TV Telephony, a new service which allows digital television viewers to make and receive calls using their TV, has been launched by digital TV firm Waterfront.

The service has many potential applications, from new ways to compete in live game shows, to low cost calls between viewers or creating alternatives to traditional phone calls for advertisers.

This new service will allow programme makers, broadcasters and advertisers to create direct voice contact with viewers and allow services such as "ring me back" to be placed within TV shows and advertisements.

The theory is that a viewer can press a button on their remote control, just as they would for interactive services, to trigger a call to their home or mobile phone.

Stephen Swan, director of Waterfront, said: "Voice Over IP telephony has revolutionised communication on the internet. Millions of people all over the world now regularly use their broadband connection to talk to friends and family".

"TV Telephony brings this concept to a whole new audience and creates incredible new opportunities for broadcasters and advertisers. Now these organisations can talk directly to the consumer, at the touch of a button."