A look at Sky’s interactive services offered in 2002, back when interactive TV was a thing
Also can’t mention Sky interactive without the Red button dude, who’s sole purpose was to promote Sky interactive services by pressing your red button, even though that only worked on a Sky channel.
Sky’s interactive game service
Sky Gamestar – Cartoon Network
A dedicated section of gamestar with games based on Cartoon Network shows
At one time you could order Pizza through your Sky Digibox
The Classifieds and info section, for local jobs and marketplace
View and book local listings, this only worked with Odeon cinemas, which was useless because there were no Odeon cinemas in my area.
Sky used to advertise their services and competitions whilst interactive screens were loading
A dating service that relied on the internal modem
Before internet banking there was Interactive TV banking, again I only saw HSBC and LLoyds TSB being supported, other banks were not on the service
Exclusive to the Sky Movie channels, shows local cinema listings and to purchase DVD’s, a nice feature of this service was you could see behind the scenes clips from moves.
Download ringtones, logos and custom voicemail, back when ringtones were polyphonic (think Nokia 3210, Ericsson T28s)
Sky Active: Shopping
Home shopping was considered to be a main feature of interactive TV, since customers could see the items themselves. Sky allowed a range of retailers to have presence on interactive, and even had their own storefront, SkyBuy
Some sort of eBay/Gumtree service, customers could buy and sell locally
Sky News Active
Activated by the red button, a very useful service where you can browse news headlines, view ‘Active Channels’ which were small channels dedicated to certain subjects or headline coverage. These could also be tuned in using the Other Channels feature, bypassing the service
Sky Movies Active
This is where you could see the behind the scenes stuff from movies, similar to bonus scenes on DVD’s
Another view of the main Sky Active home screen
Sadly Sky axed most of their interactive services, so here is the interactive menu that you are left with
Does it work? Well…
It seems the only OpenTV interactive TV services available is BBC Red Button and the S4C language changer, none of which use the modem/return path. I’m not sure if the services offered on Sky Q are the same, I believe it’s mostly Netflix/Prime type of applications that are video on demand services.