Social Interactive Television: Immersive Shared Experiences and Perspectives

Social Interactive Television: Immersive Shared Experiences and Perspectives

Pablo Cesar (CWI, The Netherlands), David Geerts (K. U. Leuven, Belgium) and Konstantinos Chorianopoulos (Ionian University, Greece)
Release Date: May, 2009|Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 362
ISBN13: 9781605666563|ISBN10: 1605666564|EISBN13: 9781605666570|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-656-3
Hardcover + Free E-Book:
E-Book Only:
Free Lifetime E-Book Access with Hardcover Purchase
IGI Global is now offering Free Lifetime E-Access with Print Purchase of any book or journal subscription. In addition to the print copy purchased, this unprecedented offer provides libraries and individuals alike the ability to access the purchased publication through the award winning InfoSci® platform. The InfoSci® platform offers unlimited simultaneous access to full HTML and PDF viewing with the ability to save, print, copy, and paste! No hidden fees! No limitations! Learn More.

Immediate e-access available to existing InfoSci® customers. New customers will be provided access within 48 hours from purchase.


Television, since its invention, has been considered to be a social link between people. Continually enhanced by innovation, the next frontier for this technological phenomenon will focus on the actual natural capabilities of the medium.

Social Interactive Television: Immersive Shared Experiences and Perspectives combines academic and industry research to provide the first publication of its kind to discuss the future emergence of experiences and services through interactive television. Concentrating on system and interaction design, as well as evaluation methods that focus on social experiences around interactive television, this book provides practitioners, academicians, researchers, and developers with the most relevant, current, and interesting findings on the topic.

Topics Covered

  • Audience interaction with TV
  • Effects of broadcasting
  • Involving users in social TV development
  • Mobility in social TV
  • Online video as a social activity
  • Sociability heuristics
  • Social interactive television systems
  • Synchronized sharing of video
  • Television content enrichment and sharing
  • User cooperation in peer-to-peer television

Reviews and Testimonials

Television experience is a shared one, thus this book concentrates on systems, interaction design, and evaluation methods that focus on social experiences around digital media both in the living room and beyond.

– Pablo Cesar, CWI, The Netherlands

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

Search this Book:
Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
James Lull
Pablo Cesar, David Geerts, Konstantinos Chorianopoulos
Chapter 1
Gunnar Harboe
This chapter provides an introduction to and overview of social television, in an attempt to find the real meaning of the term. It explores the... Sample PDF
In Search of Social Television
Chapter 2
Stefan Agamanolis
Conventional broadcasting has the impressive power to create shared experiences over huge audiences or even entire populations. The sharing of such... Sample PDF
Broadening the Effects of Broadcasting: How ITV can Collapse Distance and Transform Communication
Chapter 3
Cristian Hesselman, Joost Broekens, Mark Gülbahar, Florian Winkler, Daniel Görgen, Ferry de Jong
One of the challenges in the world of interactive digital TV is to improve the user experience facilitated by these services. In this chapter, the... Sample PDF
Interactive TV Together: An Open Service Infrastructure for Enhancing Interactive TV Experiences
Chapter 4
Tom Gross, Thilo Paul-Stueve, Mirko Fetter
Social TV provides co-located and geographically distributed TV spectators with facilities for jointly watching television and for social... Sample PDF
Social TV from a Computer-Supported Cooperative Work Perspective
Chapter 5
Dick C.A. Bulterman, Pablo Cesar, Jack Jansen, Rodrigo Laiola Guimarães
This chapter reports on the Ambulant Annotator, a middleware extension for Personal Digital Recorders (PDR), in the form of a lightweight authoring... Sample PDF
Television Content Enrichment and Sharing: The Ambulant Annotator
Chapter 6
David Geerts
In this chapter, the author introduces 12 heuristics for evaluating the sociability of social interactive television systems. He first introduce the... Sample PDF
Sociability Heuristics for Evaluating Social Interactive Television Systems
Chapter 7
Celia Quico
This chapter seeks to evaluate the attitudes and practices of media participation amongst young Portuguese aged between 12-18 years, with a... Sample PDF
Audience Participation in Television and Internet: Attitudes and Practices of Young People in Portugal
Chapter 8
Regina Bernhaupt, Marianna Obrist, Manfred Tscheligi
Applications for interactive TV (iTV) addressing social aspects will only be successful, if the intended user and user community is taken into... Sample PDF
Methods for Involving Users in the Development of Social Interactive TV: Enhancing Usability and User Experience in Non-Traditional Environments
Chapter 9
Jenneke Fokker, Huib de Ridder, Piet Westendorp, Johan Pouwelse
Television and the Internet have proven to be a popular combination for both broadcasters and viewers. Because of this popularity they are... Sample PDF
Inducing User Cooperation in Peer-to-Peer Television: Deriving Mechanisms from Psychological Theories
Chapter 10
Gunnar Harboe, Elaine Huang, Noel Massey, Crysta Metcalf, Ashley Novak, Guy Romano, Joe Tullio
This chapter presents results from an ongoing social television project, in the context of other research in the field. The authors give a detailed... Sample PDF
Getting to Know Social Television: One Team's Discoveries from Library to Living Room
Chapter 11
Erik Boertjes, Jente Klok, Omar Niamut, Martijn Staal
The combination of content and communication has proven to be a powerful and successful concept. Many online services not only allow for consumption... Sample PDF
ConnectTV: Share the Experience
Chapter 12
Brian Amento, Chris Harrison, Mukesh Nathan, Loren Terveen
With the advent of digital video recorders and video-on-demand services, the way in which we consume media is undergoing a fundamental change.... Sample PDF
Asynchronous Communication: Fostering Social Interaction with CollaboraTV
Chapter 13
Jorge Ferraz Abreu, Pedro Almeida
This chapter focuses on traditional and emergent challenges for the Social (i)TV area focusing on explaining the development and evaluation of one... Sample PDF
From 2BeOn Results to New Media Challenges for Social (i)TV
Chapter 14
Konstantinos Chorianopoulos
Mobile TVs have been available for many years, without ever becoming very popular. Moreover, the first wave of research has been mostly concerned... Sample PDF
Examining the Roles of Mobility in Social TV
Chapter 15
Kenton O’Hara, Maxine Glancy
In this chapter the authors present a field study of BBC Big Screens Public Space Broadcasting initiative. Under this initiative, large screens have... Sample PDF
Watching in Public: Understanding Audience Interaction with Big Screen TV in Urban Spaces
Chapter 16
David A. Shamma, Yiming Liu
This chapter details a real world case study of a synchronized video-sharing tool, Zync. Zync was integrated into a popular instant messenger... Sample PDF
Zync with Me: Synchronized Sharing of Video through Instant Messaging
Chapter 17
Justin D. Weisz
Online video is one of the Internet’s most popular services. In addition to entertainment, it can provide a social experience. This chapter... Sample PDF
Online Video as a Social Activity
Television is Dead. Long Live Television!
Nicolas Ducheneaut
About the Contributors


