The future of television? @linkedtv prepares TV for seamless integration with the Web to the benefit of broadcasters and viewers.

As the EU funded R&D project LinkedTV began its work in October 2011, bringing together 12 European research and industry experts from 8 countries, its stated goal was the “seamless interlinking of TV and the Web”. Convergence of TV and the Web was at its beginning and the visionary group, led scientifically by Dr Lyndon Nixon, now Assistant Professor at the New Media Technology Group in MODUL University Vienna, foresaw a near term future where watching TV or browsing Web content would become essentially the same experience, with consumers moving between TV and Web content as easily as Web users were following hyperlinks to browse different Web pages back then. TV viewing as a passive experience would be perfectly complemented by the active browsing of additional information and content on the Web that it could trigger.

The group could not have anticipated how quickly and significantly technology in the market would shift in this direction, with increasing Internet bandwidth and device capabilities making TV/video streaming over Internet available to all, broadcasters launching TVoD and Catch-up TV services to their viewers and SmartTV sales meaning TV viewing in the living room now also had an Internet backchannel available. The utopian world of merged TV and Web seemed close; however TV programme viewers weren’t getting their information needs answered through Web-connected apps on their TVs, instead of having full screen Facebook on their TV they were looking for information on things in the TV shows, background to the news story, more examples of the art visible in the background of the scene – and are there paintings by that artist in the nearby museum?

Today’s TV viewers are multitaskers – they have a laptop, tablet or smartphone to hand while consuming TV on the big screen, and they turn to that second device to use the Web for additional information and content. However, companion applications are not well synchronised to this search – largely, their “knowledge” of what’s on is limited to identifying the programme and linking to social Web conversation around it or a list of cast members. What they don’t know, and today can’t know, is what is INSIDE the TV programme at the time the user is viewing it and could be interested in. So viewer’s real needs for Web and TV convergence are still not answered today – how to find out more about something you see in a TV programme if you don’t know what it’s called, for example?

LinkedTV has been working on the solution. By bringing together R&D experts across Europe who could provide the right tools to enable the envisioned interlinking of TV and the Web, we have produced a number of demonstrators where the experience of watching news – from the German broadcaster RBB – or a cultural heritage programme – the Dutch version of Antiques Roadshow from AVROTROS – is enhanced by additional information and content at the viewers fingertips – whether through remote control actions on a HbbTV-supporting SmartTV or through a Web application on their tablet or laptop. This information goes far beyond programme description or cast details like today’s offers – LinkedTV enables linking to information about concepts like persons, places and organisations inside the news story, links to background or related stories, or even browsing similar art objects in European collections while watching the discussion about another art object on screen.

“Years of collaboration, knowledge and technology transfer, implementation, prototyping and evaluation have brought us to this point, where we can offer an integrated set of services and software to content owners who would like to enrich their video with links to related information”, summarizes Dr Nixon, who initiated the LinkedTV idea following his PhD on multimedia enrichment in 2007 and acted as scientific coordinator of the LinkedTV project work, which finished in March 2015. “Trials with RBB and AVROTROS viewers have shown they appreciate the ability to easily access further information about what they see in the TV programme when they want. Viewers result in being more satisfied and engaged by the content. The broadcasters also stand to gain by offering LinkedTV enrichments as an added value service alongside selected content, as it can attract both new viewers and retain existing viewers, and promote their archived and long tail content with a new viewer experience.”

LinkedTV results – software, services, demos and reports – are published publicly at

LinkedTV products and demonstrators for media organisations are presented at

LinkedCulture demonstrator:

LinkedNews demonstrator:

Technology consultancy and proof of concept creation are possible. Organisations interested in LinkedTV enrichments for their content can contact Modul Technology GmbH c/o Lyndon Nixon.

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All 2014 project deliverables posted online – discover the final research and technology results of #LinkedTV!

The LinkedTV project is pleased to announce all of its public deliverables from 2014 are now online and available either as PDF download or viewing/sharing via SlideShare. These deliverables largely report the final research and technology outcomes of the project prior to their evaluations and exploitation. The scientific and professional community is invited to learn about the latest research and results around Linked Television:

and last but not least:

All project deliverables from 2011 onwards on available on the deliverables page.

