Bell ExpressVu Launches Web Interactive TV

Our Canadian readers may not have the day off tomorrow, but in lieu of turkey Canadians can spend the day calling up stats on a pair of the first truly interactive TV channels to go live. The Globe and Mail reports:

 In a glimpse of how television may look in the near future, satellite provider Bell ExpressVu LP launched two interactive channels yesterday that let viewers call up on-screen stats, headlines and other features while watching news or sports.

The channels — CBC News Plus and TSN Extra — are the first stage in what is believed to be the next battleground for cable, satellite and telecom providers, which have each talked about launching interactive TV in Canada for the past few years.

By pressing a button, viewers access menus with content from each network’s websites. The channel feed shifts to the right side of the TV screen, allowing room for the menu down the left side.

The loading times for each item are about three seconds, said Pat Button, vice-president of marketing for Bell ExpressVu, a division of BCE Inc. The company believes features like on-screen statistics or commentary will be the most popular during the broadcasts of live sports or news programs.

This would be very convenient tomorrow on a cooking channel here in the U.S., as millions of households will be grappling with the question of just how long to roast their birds.

Happy Thanksgiving to all — Really Rocket Science will return to its regular posting schedule on Monday. Enjoy the holiday!