Wink Enhanced TV programming will make its debut on the Discovery Channel and TLC in the year 2000. The interactive broadcasting technology provided by Alameda, California-based Wink Communications allows viewers to get more information related to program content, participate in votes and polls, and play along with games and trivia tests, all with the click of a TV remote control.
According to Wink spokesperson Michele Moore, a Wink enhancement ‘is a graphic screen overlay that looks similar to either [VH1's] Pop-Up Video or closed-caption TV – only the graphic is much better looking.’
Because Wink software is embedded in most digital and advanced analog boxes, viewers don’t need to buy additional hardware to access it. Discovery and Wink are currently in discussions to decide which programs will be ‘wink-ified,’ says Jeff Craig, dci’s VP of interactive technology.
To date in the U.S., says Moore, four broadcast networks (CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox) and 21 cable programmers, including CNN, ESPN and Oxygen, have jumped on the Wink bandwagon.