“ABC is bringing live television to your mobile device”

ABC Disney

According to unidentified sources around the New York Times, ABC is working on something new. Instead of having to wait a day or longer after the original airing on tv, ABC is rumoured to be building an app that allows you to watch the show at the same time on your mobile device as it is aired for traditional television. This would be something completely new. Instead of traditional broadcasting, this would mean truly multicasting. How they are going to do it (this might cost some bandwidth) and how they are going to deal with security and other restrictions has to been seen. But it is good to see them at least think about it.

 

BitTorrent Live: everybody becomes a broadcaster

BitTorrent live

BitTorrent founder Bram Cohen allegedly has been working on it for 3 years now and now it is ready for you. BitTorrent Live claims to eliminate barriers for broadcasting cutting down on infrastructure and other backend costs. A newly developed protocol based on the same peer-to-peer technology used for BitTorrent will turn everybody into a “miniature broadcaster”.

To use BitTorrent Live, a browser plugin is needed. Broadcasting will be possible from all sorts devices, ranging from desktop computers to mobile devices.

This new service of BitTorrent might prove to be a powerful competitor for companies like Ustream, Livestream and Twitch.TV but I guess network companies and large publishers will be very interested to see if this could help them as well.

Enjoyed the Oscars? Time to vote for The Flixies!

The Flixies

With several tongue-in-cheek categories, Netflix launches their version of voting for your favorite streaming video. Instead of best actor or best script, one can vote for the best guilty pleasure, best commute shortener, best marathon TV show, best hangover cure, best bromance, best PMS Drama, and best tantrum tamer.

The voting is not restricted to members of the Academy, nor does one need to be a Netflix subscriber. So get over to The Flixies and cast your vote!

The results will be revealed at March 11, so see you here again around that time. Or before of course.

Academy Awards infographic

All major events generate a lot of social platform activity these days. And with all that data, one creates infographics. So did Trendrr.TV. Based on activity on Twitter, Viggle, Facebook and GetGlue, they visualised the conversation during the Oscar event last night.

Infoggraphic Oscars

TV Discovery, Samsung’s first steps towards Social TV?

Samsung TV Discovery

Samsung has a great advantage over a few of its competitors. It is not only big in smartphones (Galaxy SIII and the soon to be launched Galaxy SIV) but the consumer electronics company also sells a lot televisions. And televisions are Smart TV’s these days.

The combination of tv and smartphone or tablet is rather obvious. Already, ton’s of people are using their devices to comment or check-in on shows and films whilst watching. And there are already many apps on the market that help you discover new content and even stream this content to the tv.

At the Mobile World Congress (MWC), Samsung announced their answer to this integration between smartphone en television: TV Discovery.

TV Discovery will be available on Smart TV’s and mobile devices from Samsung and will help viewers to search for streaming content ranging from traditional live television to video-on-demand or streaming services from the web like YouTube. And it will be possible to stream from one device to the other.

To make the discovery easier, TV Discovery will try to learn from your behaviour and based on that, suggest content to be watched.

TV Discovery will launch on Smart TV’s in the US, Korea and 14 European countries during this quarter and on mobile devices in the second quarter of 2013

Partnership between TiVo and Flingo brings apps and more streaming video to the DVR

TiVo

TiVo, one of the first companies taking on the traditional television industry with a, at the time, revolutionary DVR set-top box allowing viewers to watch TV programs at their convenience, did lose some momentum but is fighting back. Today, they announced a partnership with Flingo, world’s largest publisher of Smart TV apps. This combination brings a lot of interesting features to the TiVo DVR.

By bringing Flingo’s LaunchPad video platform into TiVo Premiere set-top boxes, over seventy streaming on-demand video applications will be available for instant viewing and also Flingo’s complete portfolio of applications, including video content from TMZ, A&E, History, Showtime, TV Guide, and over fifty other content partners.

Flingo’s LaunchPad will replace the  TivoCast platform for the around 3 million current users of a TiVo Premiere Box.

Super Bowl: Social TV in numbers

The game was thrilling until the last few seconds, Beyoncé performed a dazzling halftime show (live this time) and there was a black out leaving everyone in the dark. So there was much to talk about. And you did. This year’s edtion of the Super Bowl was again a big success on the various social networks. According to BlueFinLabs, a smashing 30.6M social media comments were made. Most of the came from Twitter (27.7M tweets), (public) Facebook added 2.8M messages and GetGlue counted 108K checkins.

The total growth of 150% against last year was enough to take the first place in the All Time Most Social TV Events, pushing recent Election Night to a second place. For those who like the stats better in a picture, a nice infographic below.

2013 Super Bowl XLVII Infographic

Crackle streaming video heads to LG, Samsung, and Vizio Smart TVs

Free video streaming service Crackle is already available on your smart phone,computer, and game console, but today the company announced its expansion to LG, Samsung, and Vizio Smart TVs. The expansion is twofold for Samsung, which is also adding the ad-supported streaming service to its line of Blu-ray players; Crackle characterizes today’s news as the conclusion of a strategy to bring the streaming service to, “all leading smart TV manufacturers.”

Of course, that strategy is only complete in a handful of countries thus far — today’s additions apply to only the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia for LG and Samsung, while Vizio Smart TVs in the US and Canada are the only ones to get Crackle. All new iterations of the Crackle app are available via Samsung, LG, and Vizio’s respective app portals.

Rumor: Dijit And Miso Are Close To Merging, As Social TV Consolidation Continues

Rumor Friday-Before-A-Holiday-Weekend®? Today, TechCrunch received a tip that San Francisco-based social TV startups Dijit and Miso could be close to combining forces in what would be the latest round of consolidation in that segment.

The deal would likely involve NextGuide app maker Dijit acquiring patents, IP and other assets from Miso in exchange for some amount of cash or equity in the combined entity, we’ve heard. It’s not clear how many of Miso’s employees would join Dijit, or how the two would combine product or technology that they’ve been working on independently. That said, while there are still a number of details to work out, the deal could be done as soon as next week.

We’ve reached out to both companies for comment. Dijit CEO Jeremy Toeman declined to say anything. Meanwhile, I’ve yet to reach Miso CEO Somrat Niyogi. (If you’re reading this, Somrat, please call me.)

The merger would combine two startups who have both spent the last few years pivoting while searching for market traction. Miso, launched in 2010, came to market as a TV check-in app along the lines of GetGlue and others. But it eventually transformed itself — a couple of times — most recently launching a product called “Quips,” which is aimed at letting people share moments from their favorite TV shows. Along the way, it’s raised about $6 million from investors that include Khosla Ventures, Google Ventures and Hearst Interactive Media.

Dijit, too, had done the social check-in thing and has also pivoted a couple of times. At one point it positioned itself as a universal remote control, connecting to multiple devices through the Griffin Beacon accessory. More recently, however, the company has been working on a TV discovery app called NextGuide, which it hopes to connect directly to set-top boxes from your existing cable provider. Dijit CEO Jeremy Toeman has told me in the past that the startup had raised some seed capital last year, but the company hasn’t disclosed exactly how much.

If the deal happens, Dijit and Miso won’t be the first (or the last) “second-screen” or “social TV” companies to explore hooking up with each other, or with others in the space. Not too long ago, Viggle announced that it was acquiring social TV competitor GetGlue. But that deal hinged on Viggle getting new financing — which never came through — and the deal didn’t actually come to pass.

That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or the other try to find another partner to tie up with. After all, Viggle had previously swallowed up second-screen startup Loyalize, among others.

We’ll keep you posted on what comes next.