Monday, December 5, 2011

My Review of TVplus as a SecondScreen Experience

This is a decent synchronized #SecondScreen experience.  While it would be a better experience if they covered more shows (only covers some primetime shows Monday - Thursday), it is a good start for broadcast TV.  It uses audio sync technology to identify not only what show you are watching, but where in the show you are, and then attempts to deliver relevant content (a link to the iTunes song for purchase when the song is playing, a bio of an actor when they walk on the scene, historical related facts to the content on the screen, etc).  There are some improvements needed to get this app where consumers will want to use this over all other apps, but they are headed in the right direction.

- Simple.  The app does not allow you to control the 1st screen.  None.

- Social.  The bottom right hand side of the screen is reserved for current curated Tweets about the show.  Supposedly, they are also kept recorded with the time code of when they appear in the show so that when you watch a DVR'd version, you don't get spoiling tweets and the comments are in context.  There is an opportunity to check-in to the show and share Facebook comments. Strong experience and with more shows, will get better.  High.

- Seamless.  There is no integration with other sources of video.  The app assumes you found the content you want to watch in broadcast TV from your provider.

- Stimulating.  There are decent attempts to integrate other sources of information about the show in timely and event-relevant manner.  While we can debate the quality of the tagged content for the various shows (tidbits of info, music, pictures, bios, etc), this is a very good example for the industry.  It would be better served to have access to additional standard sources of information (similar to the way Fanhattan shows IMDB, Wikipedia, etc).    There is also a "Favorites" browser launch toolbar (within the app) for sites like Amazon, Facebook and TV Guide--but sadly, it does not attempt to pre-load an appropriate search to that site but drops you instead on the front doorstep.   Regardless of the limited number of shows available for the experience, this is a very good push in the right direction.  High.

- Discovery.  There is not a function allow you to get recommendations of content your friends are watching or to otherwise learn about trending or popular content based on your preferences.  None.

In Summary:

- Simple.  None.
- Social.  Medium.
- Seamless.  None.
- Stimulating.  High.
- Discovery.  None.

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