Active-TV Ecosystem Developers,
Using the cell phone to interact with a broadcast TV show is becoming increasingly familiar to TV audiences. There has been a lot of discussion about its use in building viewership and loyalty. The linked Wall Street Journal article covers several of these points.
The PC-web is also used in support of broadcast programming. But, unlike the STB, the PC is not normally used to access a broadcast show. PC-web material is accessed out with the broadcast time-slot and from a PC rather than living room TV. The article states “the cell phone is the best way to make television interactive because you can participate without getting out of the couch”.
With the adoption of the hybrid-STB and hybrid-TV, the IP path is likely to replace the cell phone as the technology supporting viewer “involvement”. The hybrid-STB enables TV-web pages in support of a broadcast show to be accessed from the living room. Also of interest is overlay TV-web (semi-transparent TV-formatted web pages overplayed on broadcast scenes); they will provide content creators, broadcasters and promoters with a much more productive method to build viewership and audience loyalty.
One challenge may be to keep the TV “experience” a mostly passive one while adding IP supported features. However, viewer behaviour is not easily predicted. Reality TV producers tell me there is a passive audience that wants to watch the response of a smaller number of interactive audience – it becomes part of the show, but remains passive for most.
Feedback, corrections and comments welcome.