Category Archives: Social TV

Comcast Xfinity X2 Set-Top Box

comcast-x2Comcast is innovating. Their new software platform running on the Xfinity X2 next-generation set-top box has had over 1200 updates within the last 12 months. and their messaging is similar to that of Right Brain Interface; Fast, Smart, Easy, Personalized. According to Brian Roberts:

“As we look around the cloud/web ecosystem, the Winners are companies who can integrate across all devices, across all platforms, with a common interface, and they make it easy and fun to use.”

Here is a comprehensive video overview of Comcast new Xfinity X2:

2014 Trends in Online Video

tv-trendsPatrick Hurley of Skytide has put together a work-in-progress whitepaper about the trends in online video viewing that can be expected for 2014. In these trends, he lists #1. Social TV will take off. #3. Quality of experience (QoE) will trump all. We couldn’t agree more on both of these aspects, these indeed are two of the more predominately driving features of bhaalu. Here is the whitepaper:

StarHub to use Social Analytics to enhance TV Experience

starhub-officeStarHub is will soon start tapping big data in order to better serve their customers and enhance the television experience. Specifically, Singapore’s second largest Telco is building a new facility called MediaHub. which will include an analytics lab that taps social media conversations to better understand their customers and serve a more social and personalized experience.

According to ZDnet:

A key feature will be the synergy between a social media analytics lab and an adaptive production studio, which will support its pay TV business. These two facilities will work hand-in-hand to enhance “live” TV production based on real-time social media conversations.

“We can monitor the online conversations on all social media platforms. Our content partners will be very interested in this. At one glance, you can tell what viewers are saying about your programs and you can even make adjustments immediately,” said Tan Tong Hai, CEO of StarHub, at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Full story can be found at ZDnet: http://www.zdnet.com/sg/starhub-to-tap-social-analytics-for-tv-biz-in-new-mediahub-facility-7000023756/

Bhaalu Social CVR Launched in Belgium

Following is a condensed English language transcription. Here is the original story.

ig-bhaalu-iconA new social & mobile version of bhaalu, the Collaborative Video Recorder, sees daylight this morning, as it is officially released in Belgium. Bhaalu is a new and innovative consumer electronics product, called a Collaborative Video Recorder ( CVR ), which offers a relaxed and convenient television experience.

Bhaalu CVR allows you to easily recommend TV shows and engage in social discussions about television programs through Facebook and Twitter. Recordings are also made immediately available via bhaalu’s mobile application, so you can playback your TV recordings at anytime, from anywhere, on most mobile devices, such as a tablet or smart phone.

With the new social & mobile release of bhaalu, members can recommend programmes to friends and comment directly about those TV programmes, on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, the bhaalu website has been completely revised, allowing the public to purchase a bhaalu device for watching TV on the big screen at home, which of course, also includes the social aspects.

The principle behind the bhaalu Collaborative Video Recorder ( CVR ), is that members of the community work together to build and maintain the cloud recordings, that is made possible through the technology created by Right Bain Interface, and the community’s membership fees.

Bhaalu members can easily collaborate and thus, engage in a better viewing experience for themselves and each other, and at a reasonable cost. By sharing in the costs of the cloud recording infrastructure, without sharing the private viewing screen, consumers can record and playback anything they legally are entitled to view by law ( provided those channels are already supported by the common bhaalu hardware ).

Note to editors:

Are you a journalist and would like to see a personal demonstration of bhaalu? If so, please just contact us to indicate your interest.

About Right Brain Interface and bhaalu:

Right Brain Interface develops and commercializes bhaalu, the world’s first Collaborative Video Recorder ( CVR ), giving viewers a next-generation television viewing platform. With bhaalu consumers transform their existing linear, scheduled, and on-demand TV experience into a real-time personalized Catch-All TV Everywhere experience.

The bhaalupersonal video recorder allows viewers to record their full TV schedule (if supported) and re-watch all their TV channels while on the go, where they have legitimate access. The intuitive user interface of bhaalu enables the discovery of programmes while offering viewers a relaxed, personal and social video universe where they can choose where and when to watch their recordings privately, whether on their big screen TV or a smaller second screen.

Bhaalu is currently being tested in a private community with approximately 1000 beta and commercial users in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, the U.S. and Singapore. This first users have already responded with excitement and enthusiasm, indicating the bhaalu viewing experience should not be missed.

