According to surveys, up to 70% of viewers use second screens (iPads, laptops or mobiles) while watching TV, for social media or browsing for more information about the programme they are viewing, writes David Fox.
To enable broadcasters and content providers to keep hold of some of these eyeballs, Technicolor has launched MediaEcho, an application that synchronizes secondary content with broadcast programming, Video on Demand, or Blu-ray.
MediaEcho synchronizes such content as cast, crew and production information, historical facts, audio and video, onto an iPad or Android tablet to allow viewers to get more from what's on their TV without cluttering the main screen.
The app can also enable integration of social media, allowing users to post comments, share content and connect while viewing. MediaEcho can also enable e-commerce, allowing fans to purchase items related to the programme from their tablet.
It will work with any type of content (film, TV, sports), while synchronization with a Blu-ray feature possible through BD-Live technology to enable two-way communication between any internet connected Blu-ray Disc player and the tablet.
For broadcast and VoD features, synchronization is accomplished via Technicolor’s own audio watermarking technology. This technology inserts an inaudible high-frequency sound that can only be recognized by the tablet, allowing the app to synchronize even in the presence of ambient noise. Content can also be viewed later (offline).
In the US, some major studios have already adopted MediaEcho to provide immersive second screen home entertainment.
Sons of Anarchy Echoed
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is to launch an interactive Sons of Anarchy application, using MediaEcho, using both BD-Live and audio watermarking technology with an iPad and iPhone app.
“SoA fans have proven to be amongst the most highly-engaged and passionate voices out there,” said Mike Dunn, President, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. “Groundbreaking technology platforms like the interactive shopping app will captivate fans and enhance the value of the franchise, whether watched on Blu-ray disc or broadcast TV.”
The Sons of Anarchy app can be downloaded at Apple's iTunes Store and links to Sons of Anarchy Season 3 Blu-ray Disc Box Set. Viewers will be able to use the same app to synchronize with the Season 4 broadcast series starting with episode 9, with regular updates. While watching the show, viewers can purchase Sons of Anarchy branded show merchandise and other items with a touch of a button through an e-commerce marketplace, powered by Delivery Agent.
“We have worked extensively with Fox to create this app and take the second screen experience to a completely new level,” said Lanny Raimondo, Head of Technicolor’s Entertainment Services businesses. “Consumers can now engage in a much more immersive and exciting experience with Sons of Anarchy through our new second screen application - whether they are watching the show on television or Blu-ray.”