Advantages for the TV user
First of all, let us try to better define the appliance that will enter our houses and is the result of the fusion between television and computer which, for the sake of simplicity, we shall hereafter call Telecomputer.
In pratics, a normal TV set will need a new component, more or less of the size of a videorecorder, that will contain the information system (the computer). It may or may not be inserted in the same block as the TV set. The remote control unit will be a larged, possibily with a wider mouse. therefore, from the standpoint of appearance the changes will not be so evident. On the contrary, a significant aspect lies in the fact that the signal will travel, at least initially, through a cable instead of an antenna.
In the more developed countries the cable will be made of optical fibers and will allow a greater capacity and speed in the transmission of signals; in other countries, such as ours, the cable will be a telephone cable with lower speeds and greater costs.
Will shall not dwell on these technical details because the purpose of this booklet is merely to provide popularization and perspective and also because tecnology evolves very rapidly so that it can be envisaged that in a few years time the information signal could travel via air or satellite be means of small and cheap receiver-transmitter sets to be installed in every home.
Therefore we are speaking of a new instrument that can easily be adapted to our parlour and, at least in appearance, will be similar to our TV set. But if the looks of the telecomputer are like those of a TV set, the service we can receive from this new appliance will be overwhelming.
The main advantage for the TV user will be his ability to choose, at any time, what he wants to see or do with his telecomputer. In fact, there will no longer be any preplanned daily programming; the TV emitter will have to change its role, from a simple supplier of traditional transmission to a supplier of ever-groving computerized files, services of various nature, a newstand of electronic papers, a supplier and seller of computer programs, distribution of files of documentaries, seller of every kind of music, a real estate office, a travel agency and many other things that will be mencioned later. The user's advantage is thus to become a teleprotagonist of the information system, not only in the research of new things to be seen, listened to or read, but also in the possibility of interacting with the new means so that he himself can provide information and services to the external world.
The latter factor opens a new line of chances for amusement, culture, formation and services.