In July 2013 Right Brain announced the successful placement of € 6 million capital to a broad group of investors from the Belgian civil society and business world. Right Brain also announced just last week that Jo Van Gorp, former CEO of Telenet, as COO.

The headquarters for Right Brain Interface nv is located at the Corda Campus in Hasselt, Belgium. Right Brain Interface also has regional offices in Germany , New York and Singapore.

Facebook and Twitter Battle Over Social TV

Panasonic-Twitter-FacebookThe battle for Social TV heats up as Breaking Bad’s final episode generated over 5.5 million interactions from more than 3 million Facebook users. (The entire previous season overall produced 23 million Facebook interactions from 11 million users.). Meanwhile, Twitter had 1.47 million tweets from 682,000+ uniques for the same show.

What do these numbers mean? In a nutshell, It means that the number of users who start watching a particular TV show based on social media conversations takes place more often in Facebook than on Twitter. In fact, by more than 2 to 1.

But as Sarah Perez of TechCrunch points out, the comparison between Facebook and Twitter concerning social TV is more of an apples/oranges comparison than apples/apples.

“…Facebook is much bigger than Twitter: 1.15 billion monthly actives versus Twitter’s 200+ million. One could argue its numbers for almost anything will be bigger. But really, it’s Facebook’s looser definition of active engagement that makes comparing its figures to Twitter’s a problem. Facebook, you see, counts nearly any engagement with its content among its “interactions” – it includes not only those posting status updates themselves, but also others who then like, comment or re-share that post to their own networks of friends.

Facebook counting a “like” as an “interaction” is like Twitter counting a “favorite.” It’s not an ideal metric to lump in with Facebook posts or re-shares, but, rather, should be treated as a separate category of interaction. After all, there are a number of reasons why you may like someone’s Facebook status, and it’s not always directly related to the TV content they’ve shared.”

Twitter is a platform that collects a massive amount of data on all formats of digital media consumption. It experimented in the past with a #Music app, which is mostly dead at this point, but they learned from the experience, and as a result, will soon be launching a new television-oriented experience called #TV, which just might put it in the dominate position.

“Leveraging the real-time nature of Twitter will be instrumental to the success or failure of Twitter and TV. Facebook is gunning hard for the television market, and has been releasing big numbers surrounding ‘interactions’ generated by Likes and comments. Depending on how you interpret those numbers, Twitter either has its work cut out for it or has little to worry about.

Twitter has been working on this TV thing in a dedicated fashion for quite a while. It made itself into a bona-fide internet TV ratings system with Nielsen and recently started rolling out ad-targeting programs to woo TV money. It’s convinced that it has more to offer to TV than Facebook, and Facebook is just as convinced of the opposite. I doubt this tit-for-tat will be settled soon, but there’s a strong  case to be made that Twitter is actually in the better position, for now.”

One example of a #TV feature twitter is developing is a DVR-like control over the flow of live twitter feeds around live TV events.

“Dick Costolo, Twitter’s CEO, is reportedly working on a social media DVR. The aim of the project is to highlight the best moments and reactions from live events, and then allow users to replay the content at a later time. “Right now, you get purely the reverse chronological order of the tweets. It would be nice to see things like a graphic of spikes in the conversation. And be able to scroll back to that time and see what happened at that particular moment,” Costolo said.

It’s easy to see why Twitter is so successful when placed alongside live TV. Take the NBA playoffs for example, which recently came to a close this past week. Twitter was a delicate mix of humorous commentary, serious reflection, in-game photos, and an expression of either pure elation or defeat when the final buzzer sounded.”.

While twitter does not have the same user base numbers as Facebook, it has a platform that allows to be more vertically focused, such as Television, (#TV) and it is aggressively pursuing these niches to dominate the social interactions for each vertical.

It will be interesting to see how this battle develops over time.

LG’s Smart TV Interactivity

cognitive-logo-homeLG just announced that it will partner with Cognitive Networks to bring smart television interaction to LG’s 2012 and 2013 smart TVs, enabling advertisers and content owners to “enhance” shows and ads with interactive features.

