blind and others who rely on the keyboard to navigate the Web.
    WebTV renders Web pages based on television capabilities, which do not have the same quality screen resolution as your PC monitor.
    The WebTV Viewer is a Web browser designed to display your Web site similar to the way the pages would be displayed through WebTV and your television. The WebTV Viewer home page describes some of the functionality of the WebTV Viewer:

    It shows what happens when pages are compressed horizontally to fit the display screen width of 544 pixels across.
    It shows how pages look after the WebTV browser enlarges HTML text to a large-sized Helvetica font to enhance readability on a TV screen.
    It supports the same HTML tags as a WebTV-based system, and most of the same multimedia technologies.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict five40's Avatar
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    Don't forget Digital TV. It was launced here last autumn (I guess in UK it was year ago ???). The question is how much these two are overlapping each other. On the other hand I guess the same principles apply to designing Digital TV as well.
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    SitePoint Wizard bbolte's Avatar
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    Nicky,
    where did this info come from? webtv rarely shows up in my webstats.

  4. #4
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    Can't remember where I read the stuff but here is a link!

    http://developer.msntv.com/Tools/WebTVVwr.asp

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    WebTv pretty much has disappeared from my stats in the last year, but, when staying at a Hilton Hotel, I learned that some hotels are providing internet access with it, so it's something to think about. Even if a site allows keyboard input, the WebTV keyboard is a real pain to use. It took us a long time to post a short message on a forum like this one from the hotel. A lot of sites seem not to work with it, too. A friend couldn't retrieve her mail from the web interface provided by her ISP and other things didn't work well on some sites. I know two people who've actually used it for their main access, but eventually got computers because although I think they were having fun with it at first it got old fast.

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    What? Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Where I work we tend to get a large number of corp bigwigs and many high tech conferences from both SUN and Microsoft (they love skiiinG) But basically what I get from them (since they tend to be the inet needers (not really a word I know) they only use webtv to check email and would never use it to surf. ...I am hoping this stays the trends or web TV offers better support for advanced features. WebTV has worse support for CSS and DHTML then nn4.7
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    I can think of plenty of good reasons not to design for WebTV, heh.

    Anyway, I'll have to download that viewer when I get the time. It'll at least provide some good entertainment when I see how badly my pages turn out.

  8. #8
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    Yeah it can either make you laugh hysterically or cry.

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    Once I got used to it it wasn't that upsetting. I did have to really keep it in mind for a while because one of the people I know who had it for access is one of the musicians in a band site that I do. Things didn't look quite as nice, but because WebTv resizes graphics it isn't all as out of whack as you think it'll be. WebTV is the main reason I hardly ever use horizontal navigation bars, though. Text is larger on WebTV so it's important not to have too much text that absolutely shouldn't wrap, and if you use graphics, they won't be clear enough to read if they're not real big.

  10. #10
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    While WebTV itself has been a dismal failure in the Marketplace, the concept remains.

    Today's console boxes won't necessarily identify themselves as such but since they use Analog televisions for display the same restrictions will be in place. In today's market, I know of at least 6 different console Internet machines that cost as low as $99.00 each. These include products from AOL, Sega, a new company called I-Open, and Microsoft. Add to this the new XBOX and Playstation platforms that will be online soon and you have a fairly sizeable market.

    Not every family has a need for a computer yet but they do have these entertainment devices (over 3 million Playstation 2's sold in the U.S. alone). As more and more of these devices start hitting the market in the coming years, developers will have to make more fluid designs and make sure their sites scale well. You can also see this in your pocket PC devices such as Palm Pilots and iPaqs. These devices are connecting to the 'Net more and more and being used in Active Browsing. If you use an iPaq for wireless browsing it will identify itself as Internet Explorer 5.5 (Mobile) but I can guarantee that people don't even look for it in their stats. Same for all the various console appliances.

    This is why you need to know your audience and program your site to their needs and as the future becomes now, that will mean more and more device independance. This is why CSS was developed and why display specific tags and attributes were removed from HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.0. If you use CSS to create your display and the widths then you can program for any platform and device. This doesn't mean your site will all look exactly the same on every device but it should be accessible and usable by all devices.
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    SitePoint Zealot Drew630's Avatar
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    As far as hotels are concerned, many Hilton Hotels are now switching to a provider called LodgeNet, that allows a customer not only to use the internet, but also play video games, order movies, and view/pay their hotel bill directly from thier room. It is a nice system, but in relation to web surfing, it is the pits. Trying to surf the web with only a keyboard is a nightmare. Anybody that I have talked to has only used it for email, unless they have a modem and a laptop. Then they just go through the phone line and dial up. While this is the growing trend in hotels, I was under the impression that personal web TV wasn't as popular as the market wanted, at least in the US. I can remember years ago when they first tried to market a product (the name eludes me) where you could play games, access the web, and play DVD's from thsi machine. Of course the price was ridiculous since the technology of DVD's et al was still new to the market, but I haven't seen this take off yet. So, I'm not terribly interested in having pages webtv friendly until the masses start embracing this technology and start fazing (SP?) out PC's.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    I used to regularly browse with my Dreamcast - ps2 doesn't have modem in the UK , but xBox does, and broadband is spreading. Also, as I mentioned in another thread, the new Nokia (due out this year, 9210i) has Opera as a browser and browses "normal" webpages -> betcha it doesn't happily handle fixed 800*600
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  13. #13
    Non-Member Forlorn's Avatar
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    Nicky I don't think so. Are you saying we should start designing for WebTV. I think WebTV will be an *Opinional* way to use the net but I don't think we need to start designing for it yet.

  14. #14
    Non-Member Forlorn's Avatar
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    I can start to understand the Hotels are using stuff like that. I just think that we not need to start designing for it. Otherwise what ist he WebTV resolution. 800x600? Then design for that.

  15. #15
    Yugo full of anvils bronze trophy hillsy's Avatar
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    That's the point though. It's not just the size of the screen with TV. A television has many, many fewer pixels per inch than a computer monitor. So text for one thing is very hard to read.

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    Webtv's resolution is 544 pixels in width last I looked into it. It isn't the same as 544 computer screen pixels, though. Webtv shrinks graphics and tables as needed. Type is larger on the other hand, because it is harder to read. It's just different.

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    SitePoint Guru moonman's Avatar
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    Bush TV is the only one I've had any experience with. It was basing it's browser on NS 3.1. Although this was a year ago. They might have NS 4.6 by now!!!

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    long gone but not forgotten AljapaCo's Avatar
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    so basically we are going to design sites that look as good on a TV screen as on a mobile phone....

    Aaaaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhh........

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    I hope you don't. I just had a look at some of your sites and you're really good at what you do. It is really a pain, though, isn't it?

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    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    Unless a client specifically says "my site needs to look good on WebTV" then I will NEVER even bother to test for WebTV.

    At some point web desigigners need to communicate to Internet appliance makers that they need to make things around what WE do and not the other way around. I don't care if you're Microsoft or Philips. Don't just make some abitrary technology and then try to FORCE people to design around it.
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    SitePoint Wizard bbolte's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Originally posted by creole
    At some point web desigigners need to communicate to Internet appliance makers that they need to make things around what WE do and not the other way around. I don't care if you're Microsoft or Philips. Don't just make some abitrary technology and then try to FORCE people to design around it.
    fight the power! amen brother!


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