Special Television and Internet Technologies



The three new technologies shown above use the television VBI (vertical blanking interval) to transmit special programming to the TV tuner in your computer.   WaveTop is a Microsoft technology that allows you to view special Internet content on your TV.  WebTV allows scheduling and TV viewing with the WebTV interface.   Intercast is an Intel technology that allows interactive Internet programming using the TV card in your computer. Click the logos above to jump to that section of this document.  The logo in each section is a link to the  Web site for that company.

What is WaveTop?                                               back to top

WaveTop is new technology that allows you to use the TV to download Internet content free of charge without tying up your phone lines. WaveTop works by putting data into the Vertical Blanking Interval (VBI) of the TV signal.  This is the electronic time during the black bar (blanking interval) you see when between two frames when the TV rolls down too far.  WaveTop is part of Windows 98 but needs to be installed if you have Windows 95.  You can get up-to-the-minute sports, stock news, weather and other information. WaveTop has partnered with PBS to broadcast data over the television signals of its 2,164 PBS member stations.  This system reaches more than 99% of all households in the USA with a TV .  WaveTop will not work in foreign countries.

WaveTop is designed for downloading specific content that you select.   You cannot do general Internet browsing.  The Internet content is broadcast from your local Public Broadcasting System (PBS) station.  If you do not receive a PBS channel in your area you will not be able to receive WaveTop. 

TV tuners that support WaveTop Tuner Arbitration Protocol require you to turn off WaveTop in order to receive regular TV.  You can't have two separate applications trying to run the TV card at the same time.  When you stop the TV viewer WaveTop will start automatically within 2 minutes.

WaveTop can use either the Microsoft Video standards, Video for Windows (VFW) system (W95) or the new Windows 98 system referred to as WDM.

How to I learn more about WaveTop?                                      

There is a great deal of information about WaveTop on their own Web site: www.wavetop.net .  WaveTop has a very large and very informative Web site that will give you information on specific PBS channels in your area, channels (content providers) you can subscribe to, how WaveTop works, system requirements, support, software downloads and much much more.  You can even find out what stations are not transmitting at a given time with their status page.

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How do I get WaveTop?                                                           

If you have Windows 98 the software is already installed.  If you have Windows 95 you can down load the software from their Web site or ask for their CD - it is free.   Or if you are purchasing the WaveWatcher Net-TV 98 it will be included on the installation CD.

What is WebTV?                                                                       back to top

WebTV is a Microsoft subscription product/service. WebTV lets you watch TV on your computer with the WaveWatcher Net-TV 98 installed. You will get a nice user interface as well as TV guide information similar to the scheduling information provided by the cable listing on your TV. 

Please see the Addendum to the User's Manual for limitations and restrictions on installing and using WebTV.

WebTV has many subscription services available.  Please visit their web site for more specific information on services offered by WebTV.  You can visit their site at  http://www.webtv.com/home/index.html.


WebTV is a Microsoft product. WebTV relies on a WDM driver written by Microsoft for Windows 98. The WDM driver may not be fully functional in your system depending on the version of Windows 98 you have installed.

The Microsoft WDM driver is dependent on video cards that support the overlay method of operation. If your video card does not support overlay, WebTV may not work on your system.

WebTV is currently produced and operational ONLY in the United States - it will not work in other countries.

What is Intercast?                                                     back to top

Intercast is an Intel technology that allows you to view Internet content with your TV card on your computer.  It uses the VBI broadcasting technology discussed above for WaveTop.  Please click the logo below for complete information from the Intercast site.

The Intercast medium is an easy way to get more out of the television programs you watch. Accessed through your PC, it combines the computer’s interactivity, television programming, and the Internet’s global information resources. The result is a new way to enjoy television and the Internet, providing   links between the two. Television and cable networks can transmit Web pages with their programs that are just like the Web pages found on the Internet. They can also include hyperlinks that connect Internet users to specific sites on the Web. Live data like stock prices can be continuously displayed on another part of the screen.

The IntelŪ IntercastŪ Viewer is an innovative software application for viewing enriched, interactive TV on your PC. The Intercast Viewer software, when combined with a TV tuner card in your PC and your current cable or TV antenna, allows you to get exciting, informative and interactive content along with your traditional TV programs. You can visit their site at www.intel.com/intercast

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Last update 1-20-00