Two Screens Are Better Than One With Harris Dynacast Internet Broadcasting Product

By Ken Kerschbaumer

The two-screen experience, where sports fans watch an event on TV while using a laptop or computer to get additional information like stats or bio info, has often been a disjointed experience. Harris Broadcast, via its new Dynacast system, is looking to change that by tying the online experience to the TV experience via timecode synchronization or live publishing.

“There is a growing demand for interactive broadcasts via the Internet and anybody with someone less than 35 in a household has seen people watch TV with a laptop or computer,” says Candy Helgerson, Harris director of product marketing. “They’re surfing for stats or watching online streaming but broadcasters haven’t really taken the opportunity to tie them to the broadcast.”

The challenge for broadcasters has been figuring out how to tie the TV playout with the online playout. Dynacast, without the need for a hardware or software connection between the TV set and the computer, promises to change that situation and bring the two mediums closer together.

“The value proposition is to better engage the audience, have more
interaction, hold the viewers better, and get rid of channel surfing,”
says Helgerson. “This also opens new revenue opportunities because
online ads can be tied to something on the TV program.”

A software-publishing tool allows a TV station or network to program the links and tie them to timecode for proper sync. The links can include everything from statistics and online biographical information to complementary videos and online advertising. Personnel can also dynamically publish links on the fly for live events. Server software then syncs the links to the timecode.

For example, a golf fan watching a tournament on TV can visit an online experience that is synched to offer a chance to buy the same clubs being used by the player on screen or even the same clothes. Or a car commercial on TV can be complemented with additional information or test drive information online.

While the current system cannot be tied into a traffic or automation system Helgerson says that is a feature that should be available in next-generation product, especially given Harris’ role in the automation market.

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