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OCR Level 3 Cambridge Tech Unit 17 – D1

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In this report I will evaluate the different formats by giving the benefits and limitations of using the Web, Multimedia (CD’s, DVD’s and so on.), Interactive T.V and Mobile Devices as formats for interactive media products. Each benefit and limitation will be explained with some examples for each format of interactive media products, finally I will give a summary and conclusion for all the formats at the end of the report.


One of the benefits of the web is that it is mobile and a product can be accessed from any Computer with an internet connection, interactive media products on the web can also be accessed on the web from smart phones and tablets meaning not only computers can access an interactive media product but other devices as well. The web as a format is very mobile as interactive products on there can be moved from one computer to another without physically moving the product but instead the product is stored on a webpage and can be accessed at different points e.g. One person at a library can be interacting with the product and at the same time another person at a school can access the product because the web is mobile, the interactive products are stored on the website to be used at more than one location by more than one user at a time, hence why interactive websites such as ‘www.YouTube.com’ are being accessed by millions of people at the same time who have an internet connection.

One other benefit of the web is that there is a lot of interactivity between the people using the interactive media products on the web and the device they are using whether that is a computer, tablet PC or smart phone. The reason why the web is very good at interacting with interactive media products is because a wide range of input and output methods can be used, on a computer a mouse and keyboard can be used to move a pointer to your chosen location on the webpage, turn the sound down on a product, pause a video, view an image and you can also use right click and left click features such as highlighting and copy and pasting images & text. The scroll wheel is also important as it allows you to move the interactive media product up; down and from side to side to view all the content features on the webpage. A smart phone with a touch screen can be used in many ways including pinching the screen to zoom in on an interactive media product, sliding your fingers across the screen also allow the webpage to move across and view certain areas of the interactive media product. Touch screen computers interact in the same way as touch screen smart phones but on a bigger scale and with more features such as flash on an interactive media product. On some interactive media products often you can use microphones and webcams for a chat feature so that you can communicate using your voice and showing yourself on the screen of the computer. Web pages and interactive media products can have certain elements which can be printed, for example an interactive media product such as a quiz on a webpage can be printed to show the users final scores. This makes the web a very good format for interacting with media products which are published on a webpage.

Interactive media products which are on the web and on a specific web page are accessible for almost anyone including users who are visually impaired, hearing impaired or are physically disable. For users who are visually impaired many changes and adjustments can be made so that the interactive product becomes accessible to them, some of these changes include the ability to zoom in and out on a webpage to make elements such as text and images easier to examine and understand and the ability to have sound for those who are blind or can not rely on their eyes to look at the interactive media product. The hearing impaired users can access the media product by interacting with it and turning the sound up so they can hear what is going on, for all hearing impaired users and deaf users they can have subtitles and text so that they can understand information with their eyes when they can not rely on their hearing. The web also has features such as being able to translate text from one language to another which is helpful for users who are from different backgrounds and speak, read and understand different languages, this makes an interactive media product which is on the web a whole lot more accessible for foreign users.

The web only targets certain audience which is a benefit; these audiences include the majority of teenagers, mostly adults and some children. This means the web is not aimed at the elderly and not aimed at small children. By using the web as a format of an interactive media product you can target certain audiences to make sure that they are getting the most beneficial and satisfactory experience from what you are offering, therefore you can show it to more people because the audience it is targeted at will be showing the product to more and more people of the same audience. Keeping the audience narrow also makes it so that the interactive media product presents a strong message and a compelling experience.

One limitation of the web is that it is not portable; although it is mobile it can not be physically carried around with you and must be accessed through the use of a computer, smart phone or other devices connected to the internet. The reason why it is not portable is because it can not be used in an offline mode when no internet connection is present; if a device is not connected to the internet then it can not access the features of the web and more importantly access interactive media products on different websites. An example of where this limitation can be seen is when a person is trying to open a webpage such as ‘www.YouTube.com’ without an internet connection, when this happens the page will not load and it tell you that you do not have an internet connection and you must connect to one in order to view the webpage and the interactive media product.

The download time for interactive products which are on the web depend on the size and most importantly the speed of the internet connection whereas the download time from a CD to or mobile device may be considerably shorter as in most cases an internet connection is not required. Because the download time on the web depends on an internet connection it means that this is a limitation and must mean that the user has to have an internet connection in order to start saving and downloading files which therefore the product can only be downloaded to a certain type of user.

When an interactive product is delivered through the web plug ins start to become necessary and important in viewing and interacting with the product so therefore this becomes a disadvantage because time and space is needed for these downloads which also require the use of an internet connection. Plug ins can include the use of flash player and java which are almost a part of every interactive media product on the web so therefore more and more people need to download it just to view the product on the website.

