Watching TV used to be so simple. You would turn it on with the clicker, and then sit around flipping channels until you found something that might be interesting.
You had to be careful not to miss the “beginning” of a show, so at the top of the hour you would have to flip frantically or browse through a pleasantly regular grid of listings.
Ah, those were the days.
That was a pretty horrible experience.
It was bad enough with just a few channels, but then it got ridiculous with the explosion in the number of channels. Even sadder: this clunky, outdated interface is still the reality for a majority of people out there.
Then streaming video came along.
Now you could watch dogs on skateboards
and cats behaving strangely
(I never understood the cat video craze). And later, you could watch movies and TV shows on your computer. That is, if you didn’t mind sitting at a desk, or having your laptop cook your lap.
So all of this was great, but there was still something missing. Wouldn’t it be great if you could watch Internet TV on a TV?
Behold, the connected TV.
The perfect marriage of a smartphone and a TV, right?
Not so fast.
No, really. Connected TVs are not so fast. In fact, a lot of them are downright sluggish.
Navigating through lots of little apps is a pain, and then, once you find the right app, you still need to navigate through lots of content, often using just 4 buttons. All this navigation is enough to make your head spin.
If you’re a media company trying to get content on every Connected TV out there, the process is even more confusing. Every Smart TV manufacturer does things slightly differently. Then each year, they may change the way the system works completely. Oh, and they may do things differently from one model to the next, just to keep things interesting.
Let’s say you want to reach the largest number of TVs, and also provide a great viewing experience. You’ll also want viewers to easily discover your great content, and watch it on a large screen with little aggravation.
Move Video From Your Phone To Your TV
We developed Ooyala XTV Connect to create a connected experience across many devices.
By combining the ease of smartphone and tablet navigation with the ability to watch TV shows, movies, and sports on big TV screens, Ooyala’s XTV Connect allows content providers to target hundreds of millions of connected TVs without having to develop an individual app for every single one of them.
XTV Connect integrates with Ooyala’s mobile SDKs for Android and iOS. This allows you to create native second screen apps that can control the TV and opens up a number of opportunities for monetization, including showing complementary content, or running ads.
Best of all, XTV Connect does not require you to develop an app for each TV, since it takes advantage of DLNA technology embedded in most TV sets, as well as many consumer-owned set-top boxes, like Apple TV.
Don’t want to create your own mobile app?
You’re in luck, because today Ooyala is also announcing Hook, an Android app that integrates seamlessly with mobile-optimized websites. We are working towards integrating XTV Connect capability in Hook, allowing customers instant access to smartphone, tablet and connected TV experiences.
My sense is that the connected TV space still has a ways to go and we’lll see a lot of innovation in the coming months, including new protocols, new ways to interact with the TV, and new and improved dual-screen experiences.
At Ooyala, we will continue to build the video technologies that enable our customers to deliver personalized media on all screens, including the original TV: the TV.
As always, thanks for watching!