There are some tricks to creating pages that work well on WebTV and MSNTV. There are also a few special tags and several attributes for HTML tags that are only supported by WebTV or have interesting effects on WebTV. The advantage to using these tags is that WebTV tags will be ignored by other browsers, but will enhance your pages for TV viewers.
WebTV Tricks for Web Designers
- Remember that WebTV viewers are viewing your page on a TV, usually from across a room. This means that while there is less resolution, you really don’t need it.
- Pages look best when they are rendered in white text on a black background. This is the opposite of most web pages on the internet.
- Make sure your page displays in less than 544 pixels. There is no horizontal scrolling in WebTV, and anything larger will be modified by the WebTV browser to display in that width.
- Only 12 characters are visible of the title in the “Recent” panel. To make your site more relevant, focus on keeping the first 12 characters clear and distinctive.
- Links are marked as “clickable” by an orange box highlighting them. This is especially important to remember when your links are important to the look of your page.
- Because they are not using a computer, they cannot download things. So, if your site relies on PDF files to be viewed, it will be inaccessible to WebTV viewers.
- Some of the newer versions of WebTV support some download file types, such as ZIP, but I don’t recommend relying on that availability of you’re planning a WebTV compatible page.
The Key to Designing for WebTV and MSNTV
If you want WebTV users to be among your readers, then you need to test out your pages on a an MSNTV box.
MSNTV is No Longer Available for Purchase
While Microsoft no longer sells MSNTV boxes, there are still people out there who use them. If your customer base uses this type of device to access the internet, then having web pages suited to them is a good idea.