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Television will Change


Synchronize.TV will help.

We have a vision for the future of television -- We envision a seamless world where data, video, and control are shared amongst the personal (smartphone, tablet, laptop) and public (TV) screens in the living room. The optimal screen is used for controlling and consuming media based on data type and usage -- The first step in achieving that vision is synchronizeTV.


The Problem

Everyone has a personal computing device with them all the time (phone, iPad, laptop). We use them while we watch TV; we look stuff up, communicate, shop, we play. Think of how much more interesting second screen apps could be if they were aware of what was on the TV screen. Related news, information, games, products and tweets, all driven by your TV without any typing. We’ve built an API that enables developers to make these apps - apps that track and leverage exactly what you’re watching on TV

According to a recent study by Yahoo! 86% of mobile Web users are now simultaneously using their smartphone, or tablets while watching TV, and many of these are performing search and discovery of content that is related to what they are watching on TV. Currently second screen application developers do not have a standardized, lightweight, mechanism for synchronizing the shared TV screen with the apps and web apps on the personal second screen.

People no longer watch TV live. Between the DVR and video on demand viewers the very notion of television being on at a particular time is becoming obsolete. This means that temporal scheduling methods of synchronization won't work.

 

Our Solution

SynchronizeTV processes the video signal in both the home and on our servers and synchronizes the two with unique hashed metadata from the video signal. This gives us a number of advantages. 1) It's very lightweight from both a processor and bandwidth standpoint. 2) Parsing the metadata gives us second by second context about the video. 3) It greatly simplifies use of the API for developers. Just pass the ID of the TV and we tell you what you're watching and where you are in it. It works equally well for both web apps and native mobile apps. There’s almost no overhead on the second screen device.

 

The Business

The basic synchronization API is free to developers. We will charge for advanced services and SLAs for clients.

We also intend to change the way TV is monetized. If TV can be monetized off the synchronized second screen then you no longer need interruptive TV commercials. As users have more control over what they watch via VOD and DVRs traditional ads are increasingly getting skipped they are getting replaced by more sponsorships and product placements.

We know what shows and commercials viewers are watching and we have the full plaintext of that programming. We can target second screen ads with that information. Budweiser can buy the second screen ads whenever any other beer commercial is on TV. If a viewer is watching Top Chef, and Buitoni pasta product placements are in the show, the web browser ads they see would be for Buitoni Pasta.

 

Market Size

The average American household consumed 8 hours and 21 minutes of TV per day in 2009. Despite the rise of the internet these numbers have continued rise in recent years. 86% of mobile web users watch TV while they use the internet. There are 327 million TVs in use in the US. 21% of TVs sold in 2010 were connected TVs. We anticipate that over the next 7 years all new TVs will have the capability to become synchronized. -- The potential market is huge.