Lexicon for the 2nd Screen Society

1. Second Screen
2. ACR / Automatic Content Recognition

3. API
4. Catch-up TV
5. Companion Experiences
6. Content Source
7. Dual Screening / Second Screening
8. Gamification
9. Grid Guide / Electronic Programming Guide/ EPG
10. Multi-screen / Screen-Shifting
11. OTT (Over-The-Top)
12. Recommendation Engine
13. Search
14. Social Feeds
15. Curated Social Feeds
16. Time-code Synchronized / Spoiler-Proof Social Feeds
17. Social TV
18. Sync-to-Broadcast / Synchronized Experience
19. Transmedia, or Transmedia Storytelling
20. TV Everywhere
21. Simple (Universal Remote Control)
22. Social
23. Seamless (Universal Search and Access)
24. Stimulating (Enhanced Viewing Experience)
25. Discovery



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1. Second Screen
A companion experience in which a consumer engages in relevant content on a second device, such as a smart phone, tablet or laptop while watching something on the “first screen” (typically a television but not limited to the living room).


2. ACR / Automatic Content Recognition
The ability for an app to recognize what content is being played on the first screen, typically in order to trigger an action. Emerging ACR techniques include synchronization via audio fingerprints and audio watermarks via a microphone on the second screen, via an network operations center performing the activity and communicating the trigger to the device, via “OS level” recognition of the video timecode, and via visual recognition (fingerprinting or watermarking)and visual content analysis of the first screen via a camera from the second screen device.

  • Audio ACR
    ACR generated from the audio stream. This is done through audio fingerprinting or audio watermarking.

  • “OS-level” ACR
    ACR generated from the video player itself. In this technique, the video player is “timecode aware” and able to communicate the timecode or event trigger to the Second Screen application (often done today in Blu-ray experiences ).

  • Stream capture (NOC) ACR
    ACR generated by video stream recognition techniques in a Network Operations Center, typically by the broadcast or Pay TV playout center. This technique can remotely trigger events in the second screen app (effective for advertisement synchronization and in live events such as sports, award shows, and reality programming).

  • Video ACR
    An emerging technology in ACR is based on video fingerprinting and watermarking in connected TVs or STBs. In this case, the synchronization information is passed to second screen devices via data interfaces between TV/STB and mobile/portable devices.
  • Close Caption ACR
    ACR generated through recognition of TV Close Captioning data in the video stream with the app understanding a set of triggers in the close caption text.



3. API
Application Programming Interface. A method (usually web-based) for an app to communicate with a device or another app.


4. Catch-up TV
Catch-up TV (or Replay TV) is a term used to describe video-on-demand in which TV shows are available for a period of time after the original broadcast. Catch-up TV breaks away from the constraints of set broadcast times, putting the viewer in control of when they watch TV content.


5. Companion Experiences
A second-device activity that is specially designed, by the creator of the first screen content (or service provider partner), to enhance the entertainment experience or viewing outcome. This extends to any experience provided by the TV industry that acts as a counterpart to your TV consumption, delivered on a second screen.


6. Content Source
A service option for viewing a particular piece of desired content, such as AT&T U-verse Channel 763, Hulu, Netflix, or iTunes.


7. Dual Screening / Second Screening
The broadest definition of second screen use, this covers any second-device activity undertaken while watching TV or a live event While watching a TV program, viewers may be writing an email on a laptop, looking up sports results on a smartphone, or reading the news on a tablet: this is the 21st century version of reading the paper while watching TV.


8. Gamification
Generally speaking, this is any use of game mechanics and game design techniques in non-game contexts and applications. This technique takes advantage of the average person’s psychological disposition to engage in gaming, in order to immerse users more fully in non-game content. A simple example is the use of competitive games to keep viewers highly engaged in first screen content (often in the form of trivia), but gamificaton can be implemented to promote a whole range of desired behaviors. By making the application or content more engaging, for example, gamification can encourage people to focus on and perform tasks that they ordinarily consider boring. A rewards system is often combined in gamification, offering the consumer either a point-based system of badges or other public acknowledgement or offering them an ability to create real-world discounts or gift cards.


9. Grid Guide / Electronic Programming Guide/ EPG
The classic, newspaper-originated representation of “what’s on”: a 2-dimensional grid of content options, with TV channels listed down the left-hand side, and times across the top.


10. Multi-screen / Screen-Shifting
Video content that has been transformed into multiple formats, bit rates and resolutions for display on multiple devices, such as TVs, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. Additional devices may include video game consoles such as the Xbox360, internet-enabled consumer electronics devices or Smart TVs.


11. OTT (Over-The-Top)
The broadband delivery of video and audio without the Internet Service Provider (ISP) being involved in the control or distribution of the content itself. The provider may be aware of but is not responsible for, nor able to control, the viewing abilities, copyrights, and/or other redistribution of the content, which is the nature of the internet. OTT is in contrast to delivery through purchase or rental of video or audio content (over IP) from the Internet provider, such as video on demand (over IP). OTT in particular refers to content that arrives from a third party, such as iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Netflix or Hulu, and arrives to the end user device, leaving the ISP responsible only for transporting IP packets. Consumers can access OTT content through Internet-connected devices such as PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, set top boxes, smart TV and gaming consoles such as the Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.


