Update from The Cable Show 2012: Coolest Tech at the Show

by Brett Sappington | May. 23, 2012

Written by Brett L. Sappington, Director of Research

Have you ever had one of those moments where you stop yourself and say, "Self, that...is...really...cool?" Often, this experience ends with my wife removing my access to credit cards, the Internet, and 1-800 numbers in the name of fiscal responsibility (darn this recession).

While The Cable Show showcases a variety of interesting technologies, a few stood out during the past few days:

Downloading recorded content onto a tablet. TiVo demonstrated its TiVo Stream product that allows the user to access recorded content on the DVR from a tablet via the home network. The feature that takes the solution from interesting to coolness is the little "Download" button on the tablet. Users can download recorded content onto the tablet (transcoded by the TiVo Stream), allowing them to play back the content offline...i.e. anywhere. Once downloaded, the content can only be played on that specific tablet. So, I now have an offline digital video option other than download-to-own or rent. Sweet!

Social storytelling. When it comes to TV programming, I only follow a few shows. However, those shows that I like, I really like. Sadly, during the broadcast season, one show represents only a blissful 1% of the time spent in my week. What about the other 99%? SocialSamba offers a solution. In addition to the broadcast show, SocialSamba works with the network to offer additional interactive/immersive experiences to allow fans to interact with characters and participate in the storyline. For example, via Facebook users can "Friend" characters of a show and receive notes/posts from the character during the week as if they were a real person. Working with USA Networks, SocialSamba designed an interactive murder mystery - The Hashtag Killer - centered on the popular Psych TV series. Using social media and online content, users were able to help Shawn and Gus solve a case, including finding clues and interacting with characters. Users can also get virtual rewards for their participation. For fans, this type of interaction makes the content even more real and compelling than it is on the TV screen alone. As social media seeps ever deeper into our culture, expect content owners to increasingly leverage such tools to provide greater immersion for viewers. 

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