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Don’t miss LinkedTV @ACMTVX this year with demos and an industry offer #TVX2015 #LinkedCulture #SocialDocumentary

LinkedTV is pleased to be present with a workshop participation, interactive demonstrator and an industry presentation at this years ACM TV Experiences (TVX) 2015 conference in Brussels from June 3.5. Take advantage of the early registration until April 30!

On Wednesday, in the workshop on People, Context, and Devices: Defining the New Landscape of TV Experiences scientific coordinator Lyndon Nixon will demonstrate the LinkedCulture application as an example of the new consumption experience of TV and additional related information. LinkedTV looks forward to contribute on the topic of how to provide viewers a new user experience of TV linked to additional information and content from the Web in a way that enhances, and not disrupts, the original TV viewing wish.

On Thursday, in the demos session, University of Mons will show its innovative take on linked television, the Social Documentary. It is an interactive installation for collaborative navigation through a collection of video fragments, made up of a vertical main screen which displays the video and a horizontal second screen, which is used as control panel. A touch interface and three cubes with markers give the users an intuitive and intentional way to interact with the system. Besides, a color and depth camera is used to estimate the users’ gaze and quantify how interested they are in the displayed content. As the probability of displaying each video is linked to visitors’ interest in its content, the state of the system evolves through time and depending on the usage. The set-up points to a future creative form of television where video is split and consumed non-linearly according to triggers by the user such as attention or a wish to consume specific content with specific emotions, etc. A video is available at:

On Friday, in the Session 4 on “Multi-screening”, Lyndon Nixon will present LinkedTVs offer to broadcast TV entitled: “a broadcast solution for integrating the Web with your TV content”. LinkedTV offers a set of tools and services to enable content owners to deliver their video material alongside relevant Web information and content across the user’s screens, not disrupting the viewing of the TV programme while satisfying the viewers interest in or need for information when it occurs.

Want to know more about LinkedTV while you are at ACM TVX? – just drop a line to Lyndon dot Nixon at modul dot ac dot at.

LinkedTV’s offer to European broadcasters – added value linking of TV to the Web (talk @EBU_TECH)

Scientific co-ordinator Lyndon Nixon (MODUL University) took the opportunity of the last month of the LinkedTV project to give a presentation during the EBU Broadthinking event about Linked Television and its offer to European broadcasters to provide added value links from their TV programming to Web content. LinkedTV is now looking at industry uptake of its complete solution and was pleased to have the opportunity to talk to an audience of largely European broadcaster members of the EBU.

Dr Nixon focused on how TV viewers have companion devices with them while watching and turn to those devices when they are interested in finding out more about something in the TV programme. Indeed, surveys show 25-40% of viewers do this at least occassionally. The problem is the lack of descriptive metadata about what is IN a TV programme and the disconnection between available metadata and external apps to use that metadata means viewers turn to third party sources outside of a broadcasters editorial control (Google, IMDB..) or are left frustrated if they can’t even search (e.g. who painted a painting when one doesn’t know the painting’s name?).

LinkedTV addresses this by providing concept and scene level information about TV content to applications that can be on the viewer’s companion device synced to the TV playback, offering instant and intuitive information gratification – under the broadcaster’s control.  While a Web based implementation is already prototyped in the project, Dr Nixon also turned to bringing Linked Television to broadcast TV. The HbbTV specification has taken a significant step in enabling this type of added value enrichment service in its v2.0 release this year, with support for references to fragments of a DVB broacast stream (using the Media Fragment URI specification already used in LinkedTV) and synchronisation between TV and companion screen content (implemented by the Multiscreen Toolkit in LinkedTV). Broadcasters still need to consider the identification and annotation of TV programs beyond the EPG level, which LinkedTV can support with a set of rich analysis and annotation tools,  as well as the added value to provide viewers with links to other content alongside TV, whether on a mobile companion app or a future HbbTV 2.0 app, which they can produce and check using LinkedTV’s enrichment services and Editor Tool.

