BuddyTV screen shot
The fact is watching TV has always been social, which of course means it was only a matter of time before technology removed the physical proximity requirement from the mix. We've seen said requirement disappear from various content providers and now it's subscribers to AT&T U-verse's turn. The initial slew of options include Miso, TV Foundry, Wayvin and BuddyTV Guide. All four let you share what you're watching while at the same time help you discover new content by being exposed to what your friends are watching. Of course none of them are exactly Facebook and U-verse isn't anywhere near the most popular content provider in the country, but we're glad to see someone pushing hard into social TV that moves beyond just sending status updates via our remote.
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U-verse TV Goes Social With New Apps To Interact With What You're Watching, While You're Watching

Dallas, Texas, October 17, 2011

The way viewers watch TV today has become a multi-screen, multi-tasking experience. According to Nielsen, nearly 30 percent of TV viewers looked up info related to a TV program while they were watching it. AT&T U-verse® TV customers now have new and better ways to bring together their favorite social apps on their smartphone or tablet with what they're watching on TV.

With the U-verse IP platform, U-verse TV and High Speed Internet customers can now connect their qualifying smartphone or tablet to any U-verse receiver in the home to use a variety of apps that provide real-time TV content and social features on your device, since the apps recognize what you're watching on U-verse TV.

Today, U-verse customers can search for "U-verse Enabled" in the Apple app store to access the first apps available, including:

BuddyTV Guide, which provides personalized recommendations, a customizable TV guide, show reminders and real-time commenting as well as extra content on your mobile device based on what you're watching on TV. From BuddyTV Guide, you simply tap to tune into a show on your AT&T U-verse receiver.
Miso (gomiso.com/uverse), which lets you easily share what you're watching, discover new shows based on what your friends watch and get cool information about your favorite shows.
TV Foundry, will let you search for shows, trailers, interviews, songs and companion content, show it on the big screen and share it with friends via Facebook and Twitter.
Wayin, which allows you to share opinions with other Wayin community members as you post and receive photos and questions about the shows that you are watching. Wayin is able to understand the television program that you are watching and changes with you as you change programs.
Over their in-home U-verse Wi-Fi network, customers can open the apps on their smartphone or tablet, identify which U-verse receiver they're watching and start receiving social feeds and information within the app on their device, based on what they're watching on TV. Because AT&T U-verse is 100 percent IPTV, customers can connect their apps to any U-verse receiver in the home through channel 9301, without needing special equipment, such as Internet-connected receivers or TV sets.

"Customers want their TV viewing experience to be social, without distracting from the TV show on their TV screen, and they want their choice of apps from their smartphone or tablet to work seamlessly with their TV and enhance their favorite TV shows," said Jeff Weber, vice president of video services, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "These apps allow you to interact and share details about the shows you're watching in simple and engaging ways. And you can do that on the devices that are in your hands or right next to you on the couch."

Many of these innovative new applications are being developed at the AT&T FoundryTM, a group of collaborative centers that quickly turn ideas into marketable products and services. At the Foundry, AT&T has been working with developers through the U-verse Alpha Program announced earlier this year to develop innovative ways for mobile and tablet apps to interact with the TV experience.

The new apps build on AT&T's strategy to make advanced, interactive TV apps available to customers on a regular basis at no additional charge. AT&T U-verse TV is the fastest growing TV service in the country** and the only 100 percent Internet Protocol-based television (IPTV) service offered by a national service provider.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

** Claim based on comparison of major TV providers' percentage growth in subscriber counts and national market share data.

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U-verse TV gets social with help from Miso, TV Foundry, Wayvin and BuddyTV Guide