The final limitation of the web I will talk about this how the web can not be used in offline mode which means the interactive media products can not be used offline unless a download is made which in some cases can be illegal and a hassle for the user. If a user wanted to use the interactive media product which is in the format of the web then they need an internet connection which they have to purchase from an internet service provider which means in total to view the media product and interact with it they need to pay.

Multimedia (CD, DVD ROMS):

The benefit of using CD’s and DVD ROMS as a format for interactive media products is that they are portable and mobile delivery formats, what this means is that a CD or DVD can be taken to any computer where the products can be viewed by anyone, this means the product is very portable because it can be carried in a pocket by anyone and put into any computer, the CD’s and DVD’s can also be easily copied so that more than one person at a time can be viewing the product and not only can computers can read the discs but also DVD players and game consoles can view the interactive media products on these multimedia formats. An example to show how mobile and portable this format is when one person is using the DVD in his own computer and then later on they go to work and view it in the DVD player and television.

Another benefit of using a CD and DVD as the format for interactive media products is that sound and text can be put on a CD and DVD so for the deaf and blind people it means that they can access it which makes this format
accessible for all types of people including disabled people. Accessibility of a CD and DVD also means that these multimedia formats can be put on large screens such as televisions and on computer monitors, visually impaired people can use a computer to zoom in on a monitor or change the resolutions to make it a lot clearer and easier to see the interactive media product. This format is also accessible for people without internet connections and who want to view the product without paying for an internet connection.

Interactivity of using a CD and DVD is very good because these formats can be placed and viewed on many different devices such as computers, DVD players and game consoles, on a computer you can use a keyboard to input information and also keyboards have shortcuts such as being able to zoom in and out by using the function of ‘Ctrl – OR Ctrl +’, a mouse can also be used to drag and drop things, move the screen about and click on certain features of the product. On a DVD player a remote can be used to adjust the volume or change the aspect ratio to something such as 16:9 which is used for widescreens.

CD’s and DVD’s target a set audience for people who want to be taking portable multimedia which is mobile and can be accessed from a wide range of devices from computers to game consoles, this makes it a benefit. CD’s and DVD’s target the younger audience and teenage audience because they have a lot of space for interactive media products and can be carried around in a small plastic wallet or case, CD’s can also come in smaller sizes which can fit in the pocket making that another benefit.

The limitation of a CD and DVD is that although they are very mobile and portable they have a high risk of theft, damage and loss. This is because they are very weak and when they get scratched or if dust builds up on them they tend to stop working and must be thrown in the bin. Copying a CD and DVD to another CD or DVD requires the use of a CD/DVD burner which can only be used in computers, so therefore if backups want to be made a lot of trouble and hassle has to happen. If the CD or DVD gets lost and goes missing it has the potential to be copied and all of its contents are in another persons hand where the information can be modified and used as their

Another Limitation of a CD or DVD as a format is that they have a limit on the size so interactive media products which want to use this format need to stick to the size like a business sticks to a budget, this means if the product is too large in size to be put on the CD or DVD then adjustments to the media product have to be made in order to keep the size down so that it will fit on the CD or DVD.

The knowledge and experience of using a computer, DVD player or a game console is necessary to access media products on the CD or DVD format which means without the knowledge and experience you can not view or interact with the media product making this a limitation, also if a person tries to use a CD or DVD without any knowledge or experience then problems can occur such as accidentally deleting the media product or accidently damaging the CD or DVD.

Interactive TV:

In terms of mobility an interactive television is portable but not necessarily very mobile, this is because a television is large and heavy in size so realistically it can be moved but it is not ideal to move it along with the cables that have to go with it. Televisions can however be shown to a large audience depending on the size so this means that even though it is usually not moved around a large audience can sit there and just experience the media product and also interact with it.

Another benefit is that interactive televisions are very interactive and can be used with a remote to select buttons, features and even turn the volume up and down with a single click of a button. Another reason why they are very interactive is because they have controls on the actual side panel of the television to help when a remote control is not available, touch screen technology are also available on interactive T.V’s which means that touching and swiping across the screen adds another layer of interactivity and features such as zooming in on the media product can be made a lot easier with touch screen technology.

Interactive Television is very accessible for visually and hearing impaired people, this is because sound can be adjusted to high volume levels through the built in speakers, or if this is not enough for some hearing impaired users then a sound system can be installed externally to help, this also helps with blind people who are visually impaired and need to rely on their hearing, subtitles can be displayed easily on a television screen to help with the access of the product for someone who is hearing impaired and has to rely on their vision to understand what is going on in front of them on the screen. For visually impaired people who can not see the screen because it is too small then it is very easy to just get a larger size television or if that is not big enough then an external projector can be plugged in which can help with viewing the media product. A good example is in a meeting when a person who is visually impaired and needs a bigger screen can just ask for the meeting to have a projector somewhere to help their needs.