Cognitive Networks uses automatic content recognition (ACR) to determine what viewers are watching and then to serve up dynamic and interactive ads and other content relevant to what is happening on the TV screen.

Right now Smart TVs do not know what content they are displaying. Right now Broadcasters do not know which TVs are displaying their content. Our core technology enables Smart TVs to become content aware. Our platform creates a network of Broadcasters that know which TVs are displaying their content. We are Cognitive Networks.

Cognitive Networks has also announced its Engage Enhanced TV platform, which partners will use to build interactive features. The platform enables viewers to see multimedia content during shows, participate in polls, and make purchases directly from the TV.

More information about this story.

Trendrr Purchased by Twitter

Trendrr, the company that tracks social media participation around television content, has recently been acquired by Twitter for an undisclosed amount. According to the Trendrr blog post:

That’s why we are excited to be joining Twitter’s world class team, enabling us to realize bigger opportunities that drive better experiences for users, media and marketers – across Twitter and around the globe.

Having sat at this intersection of TV and social media for years, we’ve analyzed data from lots of platforms. What makes Twitter uniquely compelling among these platforms is its connection to the live moment — people sharing what’s happening, when it’s happening, to the world. We think we can help amplify even stronger the power of that connection to the moment inside of Twitter.

ClearlyTwitter sees TV to be a big part of its monetization and user growth strategy. Trendrr was launched in 2007 and developed by the digital agency called Wiredset, making an impact on the blogosphere by first reporting that Facebook has five times more TV discussion than Twitter.

Thank you Trendrr for the analytics and insights you have provided, such as these images below:

Fan-Retention-1Picture1Picture3

Social Television & Viewer Engagement

Tom Bowers of Content4Productions, a broadcaster viewer engagement and social TV firm, recently explained the importance of Social TV and viewer engagement in a succinct manner:

TV for many years has been used as a catalyst to bring people closer together, whether it be in the pub, at work or at home. It drives us to talk about it as it taps into 3 areas that make us interact as humans – Emotional response, shared experience and opinion.Social media due to its fabric allows us to share our thoughts and comments in real time and a large proportion of TV viewers are taking to these social platforms to do exactly that. Take twitter for example, they announced earlier this year that 60% of all Twitter users access the network whilst watching TV and 40% of all Twitter traffic around peak time is about TV (Secondsync 2012). Given there are more than 10 million active twitter users in the UK this provides a point of entry that the broadcast industry can vastly capitalise on.

Connect Four Productions offers broadcasters a layer of creative enhancement and production empathy to manage and deploy unique social and viewer engagement experiences that become synonymous with the broadcast brand. Content Four Productions specializes in mulit-platform viewer engagement, particularly in Social TV.

Full Interview: http://www.appmarket.tv/social-tv/2256-interview-tom-bowers-from-connect-four-productions.html?sthash_NFXyejRG_mjjo=&goback=%2Egde_2018025_member_269178446#%21

Lean-back vs Lean-forward Television

old-fashoned-tvTo understand the future of TV, you only need to contrast it with the web. Nielsen Norman Group wrote an excellent article several years ago that is just as relevant today as ever. It outlines the differences between Television versus the Internet.

Aside from a comprehensive comparison chart, the article points out the following:

“Indeed, people basically don’t use any of TV’s advanced features precisely because they’re so cumbersome. As a result, the received user experience is pretty simple: turn it on, sit back, and enjoy the show.

The Web has powerful features, is nonlinear, and is user-driven — able to  instantly gratifying  users’ current needs based on their search engine queries.  Mobile Web use lives even more in the current moment.

Compared to TV, the Web also has a much finer  granularity of user control: When watching  TV, you make one decision every  30–120 minutes: pick a show or movie to watch, and then it’s lean-back time.  Ah, easy. When surfing the  Web, you make a decision every  10–120 seconds: leave or stay on this page; leave or stay on this site. Where to click now? Where to click next?  Stressful.”

It is obvious the lines between television and the internet are blurring. But in the fou years since this NNG article was written, Televisions have become even more complex, and more lean-forward. In a way, televisions have devolved from their original intention of simplicity and lean-back relaxation.

Bhaalu from Right Brain Interface restores the original lean-back experience television was intended to be, by allowing the user to time-shift programs for non-linear viewing, and offering a simplified user interface for fast and efficient browsing of channel content.