“Interactive TV poised for a rollout” runs the headline of an Associated Press newswire story syndicated across the United States, implying a renewed interest in interactive video services in the guise of internet protocol television.

“IPTV finally appears to be on the verge of cracking the US mainstream,” suggests the story, but while the general press coverage may serve to raise the profile of video services delivered over internet protocols, lingering scepticism regarding interactive television apparently remains.

According to the piece, while SBC, Verizon and BellSouth plan to roll out IPTV services, the cable TV establishment “questions the technology and the demand for so much interactivity”. It adds that “The nation’s dominant cable providers, busy introducing telephone service across the country, say there’s no rush to introduce TV services much more interactive than video-on-demand and digital video recorders to pause, fast-forward and rewind.”

The article quotes an industry analyst for Forrester Research, who states: “While people will mess around with their remotes and pull up information, there’s no indication consumers value any of that or would be willing to pay for it.”

As the satellite and cable industry in the US engage in the provision of interactive services, it seems that the intentions of the telcos are at least attracting attention to the wider possibilities for interactive television.