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February 2014

Technology-wise, synchronising a second screen app with the TV screen is quite a challenge

meaningless. Mistakes are being made continuously in this business, which is good because things can only improve. Plunkett: Some of the existing implementations are a bit, well, boring and formulaic. We need to see more content-driven apps, rather than functionality and socially driven apps. Experimentation is key, and a willingness to try different things and accept failures as a path to something that will capture the viewer imagination and interest. Rose: Sure, lots of things

haven’t worked! The question is whether the idea is fundamentally unsound, or the implementation just isn’t right yet. For example, a few years ago a big idea was multi-camera, where you’d be presented with a half-dozen camera feeds and, by being able to choose the angle, you’d be more immersed in the football game. Turns out there’s a reason why broadcasters pay their camera operators big bucks — it’s hard work! Why would I want to spend 90 minutes trying to find the ball when a professional camera crew can do it for me —

that’s their job. But… maybe it’s an implementation thing, and one day when I can wave my hands in front of the TV, then it will be a magically immersive new way to be part of the match. So maybe ‘not worked’ should better be read as ‘not yet worked’. Schroeter: Technology-wise,

synchronising a second screen app with the TV screen is quite a challenge. That is due to the fact that each individual viewer sees the TV signal with a different delay of anything between five and 60 seconds. Time critical information such as statistics during a football game should be displayed not 10 seconds before or 40 seconds after the incident, but right when the viewer sees it.

Time to gaze at the crystal ball. Where is second screen going?

TVBEurope 29 Second Screen Forum

Clay: The basic principles of multi-screening are now in place — watching live linear TV and reacting on a connected companion screen. At the moment, it is the broadcasters who have embraced this relationship most fully. Next, we should see more advertisers recognising the potential behind how multi-screening has made TV a point of sale medium. Cowley: The second screen will increasingly become a threat to traditional TV as audience behaviour becomes more distracted/ multi-tasking. The second screen will be as common as the usage of the EPG as viewers want to find out more information about programmes, and engage with them. Within 10 years all major broadcasters will have their own second screen

service — and it will provide a resource and revenue stream around second screen activity. Denton: Second screen is one

of many, many ways to deliver entertainment to audiences. It’s appropriate for some storytelling, but not all. Everything starts

“The viewers are ahead of us. More needs to be

done to make sure that second screen

applications fulfil a genuine need and are

simple and intuitive. Get that right and the

viewers will embrace them naturally” David Flynn, Endemol UK

with the story, and while we are still writing and commissioning for ‘platforms’, things won’t drastically change, and second screen could just become a standard commercial bolt on. Dukker: I don’t

know. Nobody knows. What I do know is that every programme, sports

event, live, scripted, unscripted seems to have its own dynamics.

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