In our view, the traditional reticience of broadcasters to give viewers the means to browse elsewhere on the Web “away from their content” needs to give way to embracing Linked Television as an opportunity to retain viewers with a more satisfying TV experience, win new viewers and promote archived or long tail content anew:

  • TV viewers today are already multitasking, browsing Web content alongside their TV consumption. Not providing one’s own service to support this simply keeps viewers using other services outside of the broadcasters editorial control.
  • Broadcasters have a content advantage in both knowing what is INSIDE their programming (especially if they can capture this in the production step) and having the most relevant content for TV enrichment OUTSIDE of it, whether in their own archives or with content partners for which they can arrange exclusive access.
  • Broadcasters have a delivery advantage in that they can associate the enrichments directly into their TV output, whether on broadband or broadcast, giving viewers direct access to browse associated links in a WebTV or SmartTV environment while supporting also the default of passive viewing —  instead of needing them to actively open a third party app, sync with the broadcast and THEN get the enrichments.

LinkedTV offers technology consultancy and proof of concept development, just contact us – and find out more about our products and scenarios at

Dr Lyndon Nixon speaks at EBU Broadthinking 2015 about Linked Television and HbbTV 2.0


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We welcome you to the 3rd #LinkedMedia workshop @WWWfirenze !

The Linked Media workshop takes place now for the third time, and thus continues to call for more research and development on a concept which we have called “Linked Media”. Indeed, while this term still has little resonance in the wider R&D community the actual principles it embodies clearly become more and more relevant with each passing year. Linked Media considers the value of annotation of media resources using Linked Data concepts, with the expectation that the source of an annotation can be a spatial or temporal fragment of media and that the result of these annotations can be software and services which can more meaningfully link media fragments together based on semantic similarity (or difference!).

In the case that nobody could believe that some day the media industry might indeed be using Linked Media, we are glad to welcome as our keynote speaker Dr Harald Sack (HPI, Germany) who co-initiated the D-Werft project, in which Linked Data annotation is being applied in all steps of the media production process. He will show us how future TV and Film production will be benefitting from common, re-usable and semantically rich metadata. We are also pleased to have this year 2 paper and 3 demo presentations. These will cover different aspects of creating and using Linked Media: annotation tools, using media analysis in the annotation process, querying, linking and a platform to manage and give access to the media metadata.  Excitingly, we will take some time to actually bring Linked Media to life in a group activity where we will be creating annotations and using them to link media fragments together: “Linked Media”, in other words.

As audiovisual content becomes increasingly dominant on the Internet and digital convergence is the order of the day for our television consumption, the lack of richer metadata is a major hindrance to new services and applications which could uncover useful and interesting links between content.  Linked Media remains a viable and valuable concept for a Web media metadata layer with semantic links between fragments which could provide this new set of services and applications with the data they need to entertain and inform consumers with mixed media content experiences. With each Linked Media workshop we welcome new (and old) attendees who we hope will join us in our vision, spread the word and contribute in their own research and development to Linked Media technologies and tools. As the media and content industries increasingly realize their need for richer annotations of their assets and new applications which re-use those assets, Linked Media remains a Web-conform solution that could unlock the full potential of online multimedia. Together, let’s make “Linked Media” a future reality!

Join us at the LIME 2015 workshop at WWW 2015 in Florence, Italy this May 18, 2015!


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#lime2015 workshop @WWWfirenze program now online. keynote by @lysander07!

The 3rd International Workshop on Linked Media – taking place at WWW 2015 on 18th May – has published its program.

Besides 2 full papers and 3 demos on various aspects of Linked Media, we are particularly proud to announce Harald Sack from HPI Potsdam will be our keynote speaker, on the topic of “From Script Idea to TV Rerun – The Idea of Linked Production Data in the Media Value Chain”. Harald Sack is co-initiator of the D-Werft project, focused on semantic data integration in the media value chain and his talk will surely reveal new processes making use (and re-use) of Linked Data and semantic metadata in the film production industry.

Accepted papers and demos cover topics such as:

  • video hyperlinking to explore multimedia archives
  • an online portal as a future Linked Media ecosystem
  • a query language SPARQL-MM to access Linked Media
  • a demo towards contextual media analysis
  • automating media annotation with a Linked Data workflow

To bring all of this together, we plan to close the workshop with a joint group activity to bring Linked Media to life! Don’t miss out, participate at LIME 2015 – we look forward to seeing you!


