The Beginning – The 2000’s 3
Scope of Service 4
Related Technology 5
Current State of the Service 6
The future 6
The purpose of this report is to explore the history of social television, its scope of service over the years, the technology that has made it possible, its current state and how it will work in the future.
The report will look at how technology has enhanced how communities perceive the humble television and how it has evolved to become what is today. By examining a wide range of recently produced journal articles and internet sites this report will describe and explore the aforementioned topics.
My definition of social television is where computer based technology merges with the traditional understanding of television and incorporates established methods of social media by way of a user interface whereby the user can interact with content viewed and have the ability to customise their viewing experience and interactivity.
The Web’s Definition;
Social television is a general term for technology that supports communication and social interaction in either the context of watching television, or related to TV content. It also includes the study of television-related social behaviour, devices and networks.
It is an emerging communication technology that's in the early stages of transforming the industries of television and entertainment. Social TV refers to real-time communication and interactivity involving shows on television or online TV and other content displayed on televisions.
The need for people to have interactivity with the rest of the world or have their own voice and influence over global or national issues and events is an ongoing and ever increasing. Social television is one of the many direct results of this need, from a small gathering around an old CRT television to a fully integrated state of the art television that connects millions at any given time; this technological leap has been looked at chronologically from then, to now. This report will be looking at the evolution of social television and how it’s being used today.
The Beginning – The 2000’s
Social television began in the early 2000’s with the introduction of large cumbersome remotes that initiated UI’s (User interfaces) that allowed viewers to interact with the content on screen. This however proved to be nuisance and didn’t take off right away as it would mean having to interrupt viewing and the connection via satellite or cable at the time was considered unreliable and caused frustration amongst viewers.
For a long time after this, viewers were using mobile phones to have input on the programs they were viewing for example the voting system used on many popular television shows like Big Brother, Australian Idol, X factor and others that encouraged viewers to take part in voting for their favourite act or singer. The way the viewer would vote was by of SMS text messaging, this method of interactivity is still being used but is being overshadowed by the new advances in social television which will be discussed later on.
Many failed attempts at launching social television took place over the early 2000’s and is still in its infancy today. The history of social television is a very brief one with significant advances only taking place very recently.
In 2010 Visiware was the first company to allow viewers to engage in programs broadcasted via the internet where the concept of ‘PlayAlong’ was introduced. PlayAlong is the culmination of 10 years work to deliver a fully integrated system with a UI that users can interact with relative ease. It incorporates almost all aspects of social media on top of the existing television services available to the viewer. Many countries have caught on to the idea of social television and are rolling their own versions of the service, for