LinkedTV is future television where the Web and TV are seamlessly integrated with one another!

As Television and the Web converge – television content is transmitted digitally, possibly over IP, to devices which are equally Web capable, while Web content includes audiovisual streams consumed over connected devices in the same manner as classical television – we note that the actual meaning of ‘television’ changes. On a connected device, (broadcast) television content, other audiovisual content and other Web content may be consumed in parallel or sequence, and the fact that something is ‘television’ or ‘Web’ blurs in the consumers’ awareness. Is YouTube playing on a SmartTV now television? Is a catchup TV stream on the laptop still television?

Linked Television is a vision of future television consumption. Here TV and Web content is seamlessly interlinked, for example while watching the news the viewer is getting background information on the stories at their fingertips; it’s seeing a painting in a TV program and being able to identify the artist and the museum where it hangs. It’s facilitating what the Second Screen generation is already doing, but now bringing this within the same digital ecosystem, so that content owners retain the connection with the viewer and control about the information being linked with their media.

The concept of Linked Television is made up of an initial audiovisual stream, i.e. a TV program (termed the seed content), a set of concepts determined to be relevant to parts of that audiovisual stream (termed the annotation), and a set of digital contents which are associated to each concept as being informative or illustrative of that concept (termed theenrichment). Within a Linked Television environment the viewer of supported seed content would be able to access a LinkedTV application on some connected device able to recognize which content was being consumed, retrieve the associated annotations and enrichments, and make them accessible to the viewer. This concept does not impose any expectations regarding which device runs the application nor on which screens the seed content, annotations or enrichments would be displayed, recognising that the future viewing environment may involve several devices capable to connect to the Internet and to share content between them.

This triple layered approach in Linked Television allows first that an abstract representation of the perceived topics and objects of relevance in the TV program is first captured, allowing for possible subsequent personalization to the current viewer and his/her particular interests or needs in the current viewing context. Then enrichments are determined for that TV program based on the accepted topics and objects of relevance in the TV program, allowing that the experience of the enriched TV program could differ from viewer to viewer or from context to context, as opposed to current second screen companion apps whose associated content is hard linked to the running TV program in advance.

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