snell-morpheus

UK's Snell pushes the second-screen experience

Tie-up to help channels reach out as more viewers use social media while watching TV.

UK professional broadcast technology group Snell highlighted what is set to be one of the main themes at this year's NABshow with its opening day announcement of a system designed to integrate web-delivered content alongside TV shows.

The company is launching the Screentoo app to match programming in real time to extra data that provides in-context information about a show, launches a poll or delivers targeted advertising to iPads and other mobile and tablet devices.

“There is research that about 50 per cent of British viewers use Twitter or Facebook while watching television,” said Snell's chief architect Neil Maycock.

In response, his company has worked with mobile specialist The Application Store to develop a system that uses metadata to trigger the extra information via the playout capabilities of Snell's Morpheus automation technology.

“This is a particular challenge for live events where the schedule times vary hugely,” said Maycock. “We can add value here by making the online messages stay in sync with the transmission.”

Maycock added that two European broadcasters have worked with Snell to develop Screentoo.

Sport is the highest profile market in which audiences have so far used social media alongside broadcasts to comment on games and the performances of the teams they support.

However, there have also been other intriguing examples of a Twitter feed running in parallel to what is on screen. US entrepreneur Mark Cuban recently made headlines by tweeting on his own performance as a judge on the American version of Dragon's Den, Shark Tank, live during the broadcast of a pre-recorded episode.

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