Light Reading

Are 2nd-Screen Apps a Cross-Eyed Idea?

Light Reading
LR Cable Opinion
Light Reading
10/16/2012
50%
50%

In a roundtable setting at the TV of Tomorrow Show (TVOT) in San Francisco last June, industry players engaged in an unusual political debate of sorts. At issue were not the usual election-time topics of jobs and the economy, but rather the future of interactive applications for TV.

The key topic of debate centered around a growing number of second-screen applications on iPads and other broadband-connected devices that are synchronized with content on the TV screen. Such applications have enabled viewers to use their device to play show-related trivia games, follow program-related tweets, tweet with friends, get additional program information, access on-demand bonus clips and, more recently, get details about Olympic medal winners.

What seems like a cool new supplement for TV touches off a heated debate within the creative community, as noted in "Double Vision: Are Second-Screen Apps the Future of TV?," a new Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider.

The argument centers on whether the TV screen itself should be the sole display for interactive TV apps, or if it is better to rely on a second-screen device that is synced to the primary TV screen. As the report explains, either option raises significant issues about technology and business models that could affect cable and the TV industry for years to come.

The Heavy Reading report explores the prospects for second-screen apps for cable operators and programmers, principally through automatic content recognition (ACR) technologies. Included is a look at the market drivers, key challenges and cable's plans. While there are dozens of startups flooding into the companion TV apps arena, Heavy Reading has sought to identify suppliers involved in second-screen apps that are playing a role or could play a role with the cable industry and related players.

During the TVOT forum, held inside the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, three sets of "candidates" represented interactive apps on the TV alone, apps on a second-screen device and hybrid solutions.

A fictional Single-Screen Party, including representatives of Scripps Networks and CableLabs, argued vehemently that the TV screen is the primary arena for viewing and also should be for interactivity, an activity that is being realized through enhanced binary interface format (EBIF) and smart TVs. The Second-Screen Party, represented by Turner Sports and Get This, contended that second screens like iPads and smartphones are providing an exciting new platform for new apps and social media. A third party, the Hybrid Party, represented by Softel and Sharp Labs, advocated for apps that use both the set-top box (STB) and other available screens.

Through mobile voting, the TVOT audience sided with the Second-Screen Party as having the most dominant platform for the future. If nothing else, Heavy Reading says, the debate demonstrated that second-screen apps have emerged as a viable option for TV service providers and programmers to enhance the viewing experience. As the explosion of tablets, smartphones and laptops expands the number of video screens, new opportunities have emerged to engage cable consumers.

But, like the debate in San Francisco, there are many questions about whether second-screen apps ultimately will win over a significant electorate of consumers and service providers. ACR is hampered by a lack of technical standards and other issues that are limiting cable's participation, the Heavy Reading report says. The apps are creatively designed and offer a wealth of interactive options. But is this the way that Americans want to watch TV?

— Craig Leddy, Contributing Analyst, Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider


This report, "Double Vision: Are Second-Screen Apps the Future of TV?," is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (six issues) to Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900. To subscribe, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/cable.

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
craigleddy
50%
50%
craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 5:19:04 PM
re: Are 2nd-Screen Apps a Cross-Eyed Idea?


A quick follow-up: Six cable networks showed off glitzy second-screen apps during a competition held at the CTAM Summit in Orlando. The apps, fueled by ACR technology, were presented by A&E Networks, Discovery Communications, Showtime Networks, Syfy, Turner Broadcasting System and USA Network. The apps sync with a network or specific show to add bonus content, interactive games and other nifty stuff on tablets and other devices.  


The audience voted Showtime Sync as the best app. A&E's Storage Wars: Fan Challenge placed second.


Perhaps more important, when the audience was asked if they feel encouraged to launch apps, a large number of the cable marketers raised their hands. Look for more second-screen programming apps coming to a screen near you.   

joanengebretson
50%
50%
joanengebretson,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:18:53 PM
re: Are 2nd-Screen Apps a Cross-Eyed Idea?


Considering that smartphones & laptops have considerably more sophisticated user interfaces than TV screens do, I would expect that camp to win out. Seems like you'd have to replace an awful lot of remote controls if you go with the TV approach.

Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Interviews
In the Cloud With Telecom Italia

3|5|15   |   7:10   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders sits down with Telecom Italia's Simone Battiferri at Mobile World Congress to discuss virtualization, agility and the economic advantages of the cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
New Ways of Working

3|5|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Hong Kong Telecom's Michael Yue explains how the transformation in its business has changed its customer relationships.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bridging the Digital Gap

3|5|15   |   4:03   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Boingo's Dr. Derek Peterson explains how ICT can help telcos bring the physical and virtual worlds closer together.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Making the Internet of Things Affordable

3|5|15   |   2:42   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Telefonica's Dr. Mike Short explains how the Internet of Things demands a new low-cost approach to connectivity from telcos.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Evolution, Not Revolution

3|5|15   |   2:00   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan explains why telcos can't be too hasty in their efforts to transform themselves.
LRTV Custom TV
Management & Orchestration Enablement Strategies Required for NFV Commercial Success

3|5|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


NFV commercial success rests on successful service orchestration strategies which can span heterogeneous physical, virtual, legacy and next-gen networks. Network data and security integrity are additional key aspects. Nakina provides a suite of orchestratable network integrity applications built on an open, scalable MANO enablement platform.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Power of Five Convergences in OceanStor OS

3|4|15   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


OceanStor OS is Huawei's brand-new storage operating system. While inheriting the consistent high stability, reliability and performance from the company's previous storage products, OceanStor OS abounds in new converged storage features. Specifically, the new storage operating system achieves "five convergences" to lift storage convergence to a higher level.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
4K Brings Extreme Video Experience

3|4|15   |   8:10   |   (0) comments


4K video is a hot topic in the video industry. It will certainly bring an extreme video experience to end users. At the same time, however, it will also pose a big challenge to operators. Check out this Huawei 4K experts' discussion about how operators can achieve success in 4K video service.
LRTV Interviews
DT's Virtualization Vision for Europe

3|4|15   |   10:23   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks virtualization, cloudification and standards with Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE's Wireline at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks with Jane Chen, ZTE's Senior VP of Wireline Business, about innovations in her product line at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dick Chen of ZTE USA gives Light Reading an overview of what's new at ZTE's pavilion at Mobile World Congress 2015.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson CEO Talks Telco Data Center Tech

3|4|15   |   05:45   |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg discusses telco data center technology, business models, small cells and more.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Internet Pioneers Decry Title II Rules
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/2/2015
Wheeler: We'll Enforce Title II 'Case-By-Case'
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/3/2015
New CenturyLink CTO in Major Overhaul
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/4/2015
Verizon Takes Radio Dot to Detroit, VoLTE Overseas
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.