MediaCorp to launch interactive service for multiple devices
MediaCorp will be introducing a new interactive service in the second half of 2011, delivered over broadband connection and available on TV sets, PCs, tablet devices and mobile phones.
The service is free except for premium content which requires a subscription.
The service will offer content leveraging on MediaCorp’s TV, radio, print and online offerings as well as third party content.
Premium content includes ‘LIVE’ TV channels which are interactive, for example, popular Chinese dramas could have “behind the scenes” footage and synopsis layered over the pictures, and news programmes could have accompanying maps to aid viewers’ understanding of the story being presented.
Subscribers can also look forward to:
� On-Demand services for programme previews, movies and TV series,
� High definition quality TV programmes
� Easy-to-use TV applications such as casual games,
� Public and community services such as real-time traffic information,
� Personal locker for storing videos, photographs, etc which can be shared with friends,
� A suite of radio stations that covers a wide range of tastes and interests,
� Dedicated channels on specialist subjects such as investing, and
� Social networking applications
The service, called Over-the-Top (OTT) in the media industry because it piggy-backs on users’ existing broadband connection, will be available in formats suitable for different devices such as mobile phones and PCs.
One attraction is that it will be optimized for viewing and navigating on a large TV screen in high-definition. To view on a TV set, all the user needs to do is to obtain a set top box, or watch it via selected connected TV models which come with internet connectivity.
MediaCorp CEO Mr Lucas Chow says, “We want this service to be device agnostic so that our interactive TV experience goes beyond the TV set. We want users to enjoy this interactivity and stay engaged wherever they are, whether they are using a set-top box, or a phone or tablet. It will be an enriched experience like no other. Through this new offering, it helps our users live smart, stay entertained, informed and educated.”
Welcoming the new service are both the Media Development Authority and the Infocomm Development Authority.
Mr Aubeck Kam, CEO, Media Development Authority of Singapore said, “I congratulate MediaCorp for the impending launch of this new OTT service, which will extend traditional free-to-air television content onto new platforms, and enable MediaCorp to offer additional services and features not possible in traditional broadcasting. I hope that this service will contribute to a vibrant and competitive media market, to the benefit of the viewing public.”
RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, CEO of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, said, “MediaCorp’s new service is a good example of the enhanced entertainment experience that can be brought about by the deployment of the Next Gen Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN). We hope the launch of this service will encourage other service providers to take advantage of the ultra high speed network and develop more of such interactive services that will benefit consumers.”
More details of the service, such as pricing and subscription, will be announced over the next few months. Meanwhile, MediaCorp wants a collaborative approach to developing interesting TV applications.
Mr Shaun Seow, MediaCorp Deputy CEO (News, Radio, Interactive & Print), who is overseeing the OTT project team, adds, “To reinvent the TV experience, we want to “crowd source” and tap the industry for innovative ideas. We’d like to invite developers to design TV apps tailored to our local context and tastes, for example, utility services, games and even T-commerce. The possibilities are endless.”
The service will come at a time when major set makers are preparing to launch models of Internet enabled TVs, or Connected TVs. MediaCorp will collaborate with them to offer its service via an application on their menu, thus dispensing with the need for a set top box-interface with the TV.
OTT television services are seeing growing worldwide adoption because of its simplicity of use. Examples of such services are Netflix, Apple TV and BBC iPlayer.
Though MediaCorp’s service is best deployed on high speed connectivity such as Next Gen NBN, good viewing experiences are possible even with Internet connection speeds of 2 Mbps.