Set-tops have played a critical role in providing entertainment to the home in the cable industry. As the advent of advanced technology has created an opportunity to provide additional services to consumers, the need for a fully integrated two-way network to support these services has arisen. The issue of intelligence in the system is a key element of interactivity, and one which has been at the center of a great deal of debate.
This paper will look at the various components of the two-way network and will focus on the advantages of placing intelligence in the home to provide interactivity. The data communication network will be presented, along with the technology required to enable all levels of interactivity in the home. The potential interactive services will also be covered, with focus on introducing interactivity in the analog environment and migrating to the digital environment.