Business Television (BTV) - Adaptations
Business television (BTV) is the production
and distribution, via satellite, of video programs for closed
user group audiences. It often has two-way audio interaction
component made through a simple telephone line. It is being
used by many industries including brokerage firms, pizza houses,
car dealers and delivery services.
BTV is an increasingly popular method of
information delivery for corporations and institutions. Private
networks, account for about 70 percent of all BTV networks. It
is estimated that by the mid-1990s BTV has the potential to grow
to a $1.6 billion market in North America with more and more
Fortune 1,000 companies getting involved. The increase in use
of BTV has been dramatic.
Institution updates, news, training, meetings
and other events can be broadcast live to multiple locations.
The expertise of the best instructors can be delivered to thousands
of people without requiring trainers to go to the site. Information
can be disseminated to all employees at once, not just a few
at a time. Delivery to the workplace at low cost provides the
access to training that has been denied lower level employees.
It may be the key to re-training America's work force.
Television has been used to deliver training
and information within businesses for more than 40 years. Its
recent growth began with the introduction of the video cassette
in the early 1970s. Even though most programming is produced
for video cassette distribution, business is using BTV to provide
efficient delivery of specialized programs via satellite.
The advent of smaller receiving stations
- called very small aperture terminals (VSATs) has made private
communication networks much more economical to operate. BTV has
a number of tangible benefits, such as reducing travel, immediate
delivery of time-critical messages, and eliminating cassette
duplication and distribution hassles.
The programming on BTV networks is extremely
cost-effective compared to seminar fees and downtime for travel.
It is an excellent way to get solid and current information very
fast. Some people prefer to attend seminars and conferences where
they can read, see, hear and ask questions in person. BTV provides
yet another piece of the education menu and is another way to
provide professional development.
A key advantage is that its format allows
viewers to interact with presenters by telephone, enabling viewers
to become a part of the program. The satellite effectively places
people in the same room, so that sales personnel in the field
can learn about new products at the same time. Speed of transmission
may well be the competitive edge which some firms need as they
introduce new products and services. BTV enables employees in
many locations to focus on common problems or issues that might
develop into crises without quick communication and resolution.
BTV networks transmit information every
business day on a broad range of topics, and provide instructional
courses on various products, market trends, selling and motivation.
Networks give subscribers the tools to apply the information
they have to real world situations.
Educational Adaptation of BTV
The concept of BTV can be used by educational
institutions in several ways. An institution with multiple sites
can create its own network and deliver information as needed.
The information can be administrative or it can be training for
administrators and faculty.
A second adaptation is to use the BTV networks
that are already in place to deliver educational credit and non-programming
directly to the workplace.
For institutions involved in literacy training,
this opens an alternative route to reach workers who need basic
skills, GED or ESL programs. Because this is effectively a new
outreach program reaching a new audience, it represents a new
source of income for the educational system.
For institutions involved in contract and
continuing education, seminars can be created for business and
industry and delivered to the workers at a number of work sites.
For many educational institutions, this will represent a new
source of income.
Many other educational institutions regularly
originate educational programming delivered via satellite. These
programs can be received for the cost of a site reception fee
which may be free in some cases, or cost up to $1,000. An average
price is about $450 per site. Some of these programs are created
specifically for educators and cover a wide variety of subjects
which are suitable as in-service training for staff and faculty.
When they are offered with a local component, they may provide
a cost effective method by which training and in-service can
When a number of sites belonging to the
same organization receive the program, group fees may reduce
the cost per site to as little as $50.
from "The Distance
Learning Technology Resource Guide," by Carla Lane