What is return-path in broadcasting industry?
Before going into the definition of return path, Let us see an use-case of the interaction with your television:
A Quiz show is going on in your location which is broadcasted by your service provider. The Show organizer’s want to get the viewers involved in the show by providing quiz questions to the audience and asking them to participate in it and in return they will win some prizes.
- They can ask the viewers to send an SMS or
- They can innovate by directly asking the viewers to choose their answer in their television by checking an Application which runs on the decoder/STB. For this your decoder should have an application which can take the users answer and send it back to the broadcaster.
This process of sending back the information to the broadcaster is called return-path or return channel.
Different ways of return channel:
- Cable TV viewers receive and return information through same cable.
- Satellite TV or Dish TV viewer’s returns information to broadcaster via telephone lines. Sometimes an ADSL connection is also used for this.