Platform frenzy

Nigel Walley is a partner at clever iTV consultancy Decipher and the motor behind an intriguing research and viewing facility called iBurbia. Nigel reckons iBurbia is the only set-up in the country where you can put groups of punters in front of all the current TV technology – from Sky Plus to Freeview, networked Playstations, Tivos and all the red button applications currently out there – in authentic-looking living room settings.

His clients bring real customers down to test new apps in something resembling a real home and also send their own staff to get familiar with the dozens of emerging platforms they’re going to need to understand as the TV landscape gets weirder and more fragmented. Viewing facilities used to need nothing more complicated than a VCR. Nigel’s behind-the-scenes server room looks sufficiently like Mission Control to convince me that the business has changed completely.