Interactive television’s most popular elements are gambling, advertising and the expanded choice of programming, according to Netpoll's Hands On TV survey into consumers’ attitudes towards iTV.

Shopping was also viewed positively, but respondents expressed disappointment over the limited range of goods on offer. Internet access and email via television, however, proved less popular among users.

In addition, the survey – based on over fifty households in seven British cities – identified seven different user groups important to the development of iTV, including Early Clickers, Daytime Dabblers and Silver Surfers.

Netpoll argued that consumer benefits such as choice, personalisation and social interaction would influence the success of the medium, and warned that companies needed to keep interactive offerings simple and consistent to prosper.

“If iTV is to succeed then currently passive viewers need to become active users,” commented Netpoll ceo Mike Bloxham. “This is a major transition and will only be successfully accomplished on the basis of a real understanding of the motivations and concerns of users.”

News sources: Daily Research News Online; Netpoll website