The marriage of social networking and television is nothing new, but Myriad recently launched Social TV, a white label solution which allows TV service providers to roll out their own custom social networking platform on your cable box. It complements services like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ by offering a more contextual way for viewers to interact with their friends while watching TV. Social TV provides an integrated HTML5 experience that's consistent across both television and companion devices (phones and tablets). Viewers can chose between receiving alerts on their TVs, mobile devices or both and can create show- or series-specific virtual communities that automatically expire when the program ends. The system is even mindful of time zones and time-shifts messages to prevent spoilers. More after the break.
We talked with Myriad's Dave Weidner who fielded our questions and gave us a demo of the tech in action. TV service providers can brand and tweak the solution and companion apps to their liking and create content with social networking in mind. In return, Social TV can gather detailed user metrics that enable targeted advertising for additional revenue. The system combines two of Myriad's existing products, Alien Vue (an environment which runs Android apps on non-Android set-top boxes and TVs) and the company's social networking back end (already used by multiple mobile operators worldwide). We saw Social TV running on a Broadcom BCM97425C reference set-top box and Nexus 7 tablet, but it's designed to work with most cable boxes including older models already deployed in the field. Trials are expected to begin by the end of the year, but final pricing and availability will be up to the individual TV service providers. Don't forget to watch our hands-on video.