Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): DirecTV, ESPN, Hulu, Intel, Toshiba

--DirecTV, ESPN Offer Interactive TV Coverage of The Open Championship
--Hulu Plus Launches on Four More Android Smartphones
--Intel, Toshiba Collaborate on Interactive "Social Film" Featuring Hollywood Talent

Because the [itvt] editorial team is on the road this week, we are covering stories in this edition of the newsletter in round-up format:

  • DirecTV recently teamed with ESPN to offer interactive TV coverage of golf's Open Championship. Key features of "The Open Championship Experience," as the DirecTV-ESPN offering was branded, included: 1) A multiscreen "mix" channel that allowed viewers to watch, and switch between the audio of, three supplemental channels of coverage in addition to the main national feed. 2) The ability to press the red button to access real-time scores for the top-5 tournament leaders; a leaderboard for the entire tournament; a scorecard offering such stats as "driving distance" and "fairways hit"; and a 10-question trivia quiz. A video showcasing "The Open Championship Experience" can be seen here.
  • Hulu has announced that its premium subscription service, Hulu Plus, is now available on four more Android smartphones: "Hulu Plus is now available on HTC Evo 4G, HTC ThunderBolt, HTC myTouch 4G and G2--joining the Nexus One, Nexus S, HTC Inspire 4G, Motorola Droid II, Motorola Droid X, and the Motorola Atrix in Android Market," the company states on its blog.
  • Intel and Toshiba have announced that they are collaborating on a "social film project" entitled "Inside." "Starring Emmy Rossum ('Shameless,' 'Phantom of the Opera'), 'Inside' is a blockbuster-class experiment in social entertainment, brought to life by leading minds in Hollywood, technology and social media," the companies state in their press materials. "The film aims to bring a new genre of interactive, social entertainment and is directed by D.J. Caruso ('Disturbia,' 'I Am Number Four,' 'Eagle Eye') and Oscar-winning cinematographer Mauro Fiore ('Avatar,' 'Training Day')...In the film, Rossum plays the role of Christina, a 20-something woman trapped in a room with only a 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 processor-powered Toshiba Satellite P775-series laptop and an untraceable Internet connection. Unable to determine where she is being held or what her fate might be, Christina uses the laptop to mobilize her social network, reaching out to friends, family and anyone else who can help her figure out where she's being held and how to escape. Unlike most static productions, 'Inside' engages the audience by enlisting them to be a part of the film through social media. Viewers are encouraged to connect with Christina, tweet clues and post advice to her Facebook wall. The film will air in short episodes starting on July 25. During this time, viewers will be invited to activate their social channels and help decode Christina's dilemma by posting tips, insights, ideas and clues. The editing team, led by Emmy-winning editor Josh Bodnar, will incorporate posts that best fit the storyline into the episodes. Additionally, one viewer will have a chance to be cast in a role through a YouTube online casting call that opens today and runs through July 20. The winning video submission will be incorporated into the movie and the winner will be included in the credits of the film." Said director D.J. Caruso: "'Inside' is unique because it allows me as the director to direct not just the actors but the audience as well. Social film is still in an experimental phase and collaborations like this one will help bring new concepts, opportunities and ideas to the world of entertainment. We had to approach the film differently because there are blanks that need to be filled in by the social media audience, but that is what makes it an exciting new experience for the viewer; the opportunity to participate in the film itself." The film's Web site is located here, its Facebook page here, and its Twitter feed here.
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