12. Recommendation Engine
The ability for a content engine to take a user’s preferences and/or popular preferences into account—based on data sources such as recent viewing history, stated likes/dislikes, recommendations from friends, and popular content lists—and to suggest something that the user will find appealing. The service is an attempt to replace and transcend the classic in-store customer experience offered at places like Blockbuster. An example would be asking a store assistant you don’t know what to watch and he/she would ask you about likes/dislikes or perhaps suggest currently popular films from a suggested genre.


13. Search
The ability for a content engine to return the results of a TV show or movie when the user knows something about what she’s looking for (name of the title, actor in the movie, subject of the feature, etc.) This is a decidedly “lean-forward” experience: the user already knows what she wants to watch and simply wants to find a content source that will provide it. The physical “Blockbuster” video store example would be asking the store assistant where to find the title with a certain actor, and about a certain subject.


14. Social Feeds
Feeds are streams of real-time, aggregating information. News Feeds share information about world affairs; social feeds share information about people. Social Feeds are generated by social media, social networking, and social bookmarking sites, as well as blogs, micro-blogs, or other social RSS/Atom feeds. It is possible to use this stream of information to create customized feeds to share, as well as originate new posts-discussions and comments.


15. Curated Social Feeds
Applying some level of filtering to streaming social feeds (typically Twitter or Facebook). The filters are typically applied to capture key comments, reduce the absolute volume, or filter-out age-inappropriate materials.


16. Time-code Synchronized / Spoiler-Proof Social Feeds
The ability to view a social feed about first screen content, with streamed comments anchored to the video time code. The anchoring allows comments to be revealed at the appropriate time relative to the content to avoid spoilers (as with East Coast/West Coast viewers of the same program), or to aggregate an audience asynchronously (VOD and Blu-ray movies).


17. Social TV
A general term for technology that facilitates social interactions based around consumption of television programs or TV-related content. Social television systems can integrate features like voice communication, text chat, presence and context awareness, TV recommendations, ratings, or video-conferencing with the TV content, either directly on the screen or by using second devices (see dual screening). White-labeled social TV platforms have also emerged, which allow TV networks and operators to offer branded social TV applications. The act of posting in Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus about a TV program or movie while watching a show, in order to engage with the show’s audience, is one form of Social TV.


18. Sync-to-Broadcast / Synchronized Experience
Any second screen activity prompted by the first screen. This includes all relevant content or activities delivered to the second screen, as long as they are dependent upon what’s happening in the first screen. Integration with content can be tight, such as engaging with a debate via a non-TV service (like Twitter), or loose, such as looking up weekend listings for the TV channel.


19. Transmedia, or Transmedia Storytelling
Also known as transmedia narrative, multiplatform storytelling or cross-media storytelling, this is a technique for unfolding a single narrative across multiple media platforms (including current digital technologies), in which each form of media is used to its best advantage, and unique content is offered on each platform. A transmedia production attempts to permeate the lives of its viewers with its diverse narrative “pieces.” Not long ago, this technique was most common in sci-fi and fantasy gaming franchises like “World of Warcraft”, but it has quickly emerged as a prominent mainstream tool for creative marketing.


20. TV Everywhere
A multi-screen, subscription-based television content service, in which satellite, telco or cable television customers can access TV content via devices such as tablets, smart phones and game consoles. Television service providers are able to authenticate paying customers before allowing access to their IPTV video on demand Internet television services.




FINAL 5: Terms/Goals of the 2nd Screen Society

21. Simple (Universal Remote Control)
A categorization of second screen features that give the user the ability to utilize a second screen app to control and hence simplify their 1st screen device ecosystem, often including the ability to change channels, browse and launch content (ie tune-in), change the volume, and record to—and play from—the DVR.


22. Social
A categorization of features in second screen that gives the user the ability to share comments or engage in chat natively or through the more popular social tools (Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus) directly from the second screen app. It also includes the ability to share and receive information from Social feeds about other views’ content likes and dislikes and the ability to leverage existing social networks to generate app-specific social networks.


23. Seamless (Universal Search and Access)
A categorization of features that gives consumers the ability to acquire a desired piece of content for viewing on the first or second screen, regardless of the content source (assuming the consumer has access to that source). For example, searching on BuddyTV or NextGuide will yield the content sources for a particular title so that the consumer can then play that title from the content source.


24. Stimulating (Enhanced Viewing Experience)
A categorization of second screen features that gives the user the ability to experience rich, related metadata on the second screen that is applicable to the content on the first screen. This is often in the form of sports statistics, filmography and actor biographies, contextual information about the plot of the content, related music, trivia, etc., but could also be commerce opportunities (e.g. Jennifer Anniston’s sweater), games or interactive or contextual advertising.


25. Discovery
The ability for a content engine to propose several yet-untried content recommendations, in parallel, based on different inputs— all in a very small number of clicks. This allows for a decidedly “lean back” experience of finding new, appealing content to watch and transcends ordinary recommendations. The physical Blockbuster video store example would be a store assistant who has known you for years and who can suggest content you would never normally have tried, based on his deep knowledge of your tastes and how that might cross reference with yet-untried content.

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