A limitation of using an interactive television is that like all televisions they can hurt your eyes, this is because the bright screen and bold colours can give headaches and cause your eyes to become weaker and damaged and in some cases staring at the screen for long periods of time can lead to people starting to wear contact lenses and glasses to compensate for the damage in eyesight. Sometimes adjustments have to be made such as lowering the brightness, changing the contrast or changing the aspect ratio in order to reduce the effects on your eyes, these adjustments lower the quality of the viewing and interacting experience with the media product.

Another limitation of interactive television as a format to deliver the interactive media products is that these devices and products are very expensive for people and require big decisions to be made, televisions which are touch screen or have other special features such as having an LED screen or a large screen size will cost considerably more and sometimes will be avoided by the user because of the off putting high costs which are
associated with these products. Other products and accessories may need to be bought to help with the accessibility and interactivity with the media products, this adds extra costs on top if the T.V it self.

A final limitation of using an interactive television as a format for media products is that it is not a plug and play type of format, setting up the device is required and many problems can occur with the screen which require hefty prices in order to fix these problems, when an interactive television is bought the product can not be viewed straight away because the settings for the screen to calibrated such as the brightness, the remote also has to be set up to control things like the volume for the television.

Mobile Devices:

The main benefit of a mobile device for interactive media products is that they are very mobile and portable, the reason why they are portable is because they are small, light and pack a lot of features, a mobile phone can be taken anywhere with you and you can give your mobile phone to other people such as family and friends who can view and experience the media product in their own hands instead of you having to show them. A mobile phone can be used anywhere in the world by anyone in the world because it is very mobile. Another benefit on top of being mobile and portable is that because many people have mobile phones now, the media products can be sent to one another over technologies such as ‘Bluetooth’.

Another benefit includes that mobile phones have a lot of interactivity, phones have buttons Which have quick access to features such as adjusting the volume on an interactive media product and changing the brightness on the phone whilst experiencing the media product, this means that the buttons on a mobile phone have many ways of interacting with the product. Touch screen phones have nifty little features and tricks which enable them to make using the media product more interactive, examples include touching an on-screen keyboard to type, using speech to text instead of a physical or touch keyboard and also being able to swipe and drag and drop things in a
media product.

The final benefit I will talk about is that a mobile device is accessible for a wide range of audiences which includes the hearing and visually impaired, smart phones have features such as being able to download applications to help with things like speech to text and vice versa, for someone who is blind or visually impaired it is especially important that they can listen to the information which can be done through the use of downloading applications and also using the volume controls within a phone. For the hearing impaired they can just watch the screen and also use subtitles if the media product supports it or alternatively there will be applications which can help.

The limitations of using a mobile phone include the size of the product, this is because mobile phones can only take have so much internal memory and any extra requires the purchase of a memory card, so therefore a media product may not be able to fit on the phone or adjustments and changes may need to be made to view the media product. The size of the screen is also a limitation because the size of the screen can be too small for the elderly or people with bad eyesight, visually impaired, having a smaller screen may be convenient but in the end it makes it harder to read text and look at images.

Because mobile phones are portable and mobile it puts at a very high risk of damage, theft and loss. mobile phones are valuable and can be very expensive gadgets which attract attention so therefore a thief could easily be tempted to steal the phone along with the media products that are on their. Damage can easily occur which can cause the phone to become less useful, interactive or just stop it from working all together, mobile phones are small so events which damage them such as sitting on them, dropping them and water damage are very easy to come across. Mobile phones are new technologies and need skill, experience and understanding to use especially if the phone is a smart phone or touch screen or even both. The elderly people and middle aged adults can struggle because this technology is new
and needs time to get use to and explore, so by not having the full knowledge you can not use all of the interactivity features and accessing the media products stored on the phone becomes very hard. For some teenagers and young adults they may find it very easy in to use a mobile phone because they were introduced to the technology at a young age and live in the current generation.

In this report I have talked about each 4 of the formats, these include the ‘Web’, the ‘Multimedia CD/DVD ROMS’, and ‘Interactive Television’ and Mobile devices. I have talked about the benefits and limitations of using these products as a delivery format for interactive media authored products. From my report I have concluded that the best format to deliver the media products is ‘Mobile Devices’ this is because they are most portable and mobile format and have a lot accessibility features such as downloading various applications to improve the experience for the hearing and visually impaired and also the elderly.

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