Introduction to WebTV
May 13, 1999
Making your Web site WebTV-compatible gives you several benefits:
If you'd like to learn more, becoming acquainted with WebTV is easy. This article contains information about:
WebTV subscribers are online more than 40 hours a month, 70% more than the typical personal computer online service subscriber. Most subscribers had little or no Internet experience before they purchased a WebTV-based unit; about 30% have PCs in their home, about half of which are online.
To see whether WebTV users are visiting your site, check your sites visitor logs for visitors from the webtv.net domain. Visits by WebTV users may be brief if your site doesnt work well on the WebTV browser, and return visits are even less likely. As you'll learn from this site, however, even small changes can dramatically improve the usability of your site.
When you say "WebTV", you are actually referring to one of several WebTV-based systems. While these systems are fundamentally similar, there are some subtle differences. Learn more about the different WebTV-based systems by reading about WebTV Networks' Products and Services.
Every type of WebTV-based system, however, displays pages on the same type of monitor - a television screen. Television screens are not as crisp as computer monitors, nor do they display colors the same way. To learn about optimizing for television, read:
Due to the small application size of the WebTV browser and the special requirements for displaying Web sites on television, the WebTV browser does not function identically to Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. Most Web sites will display as expected, but Webmasters may want to quickly review the Authoring for WebTV section of this site, which covers topics such as:
The WebTV Viewer, which allows you to emulate a WebTV browser on your PC or Mac, is an excellent resource as well.
Designing for the WebTV browser isn't just about limitations - WebTV-based systems allow you to do things impossible in other browsers. To learn more about designing specifically for the WebTV browser, visit:
We hope you find the articles on this site useful. Should you have any questions, there are probably other developers with the same concerns. Meet them and discuss these issues in the WebTV Developer Forums.