The cable business has reached a stagnant stage with dwindling revenues and needs a new marketing approach to generate additional revenue and increased subscriber penetration. The success of Impulse-Pay-Per-View would seem now to be limited to the small percentage of cable systems with two-way capabilities. Some other less radical technology for collecting user requests on an impulse basis will be necessary to bring the potential benefits of IPPV to the vast majority of cable operators.
The public telephone network can readily be used to collect user requests while the cable system is providing the video programming. Economically and technically this is the only basis for a solution at present. Hybrid ImpulsePay- Per-View, as it is called, has been implemented or considered in several forms: this paper describes and compares them. It then proposes a new approach utilizing both the present telephone system technology and real-time computer capabilities. The proposed scheme also offloads the central office switch and allows a large number of calls to be processed at higher capacity than standard call switching. The high volume of requests that are passed to the cable headend must be translated and validated by the headend computer to allow for timely authorization of addressable decoders. This approach overcomes most of the problems associated with other forms of hybrid Impulse-Pay-Per-View implementations.