WebTV Design Guide For Webmasters: Frames | WebReference

WebTV Design Guide For Webmasters: Frames


Frames Screen ShotLater versions of WebTV support frames - to an extent. However, the "Target" attribute for the <A HREF> tag is not supported, nor are the "Scrolling" or "Noresize" attributes of the <FRAME> tag.

The <NOFRAMES> tag is supported and encouraged, but MSIE’s floating frames <IFRAME> is not.

Test audiences were very negative towards frames in a television environment, and found them confusing. So it may be wise to reconsider the value of frames as a structural base for your web site, particularly if you want to attract television viewers.


Forms are supported and can use either scripts or "mailto:" as the form handler. However, navigational limitations, and the possible lack of a keyboard, make forms a less than user-friendly web site feature. If you use an image to simulate a button on a form, include the WebTV specific attribute "nocursor", to prevent the user from having to select the image twice. Example:

<input type=image src="url.address" nocursor>

TV viewers, accustomed to a left to right focus, also prefer that "Submit" buttons appear near the lower right section of the screen.


Images should be small to begin with, and compressed as much as possible. WebTV will convert a .gif image to .jpg, if, necessary to reduce file size. The "alt" attribute and "lowsrc" attributes are not supported by WebTV. However, WebTV specific attributes have been developed to handle transparency and image map default selections. Examples:

<IMG SRC="url_address" TRANSPARENCY=50>

Transparency may be set from 0 (fully opaque - the default) to 100 (fully transparent)

<IMG SRC="url_address" SELECTED="n,n" ISMAP>

<IMG SRC="url_address" USEMAP="map_url_address" SELECTED="n,n">

The "SELECTED" attribute will position the cursor to that area of the image map, saving the user navigation headaches. Note: Client side image maps are recommended, if image maps must be used at all.


All Rights Reserved. Legal Notices.
Created: Jan. 1, 1997
Revised: Jan. 9, 1997

URL: http://www.webreference.com/dev/webtv/frames.html