(Norwalk, CT--May 11, 2012) Softel announced MediaSphere™ Bridge, a revolutionary new solution for two-screen interactive television that enables seamless and dynamic experiences between first and second screens. Unlike ACR (Automated Content Recognition)-based systems, MediaSphere Bridge takes advantage of Softel’s extensive heritage in triggering technologies and uses in-broadcast triggers (Softel iMarks™) to link the television and second screen experience and offers control back to the broadcaster and operator. In turn, the viewer is offered a truly enhanced dynamic viewing experience.
An ACR approach to the second screen usually requires battery-draining audio triggers to be listened for constantly on the second screen device, and regularly cuts the broadcaster out of the loop through fragmented OTT (Over The Top) services. MediaSphere Bridge places the broadcaster and operator firmly at the center of the enhanced viewer experience. Broadcasters are able to reliably link content on the television with tablets or smart phones, to drive seamless two-way interactions.
With MediaSphere Bridge the viewer is able to choose to launch second screen interactivity either directly from their registered second screen, or through their remote via an on-TV prompt sent out through broadcast master control and carried through the cable headend, prompting the viewer to press Select/OK on their remote. When the remote is used, and utilizing the return path, registered smart devices (e.g. iPads) automatically launch the enhanced experience to enable interaction with content on the TV. iPad users may even choose to 'flick' the iPad screen back to the main television screen for others in the room to view and debate.
A seamless second screen experience has been shown to enhance a host of interactivity such as advanced advertising, RFI (Request For Information), polling and trivia, and so on. Broadcasters and cable companies can use these apps to reinforce their brand and increase viewer loyalty, and make a more compelling experience. MediaSphere Bridge clearly opens up significant business opportunities for additional revenue streams for programmers and operators.
“Softel recently performed several private demonstrations of MediaSphere Bridge at NAB 2012 in Las Vegas” commented Sam Pemberton, Softel Chief Executive Officer. “We are planning to do the same during the Cable Show, in Boston later on this month. Feedback from initial demonstrations at NAB was extremely positive with benefits being immediately obvious to our broadcast and MSO customers. There is no doubt that ownership of the second screen will be important in the development of the media ecosystem. MediaSphere Bridge complements our widely deployed on-TV interactive product line and we expect these worlds to work together in a way that truly enhances the viewer experience while offering rewarding revenue opportunities to our customers.”
MediaSphere Bridge gives broadcasters a powerful way to gain and keep control over the second screen space while allowing viewers to interact with programming and ad spots, and creating a more compelling enhanced viewing experience.
More information on Softel products is available at http://www.softelgroup.com,
via email at info (at) softelgroup.com or by telephone at +1 203 354 4602 in the United States or +44 118 984 2151 in the United Kingdom.
Softel is a global leader in key TV and video technologies including subtitling and captioning, interactive TV, MPEG stream processing and multiplexing, opt and ad insertion cuing, and Teletext, delivered through a full range of products, professional services and bespoke development. Based in Pangbourne, near Reading in Berkshire, England, Softel also owns Softel-USA LLC, which focuses entirely on the Americas from its metro New York location. The company also has an impressive network of partners worldwide. With almost three decades of broadcast experience, Softel has built a customer list that encompasses prestigious ‘blue chip’ broadcasters and major post-production facilities, as well as freelancers and smaller facilities.