Interactive TV News Round-Up (VII): Android STB, USA Network, Warner Bros, Live Talkback

--Korean Cable Operator, GBN, Deploys Trident/LG CNS Android Set-Top Box Solution
--USA Network Launches "#HashTagKiller" Social Game for "Psych" Fans
--Warner Bros.' New Personalized "Social Series" Will Integrate Content from Viewers' Facebook Profiles
--Participation-TV App, "Tap to Clap," Generates 100 Million Interactions for "The X Factor"

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • TV and set-top box semiconductor solutions provider, Trident Microsystems, has announced that South Korean cable operator, GBN, has begun commercial deployment of Trident-powered, Android-based set-top boxes. "LG CNS is the service infrastructure provider for GBN and developed the complete end-to-end Android STB software for the Trident solution," Trident states in its press materials. "Trident and LG CNS worked together to offer a system solution to enable service operators to provide products that merge traditional broadcast content, video-on-demand and IP-based content. Trident's ARM-based SoC solution supports the Android ecosystem, providing superior time to market and performance. Trident's support of the Android OS allows service providers to offer a business model offering new apps and services to subscribers." Said Mark Samuel, general manager of Trident's set-top business unit: "We are very excited to be the engine for the world's first Android-based hybrid cable service deployment. South Korea has one of the most advanced IP networks in the world, so it is the natural place to begin Android IP service deployment. As other countries enhance their broadband services, we expect these Android IP deployments to expand worldwide. We achieved this major milestone by working closely with LG CNS, a premier developer of Android IP solutions for operator networks."
  • USA Network has launched a murder mystery-themed social game, called #HashTagKiller, for fans of the show, "Psych." "The thrilling 'whodunit' experience will take fans of the show through an engaging 'Psych' storyline specifically created for this experience, allowing them to send and receive messages directly with Shawn and Gus (series stars James Roday and Dule Hill), in an effort to solve the case," USA explains in its press materials. "Through the company's integration with Facebook's Open Graph technology, fans will now be able to integrate the game into their Facebook world, pulling friends in and even possibly becoming HTK victims themselves. The seven-week game will unfold online at http://www.hashtagkiller.com and USANetwork.com leading up to the highly anticipated return and season premiere of 'Psych' on Wednesday, October 12 at 10/9c. Every week, fans will be immersed in real-time communication through messages on Facebook, picture messages, audio feeds, and high-production video shot with the cast specifically for the game and made to look like the actual show. Through interactive crime scenes fans will be called upon to use their investigative skills to notice out-of-place items, titillating crime scene clues and critical leads that could all prove invaluable to catch the mysterious killer. As they investigate crime scenes and unlock bonus games, real 'Psych-O's' ('Psych' fans/enthusiasts) can earn points to climb up the Club 'Psych' leaderboard making them eligible to be one of the #HashTagKiller's victims. Each week will provide new puzzles, more difficult challenges and ultimately claim a new victim, allowing fans to rack up reward points as they go. Players can join the game at any point and even continue to play if they find themselves becoming one of the unfortunate victims...While 'Psych' #HashTagKiller is creating buzz online, fans will also be able to join USA's Character Chatter at http://characterchatter.usanetwork.com or on Facebook to share their latest clues and swap their predictions as to where Shawn and Gus will catch the #HashTagKiller. The online portal funnels live feeds from all social communication portals, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and pulls in video and picture feeds in-stream, allowing fans to watch a video posted to YouTube directly from the chat stream. Conversations on Character Chatter are accessible on all platforms, including smartphones and tablets. Club 'Psych' rewards loyal 'Psych' fans, more than 100,000 registered users to-date, who regularly watch videos, play games, take quizzes, check into the site via GetGlue, and share content on social networking sites with points that can be used towards the purchase of virtual goods and 'Psych' merchandise. Fans can also track their progress and see how they compare with other Club 'Psych' members through a virtual leaderboard. To date, USA has rewarded these 'Psych-O's' with tangible goods, invaluable signed collectables, and over 50,000 online rewards like bonus content, virtual stickers and more. The innovative HashTagKiller social experience was built using the scripted social networking platform from SocialSamba...USA also teamed with Glow Interactive to develop the interactive crime scenes."
  • Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD) said Thursday that it will launch what it calls a "social series" on Facebook, October 18th. "Consumers can now become part of the show by seamlessly integrating their profile information--including photos, text and friends--by simply opting into the application on the show's Facebook page," WBDD states in its press materials. "The action comedy series, 'Aim High,' produced by Warner Premiere and Dolphin Entertainment, staring Jackson Rathbone ('Twilight'), Aimee Teegarden ('Friday Night Lights'), and Greg Germann ('Ally McBeal') will debut as the first 'social series' October 18 through Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/aimhighseries) and Cambio.com. By choosing to watch 'Aim High' in a personalized viewing mode through the show's Facebook page, viewers will be able to see themselves or their friends integrated into select scenes throughout the series--from their photo appearing on a student body election poster, to having their name seen as graffiti on the bathroom wall. This video application not only allows consumers to have an immersive and engaging viewing experience, but also a social one where they can share comments, scenes and Tweets about their favorite moments from the show." Said WBDD president, Thomas Gewecke: "Facebook is an increasingly influential destination for discovering and acquiring movie and television content. This effort takes video distribution to a whole new level by making the actual viewing experience personal and social in a truly innovative and entertaining way."
  • Participation/social-TV company, Live Talkback, says that viewers have "clapped and booed more than 100 million times through the Tap to Clap dual-screen play-along produced for this year's 'The X Factor.' The Tap to Clap app was commissioned by talkbackTHAMES digital, with ITV and Syco, and developed by Live Talkback following the huge success of the social buzzer they ran during the 2011 series of 'Britain's Got Talent,'" the company's press materials continue. "Tap to Clap, incorporated into the official 'The X Factor' UK 2011 mobile app for Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, the official 'The X Factor' UK Web site and social media properties, allows the TV audience to express their opinion of each act while the show is broadcast. Latest statistics indicate that the mobile app is enormously popular and highly rated, with more than 581,000 downloads since the show premiered five weeks ago." Said Robert Marsh, head of talkbackTHAMES digital: "This is the first year in which we have commissioned an official 'The X Factor' app and our expectations have been surpassed. People are using the app to play along at home and make sure their voice is heard--whether they agree with the judges or not. Receiving over 100 million claps and boos with Live Talkback is a true milestone." Added Live Talkback CEO, Matt Millar: "The reason Tap to Clap is so compelling lies in its simplicity. When creating new ideas for social-TV interaction we never forget that the TV show is the main event with the second screen enhancing it creating a sense of involvement that viewers want to share. Tap to Clap resurrects the concept of a 'clap-o-meter' but with the real-time reaction of the TV viewing audience aggregated for all to see."
Region: 
North America