With nearly a third of us regularly consulting our cell phones for TV-related information during our TV viewing hours, cable and satellite providers are scrambling to catch up to consumer behavior with apps that enhance the first-screen experience without losing the customer to third-screen brands.
AT&T’s U-verse TV service is partnering with TV app makers to offer customers a suite of mobile services that are now labeled “U-verse Enabled” in the apple App Store. For U-verse customers who have both AT&T’s IP TV platform and its high-speed Internet service, these apps allow for considerable interactivity with the digital TV box via mobile apps. A BuddyTV Guide creates a personalized guide to what’s on, real-time commenting features, supplementary content based on what you are watching, and an app-based remote control that will switch your TV to another show from the phone.
A TV Foundry app allows for better discovery and sharing of new TV content, even putting iot onto your Tv screen for viewing. A WayIn app is a mobile social community that allows posting of comments and images related to what the group is watching. And the Miso applets you share show information with friends and get recommendations based on what your social network is watching.
U-Verse is an IP TV system, which allows the apps to connect directly with any receiver in the home. Many of the apps being U-verse Enabled were developed at the AT&T Foundry group, which is charged with generating app concepts that tie into TV viewing. The Foundry is actively exploring future functionality that includes playing smartphone media directly on the TV (its own version of Apple’s AirPlay), synchronized supplementary information about a show you are watching being loaded automatically onto your tablet or phone, WiFi-enabled display of a laptop on the TV and greater connectivity with social networks during TV viewing.