Intercast was a technology developed in 1996 by Intel for broadcasting information such as web pages and computer software, along with a single television channel. It required a compatible TV tuner card installed in a personal computer and a decoding program called Intel Intercast Viewer. The data for Intercast was embedded in the Vertical Blanking Interval (VBI) of the video signal carrying the Intercast-enabled program.
With Intercast, a computer user could watch the TV broadcast in one window of the Intercast Viewer, while being able to view HTML web pages in another window. Users were also able to download software transmitted via Intercast as well. Most often the web pages received were relevant to the television program being broadcast, such as extra information relating to a television program, or extra news headlines and weather forecasts during a newscast. Intercast can be seen as a more modern version of teletext.
The Intercast Viewer software was bundled with several TV tuner cards at the time, such as the Hauppauge Win-TV card. Also at the time of Intercast’s introduction, Compaq offered some models of computers with built-in TV tuners installed with the Intercast Viewer software.
Upon its debut, Intercast was used by several TV networks, such as NBC, CNN, The Weather Channel, and M2 (now MTV2).