Marketing

Second-Screen Devices Drive Progress

4/02/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

Viewer engagement is paramount in driving innovation
in cable television, and nothing has driven interactivity
second-screen devices such as iPads and tablets.

SeaChange, for one, said getting away from the traditional
set-top box environment and using second-screen options to
their fullest extent offers a big opportunity.

Speaking at the “Technology Roundtable” during Multichannel
News’
“Innovating Cable TV” event, SeaChange senior
vice president of advanced technologies Steven Davi said his
company has “been ready to dive off that platform for years.”

“I think what’s most exciting about today’s industry is that
there are a lot more home screens that people can watch video
on,” Davi said. “From a technology standpoint, we’re happy
to take that plunge into the ‘dark sea.’ ”

Steve Necessary, vice president of video product development for Cox Communications,
said that while tablets and iPads are definitely making waves, his company
has to be sure not to leave behind customers who don’t possess those items. “There’s
a lot of people that cannot afford those devices,” Necessary said. “But a lot of those
people do have smartphones.”

The panel agreed that initiatives like “TV Everywhere” are great ways to drive
viewer engagement. “The reality of the world today is that consumers are in control,”
Davi said.

“There’s an interesting phenomenon that has occured,” Necessary added. “If it has
a screen, it should be able to do everything.” Necessary said the biggest complaint
Cox gets from its customers is that they
want more channels available and they
want to be able to use second screens
outside the home. “That’s what TV Everywhere
is.”

— Tim Baysinger, Broadcasting & Cable