Ready, Set, Shop

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Everyone is talking about set-top boxes in this week's DRTV News section. First, there's TiVo wanting to fill its boxes with Guthy-Renker infomercials. Then, is offering a free set-top that will let consumers respond to commercials via their remote controls. Finally, a Forrester Research report concludes that set-tops will spin the industry into a new arena. The report breaks the next few years into two phases: one, when digital set-tops finally give us those hundreds of channels of television programming that we've been hearing about for the past umpteen years (yeah, but there still won't be anything good on); and, two, when set-tops become truly interactive and personalize people's TVs. The report says every commercial will have to induce a viewer response.

I'm ready for the day when I can be sitting on my couch watching "Friends," when Carrie Donovan and the rest of the Old Navy gang interrupt to say I just gotta have Performance Fleece for only $19.95. Forget about going to the store - it's snowing and I can order a jacket without standing in a long checkout line. I don't have to get up and turn on my computer and click and click and click till I get to the right page. I don't have to dig out my credit card and call the company just to be put on hold till someone's ready to take my order. I just punch a few keys on my remote control. My credit card and shipping information is already stored in the system. I tell it how many I want, what size and I'm done. Now that's shopping online the right way.

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