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Oh, engagement, that ever-important holy grail of TV watching. How does a network like Showtime cut through the noise distracting viewers sitting in front of the tube? The cable channel's already offered up Sho Sync on the iPad, to give viewers of show like Dexter supplemental content, and now it's going straight to the source, leveraging LG's LivePlus platform to offer its app on TV sets. The partnership brings the app to the hardware company's 2012 and 2013 line of internet-connected sets, so you can get character backgrounds, trivia and other extra features while you watch. Distracting? Perhaps, but at least it's the show that's distracting you from the show, right? The app works regardless of how you watch the programs --- live, on-demand, DVD, it's all good. There's a press release just after the break for you to engage with.

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SHOWTIME, LG ELECTRONICS LAUNCH IN-PROGRAM INTERACTIVITY FOR SMART TVs

Showtime Networks has joined forces with Smart TV leader LG Electronics to use LG's "LivePlus" technology to deliver the SHO SYNC app on 2012 and 2013 Internet-connected TVs, giving viewers nationwide a new way to interact with their favorite SHOWTIME series, including the eighth and final season of DEXTER® and the network's newest hit series, the critically-acclaimed RAY DONOVAN.

LG and SHOWTIME are the first to advance the capabilities of Smart TVs to provide viewers with a synchronized, interactive content experience along with television programming. The LivePlus synchronous content platform allows broadcasters, cable networks and other program providers to enhance viewers' linear TV experience with interactive content delivered automatically to Internet-connected Smart TVs without the need to install any applications or download content.

Designed to deepen the viewer's engagement with SHOWTIME series, SHO SYNC presents special features, character backgrounds, interactive trivia and polls at precise points in the show. Originally launched on the iPad as a two-screen companion app, SHO SYNC for Smart TVs delivers the same crafted, interactive content to the big screen.

When the LG LivePlus feature recognizes a SHOWTIME original series episode as SHO SYNC-enabled, an invitation to play along will appear on screen, and the viewer can opt-in to the experience with a click of their LG TV remote. The LivePlus technology powers the sync experience regardless of whether the program is watched live, On Demand or from a DVR or DVD.

"SHO Sync for Smart TVs is a breakthrough for the industry, offering a rich and interactive experience with a strong focus on content, where consumers can enjoy their favorite SHOWTIME series," said Donald Buckley, Executive Vice President, Program Marketing and Digital Services, Showtime Networks. "For the first time, viewers can click a single button using their remotes and interact in a completely new way with our programming."

James Fishler, LG Electronics USA's Senior Vice president of Marketing, echoed Buckley's comments, stating: "The LivePlus synchronous TV platform shows that with LG, it's all possible. It extends the capabilities of LG Smart TVs to enhance the TV viewing experience with compelling content authored by the programmers. While interactive TV has been previously done in many forms, this is the first time that standards such as HTLM5 have been used, enabling high-quality graphics using standard authoring tools."

Nominated for a 2013 Emmy® Award, SHO SYNC allows viewers to interact with exclusive content designed specifically for this experience while they watch SHOWTIME programs on-air, significantly augmenting the TV viewing experience for fans of the network's award-winning and critically-acclaimed series.

Fans can test their knowledge with trivia, earn points and badges, and compete against their friends and other fans. Viewers can also vote in live polls and instantly see real-time audience reactions. The content also appears on-screen at precise points in the program, usually between scenes, and is written in each series' unique voice. Using the TV's remote control, SHO SYNC content can be easily shared to social platforms including Twitter and Facebook.