The Issue: The ease with which Internet-delivered video can now reach the living room TV is certain to lead to renewed interest in new forms of advertising, assuming they complement, rather than detract, from TV-web viewing.
Solutions: Since Active-TV technology supports Web 2.0 technology, this allows PC-web based advertising techniques to be reapplied to TV-web channels.
Behind the scene: Click-to-view video advertising for TV-web is demonstrated using a new TV-web channel for vintage jazz enthusiasts. Given that a TV-web channel can potentially provide hours and hours of uninterrupted viewing, viewers should not be burdened with excessive or distracting advertising. Click-to-view advertising will have to be appealing.
Assuming a healthy balance is struck between the desires of viewers and the needs of advertisers, I suspect there may be music labels interested in associating their jazz CDs with vintage jazz video clips.
Terry Teachout, drama critic of the Wall Street Journal, shares an ARTSJOURNAL weblog on the arts in New York City. With over 4,500 blog entries, it is a busy site. In addition to daily postings, the site also features a list of mostly vintage American Jazz video clips uploaded to YouTube.
Oddly, Terry does not maintain a YouTube playlist for these videos per se, but I have nevertheless made a playlist from the links on his 'About Last Night' web site. Rather than single play, it is more convenient to watch the videos as one long uninterrupted sequence on the living room TV, as a 'jazz documentary' if you will. To enable this I have added new features to the TV-web template channel available at http://active-tv.blogspot.com/, making it easier to create a “YouTube Jazz” channel with these features. (See the TV image below.)
Under the “settings” option on the top horizontal menu, a feature to 'auto-play' the list of video can be selected. Below is a typical in-between videos TV image. This is displayed for a few seconds after the completion of the current video and automatically replaced by the next video in the sequence when the latter starts to play.
Below is an image of the next video playing. In practice, videos are not typically watched in the menu-context window shown; they are more likely watched in full-screen mode. The in-between video information ‘page’ is still briefly presented while transitioning between videos in full-screen mode.
As well as adding the 'auto play' option under the settings page (shown below), there are also new options to change the background color shading and select permanent left or right positioning of the box where the video plays on the menu page (instead of auto swapping at regular intervals).
There have been inquiries from readers as to how advertising could be included in TV-web channels. Google offers video AdSense for this task. AdSense is normally used with PC-web pages. It works by examining the contents (HTML code) of the page and delivering ads that are relevant. A block of HTML code must be inserted into the PC-web page to make calls to an AdSense server, which then delivers the video and adverting information displayed on the web page.
The same mechanism can be used with TV-web channels. To demonstrate this, I have added support code into the example TV-web channel. A small still-image appears in a box below the video viewport. When the advert-box is highlighted via screen navigation (as shown below), information provided by the advertiser is temporarily presented in the video-information area (below the video viewport).
If the user pushes ‘enter’ on the TV IR remote while the advert-image is highlighted then the associated ad video is played in the main viewport (a full-screen video-advert option is also supported). This is essentially “click-to-view” video advertising. If the user does not ‘click’ the ad image, they are not forced to watch the ad video and are only subjected to the still-image.
Naturally, the still-image, associated video, and text information are all supplied by an ad server such as AdSense. For the demo system, I just used YouTube video matching the search criteria “Trunk Monkey TV advert”. A new advert is requested from the server at frequent intervals such that the still image changes without any prompting from the user.
The word “advertisement” appearing below the advert-image is programmable by the HTML support code. In fact all advertising can be completely turned off (if so configured). The mechanism could likely be used for other purposes, such as distributing general announcements, displaying urgent news or maybe presenting an instant messaging session. These options will likely be explored here at a future date.
Feedback, corrections and comments welcome. Contact me for more information or support with active-TV technology development.