ConnecTV social companion beta launches for iPad, PC and Mac (hands-on)

Ben Drawbaugh
B. Drawbaugh|02.03.12

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ConnecTV social companion beta launches for iPad, PC and Mac (hands-on)
The old guard's attempt at a social TV companion just got real with the launch of ConnecTV in open beta for iPad, PC and Mac -- smartphones and Android tablet versions are coming soon. The idea is you'll load up this app while watching TV and find a whole new way to discover details of your favorite content while at the same time share with your friends. The app uses a mic to detect what you're watching just like IntoNow and links up with both Facebook or Twitter (it'll also work on its own). Overall we were underwhelmed and quickly realizing that the other startups are way ahead in both release date and functionality. For starters, there are plenty of channels missing and not a single channel number. You can't even search for your favorite shows or channels. But even when it did manage to figure out what we were watching, we felt like we were being forced fed useless data like trivia and ads rather than having useful information like actors or players names at our finger tips. There's no doubt in our mind that the app was designed more to make us discover certain content rather than discover shows based on our actual tastes. Then again, this is the first version out of the gate, and there's no reason to believe this isn't just the first step of many on the way to ConnecTV's vision of how we should enjoy our favorite shows.

Gallery: Hands-On: Acer Iconia | 21 Photos

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ConnecTV Launches Most Comprehensive Social TV Service into Open Public Beta

Social Platform to Offer Companion Content for More Than 250 National Channels; Soon Rolling Out Exclusive Content to More Than 200 Local Affiliates and 26 Regional Sports Networks

Custom Content for Sunday's BIG GAME Showcases Live Play by Play Stats, Deep Social Integration, MVP and Best Ad Voting and More!

EMERYVILLE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ConnecTV, the most comprehensive social platform for all TV fans, opens its doors to the public today so viewers can share every "Did you see that!" television moment from the world of sports, news, drama and reality programming - live or time-shifted - in a unique companion viewing experience. ConnecTV is available today in the Apple App store:

"ConnecTV is designed as a unique new way to watch television: a second screen companion to the greatest medium in the history of entertainment and sports"
Powered by proprietary content recognition technology representing more than two years of engineering effort, ConnecTV instantly synchronizes its service to the largest stable of national cable channels, regional sports networks and leading local broadcasters across America. The ConnecTV experience integrates the richest and most diverse cache of content from its growing list of licensed partners - from play-by-play sports stats to the latest celebrity gossip and from competition reality results to local news. Thanks to a previously announced exclusive partnership with ten television station groups, ConnecTV will soon roll out tailored content for stations covering more than 76 million households.

ConnecTV's social platform lets users instantly see what their friends are watching and share their favorite TV moments with a single touch. ConnecTV's seamless social integration allows "viewsers" to automatically post what they are watching to friends on Facebook and Twitter by simply tuning in to their favorite program. With every change of the channel, users can also see the total number of their friends who "like" the show and invite those who are not watching to join them. ConnecTV users can chat with friends who are watching any program or join "show chat", which includes top fan Tweets and official Twitter feeds from players and leagues as well as show cast members, producers and networks.

ConnecTV's special coverage of Sunday's Big Game offers an immersive second-screen experience unlike any other: all the fast-changing player and team statistics and game betting lines provided in real time; historic Bowl Moments; "Did You Know?" factoids about the players and the game as well as special info about half-time star Madonna. Viewsers will also be able to vote for their choice of MVP throughout the game as well as choose the best ads of the day. ConnecTV registered users will be able to smack-talk and share their commentary in the show chat that includes official NFL and NBC Tweets – or chat with friends and create their own private Big Bowl parties on ConnecTV.

"ConnecTV is designed as a unique new way to watch television: a second screen companion to the greatest medium in the history of entertainment and sports," said Ian Aaron, ConnecTV Co-Founder. "At a time when increasingly more viewers are watching TV with a connected device in their hands, ConnecTV strives to give our consumers, our programming partners and our advertising clients a compelling new platform to drive engagement and reinvent the television experience."

The ConnecTV social TV platform is available beginning today in "Public Beta" in Apple's iPad App Store or directly from any browser at Current Beta Testers will be required to download the new version of ConnecTV to enjoy all the new features and functionality. ConnecTV's service is set to sync with and recognize more than 250 national channels, and will soon be introduced on more than 200 local ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, The CW and MyNetworkTV affiliate channels owned by America's leading broadcast groups. In addition, ConnecTV will be adding the top 26 regional sports networks over the next several months so sports enthusiasts can engage with their favorite local professional and college teams. ConnecTV initially supports iPad and browser based devices such as Macs and PC's. Soon to come: Android tablets and Smart Phones.

For a continually updated list of participating networks and local affiliates as well as supported second screen devices, or to download the app, please visit

About ConnecTV

ConnecTV is the biggest social network designed specifically for TV fans. ConnecTV is a "second screen" companion entertainment experience that compliments the video programming delivered from Cable, Satellite, Over-the-Air or On-Line Service providers. The free ConnecTV app is now available at Apple's iPad App Store and via It is accessible on iOS or browser-based devices. ConnecTV is coming soon on Android tablets and smart phones. ConnecTV automatically connects television viewers while they watch their favorite programs and synchronizes engaging second screen content, including latest news, celebrity information, trivia, polls and play-by-play sports stats. ConnecTV subscribers can see what TV shows their friends are watching, invite them to a "viewing party" and start a real-time conversation. ConnecTV also makes it easy to share viewers' favorite TV moments using Facebook, Twitter and email.

Real-time or time-shifted, ConnecTV will work across all television programs and as a compliment to more than 250 channels and 26 regional sports networks. ConnecTV has partnered with 10 leading broadcast groups, including Barrington Broadcasting Group, Belo Corp., Cox Media Group, E.W. Scripps Co., Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television Inc., Media General Inc., Meredith Corp., Post-Newsweek Stations Inc. and Raycom Media. Collectively, the broadcasters have a reach of 76 million U.S. households and represents ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, The CW and MyNetworkTV affiliates in 45 of the nation's top 50 television markets. Nine of the 10 broadcast groups had previously formed a venture named Pearl, which, as part of this partnership, will expand and coordinate the affiliate base of participating local broadcasters for ConnecTV. All broadcast partners plan to integrate and synchronize their programming within ConnecTV and promote the new service on-air and on-line. A number of the aforementioned broadcasters have made an undisclosed investment in ConnecTV.
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