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You Don't Have to Chuck Your DVR in the Bin If You Are Addicted to the Social TV



Here is a relatively obscure snippet of news, which could have made the corporate honchos of the leading makers of DVR like TiVo, Motorola, RCA, Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba and cable companies like Time Warner, Comcast and Cox which offer TV packages that include a DVR, sit up and take note.

DVR Falls Victim to "Social TV"
"Social TV," in which young viewers use cell phones to communicate with friends about shows they are currently watching, is reversing the trend to record shows on DVRs and watch them at some later time, according to a survey conducted in the U.K. by Digital Clarity. According to the study, 80 percent of users below the age of 25 communicate with their friends while watching TV, with 72 percent using Twitter, Facebook or other mobile applications. "Rather than social networks and television competing for attention it seems that young people are happy to embrace both and use one to enhance their enjoyment of the other," the study said. Digital Clarity founder Reggie James suggested that Social TV's actual victim has been the DVR.
"Social TV has changed this completely by turning programs into online events where you have to watch them as they happen," he said.

If the DVR marketing guys didn't take note, at least their dwindling sales projections should have given the first warnings of the changing trend.

However, ARKTAN, a Silicon Valley technology upstart, which has pioneered the social streaming technology, which enables the Social TV, has seen the writings on the wall and has come up with innovative solutions which allow social streaming to integrate with the DVR technology, which they call Social DVR.

So all those, who don't want to miss the fun of sharing what they watch in the privacy of their homes, with their friends on the social web, don't have to really give up their DVR just because they can't share their joy, excitement or anger with their friends on the social web unless they are glued to a telly.

With groundbreaking stuff like Social DVR, anyone can have his cake and eat it too! You can have the fun of watching your telly with social web and the convenience of a DVR when you want it, when you are ready for it and not as dictated by a channel's pre-determined schedule.

Keeping all the exciting features of DVR like pause, fast-forward, add, skip, etc. in tact, the Social DVR, with its time-sync capability is a technology enhancement that brings you the convenience of the DVR with all the fun and excitement of the social web. If you were at work and missed that climax of your favorite serial or a clinching moment your favorite team missed a goal with your friends, as and when it happened, you can still enjoy the moment as if you were with your friends, with SocialDVR bringing you their live tweets, comments, etc. as it happened at that moment.

So how do such amazing features become a reality? For a start, the developers have already successfully implemented their social streaming solutions with integration and curation technology for various platforms like social TV, celebrity homepages and curated social hubs.

TV shows like Dallas and Falling Skies and interactive web presence of celebrities like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and a host of others, powered by this social streaming technology implemented by media groups like UMG, place this technology provider ahead of the pack.

The developers have simply added additional features like time sync and support of additional functions, so that you don't have to mess with a second remote control, to robust APIs which allow you to capture and curate real-time social web content and conversation from multiple social platforms

Good news for those who are always on the move is that the time-syncing feature and social DVR capabilities are available for live and on-demand videos of TV shows and video programming playbacks across all platforms, including mobile.

If you are excited and want to know when this technology will be available to you, the website of Univision, is powered by both Social Streams and Social DVR, is live from October 2012. The site has already registered millions of viewers and thousands of videos on demand.

Apart from delivering the fun of live media with live social media, the effect of this technology might be far reaching. For example, reactions to events like the tragic gang rape in New Delhi or the Sandy Hook school shooting could be wider and spread over days, with decisive impact on shaping public opinion as more people will be sharing the impact of events.

Least of all, the enormous effect on an industry which will otherwise be facing a downgrading due to a product no one wants any more cannot be under estimated.

Fortunately, with Social DVR everyone can keep on smiling and hoping for better times both on the telly and on the social web.

Is This the Most Romantic Window on the Earth ?


When it comes to the human body and its senses, there is no one who understands more than the French.
The French are indomitable in satisfying the palette with food prepared in the best quisine, vine, cheese and innumerable other things including the French croissant. As for the smell, what smells better than a French perfume? As for the eyes, from Mona Lisa to the high healed shoes of ValérieTrierweiler visual feast is the essence of French Haut Couture to modern French architecture, exemplified by the Eiffel Tower. No wonder why Paris has always attracted the most talented of artists, thinkers and philosophers and is most sought after Romantic destination in the world.


But it is the human body itself the French has an exquisite comprehension about, which is at the core of the Joie de vivre the French live and die with and urge everyone else have in life. The French somehow have a better notion of what the body is about like the Asians in general have an insight in to the spiritual nature of life.
Perhaps this inane appreciation of human body is what has produced the best designers, cooks and hoteliers from among the French.  With all that appreciation of the French psyche, however I was puzzled when I checked in to an ordinary hotel room, a few years back, in a town in France where I had earlier lived and worked for years. I had never seen anything like that!

 A window on the inner wall separating the bedroom from the attached bathroom. At first I was really intrigued. But slowly, as I settled down arranging my wardrobe and setting up my laptop on the table, the ingenuity of the interior designers and architects slowly started to dawn on me.  Of course, I could have asked the receptionist about it, but chose not to in order to hide my lack of culture.  I wasn’t sure if the feature was only for some rooms and I was specially offered one as an added welcome gesture.  Today, I don’t know if the hotel still has those rooms rented out to guests.

I am sure a lot of people will have different ideas about the purpose and utility of such a feature. But for someone who is looking forward to spend an evening with someone with a ‘tete a tete’ with ‘huitre’ and champagne and roses, the room with this romantic window should offer plenty of extended pleasures one can imagine.

Years later, when France has elected a new President and thinks nothing is abnormal or strange about his unmarried companion moving in to the Elysee palace with him, it is a lot more easier to take in the sublime imagination of the French designers who had conceived and incorporated this bizarre feature which appeared to be unique.
Not sure if this is unique at all or there are many other hotels with such exquisite add on facilities to make your stay more memorable and perhaps offered as an incentive for you to come back. It will be good to hear from others.
For anyone who has never come across this wonderful feature and wants to check out, the hotel was a branch of Mercure Hotels in the town of Evry, in the southern outskirts of Paris.

Article first published as What On Earth Is This Window For? on Technorati.
Friday, June 01, 2012
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

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