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LinkedTV supports #SmartTV app development @EuropeanaSpace Hackathon for @rbb_inno #BerlinWall documentary

On 25 and 26 February, LinkedTV partners Noterik  and RBB participated in an EuropeanaSpace workshop in Berlin. We were able to use the MultiScreen Toolkit to develop a small app to view a tour of the Berlin wall on a TV screen, with a smartphone serving as a remote control.  Viewers can click a link on their phone, that acts as a second screen, after which the Berlin wall tour is loaded on the main screen (TV). Other participants were impressed at how we were able to use our toolkit to build a working multiscreen application in a relatively short time. Together with Sound and Vision we were able to add links to related content which become available to viewers on the second screen while the Berlin wall documentary plays on their TV by using their Editor Tool – taking an activity which today requires building dedicated applications and making it quick and simple for editors thanks to the support of the Multiscreen Toolkit (see also the Showcase) to handle the enrichments created in the Editor Tool (see also the Showcase). The whole experience showed the value of the LinkedTV technology workflow, giving broadcasters eased access to enriching their TV programming with other content and handling its delivery synchronised across screens to their viewers.

For a comprehensive report on the workshop, check the Sound and Vision blog. For more on the LinkedTV technologies, see our Showcases.

This article was originally published at 

LinkedTV @EBU_TECH on #HbbTV 2.0 for linking Television and the Web, whether #smarttv #secondscreen or #multiscreen

See and hear Linked Television at next month’s EBU BroadThinking 2015 event!

With the recent launch of HbbTV 2.0, the SmartTV standard for broadcasters to deliver Internet based services alongside their broadcast programming, this is the perfect moment for the LinkedTV project to show broadcasters its innovative technology solution to analyse and annotate TV programs. LinkedTV enables TV enrichment, i.e. temporal segments of programs may be linked to related content from the Web about the topics and objects that occur therein. Combined with HbbTV 2.0, broadcasters can offer this added value content as part of their existing broadcast channels and viewers can access and browse enrichments on a connected second screen without needing to download any applications or purchase any additional hardware.

LinkedTV will present in the Application Showcases slot on 18 March 2015 under the title “Linking the Web seamlessly with broadcast TV: issues and lessons learnt”. This talk will reflect on the issues we experienced in implementing Linked Television for broadcast TV and how HbbTV 2.0 can facilitate broadcasters in offering Linked Television.

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#eurtech15 EuropeanaTech talk on linking art objects in TV to #Europeana content on a #secondscreen

On 12-13 February 2015 LinkedTV participated at the EuropeanaTech Conference in Paris with its contribution on LinkedCulture: linking related art objects with a cultural heritage TV program using the Europeana API.

LinkedTV works on synchronized delivery of Web content related to objects and topics present in a parallel online television program, which we call “Linked Television”. An “ignite talk” (slides below) explained our LinkedCulture prototype which enhances the Dutch TV program Tussen Kunst et Kitsch (with a similar format to the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow) with links to art objects from Europeana similar to the art object being discussed in the show, displayed and browseable on a second screen such as a laptop or tablet alongside the TV viewing. A poster explained the technical developments of the LinkedTV project which make LinkedCulture possible.

Thanks to Johan Oomen for giving the talk, Lyndon Nixon for accompanying the poster and Lotte Belice Baltussen for continual support!

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@LinkedTV Multimedia Analysis REST service provides powerful content processing for your TV & video material

In order that the LinkedTV Platform is able to produce rich metadata descriptions of ingested video, LinkedTV has been working on providing a wide range of multimedia analytics techniques to fragment video, label fragments with concepts and extract textual metadata from audio and image. These techniques have been combined into a single Web service which is available to the Platform via a REST API. A new video has been produced to describe the latest version of this Web service covering methods for chapter and topic segmentation, scene and shot detection, concept extraction and audio processing. For more information or access to these multimedia analytics capabilities, please contact our project partner CERTH-ITI (Evlampios Apostolidis, apostolid AT iti DOT gr).

LinkedTV Multimedia Analysis REST Service: Video Demo from Linked Television on Vimeo.