Unconstrained interactivity of all kinds—with people, technology, environments—has reshaped life in the modern world. Concomitantly, the social imagination has expanded to incredible proportions with tremendous cultural and political consequences. Television looms at the center of all this activity.

Television has performed brilliantly as a socially-interactive medium from the time it first appeared in the mid 20th Century. No other communications medium has ever influenced the structural and relational properties and processes of everyday life the way television does. Anyone who has lived through any stage of television’s short history intuitively understands the intrinsically social nature of the visual medium just by reflecting for a moment on his or her own viewing experiences.

Even more than newspapers, magazines, film, and radio before it, television’s endless stream of images and ideas inevitably prompts discussions about content. From simple conversations to complicated discourses about politics and culture, television gives everyone everywhere plenty to talk about. Because television uniquely sends images and ideas directly into the most intimate venues for media consumption—domestic living spaces of all sorts—the medium immediately became more than a technology that conveniently delivers news and entertainment. The television set, programs, and viewing situations (form, content, and context) all became focal points of family life that changed the way people live. Withstanding and sometimes absorbing the challenge posed by other information and communications technologies, including the ubiquitous internet, television has yet to be replaced as the most useful and dynamic medium of social exchange ever invented.

Although television viewing in the more developed world has often become a decentralized, even isolated, activity, watching TV will never be primarily a private experience. Even when individuals watch alone, the viewing experience doesn’t end when the set is turned off. Its social significance often only begins then. Viewers routinely process program content—drama, news, sports, documentaries, specials, and countless niche genres—with other people inside and outside the home during and following consumption of content. Television sets off incessant waves of social interaction by the very nature of its constant and provocative content (of widely varying quality, of course, but that’s another matter) in contexts that range from private chats and commentaries to global discussions and debates.

The vectors of television’s social interactivity rotate and expand in ways that reflect prevailing trends of technological and cultural development. New forms of human expression and communication are created in the process. Social interactive television—the subject of this book—represents just such a change. Social interactive TV turns “viewers” and “audience members” into “interactants,” “users,” “participants,” even dialogical “partners.” Social communication about television and para-social interaction with television today are being joined, not replaced, by communication through television via interactive content and novel forms of mediated social connectivity. Moreover, television’s convergence with other communications media—especially the internet and mobile phone—are proving to be inherently social phenomena, not just technological adaptations.

Even within the boundaries of their quasi-social relationship with television, audiences have always been emotionally involved with the visual medium. But so far the TV-viewer communication system has operated largely out of balance; programming flows from the TV set to viewers who cannot directly respond. The digitalization of video and audio has further enhanced the emotional impact of television signals on their viewers. Still, the primordial impulse to interact with television—to express oneself back to the message source and to help influence the course of events—has always been there. Simply talking back to the box—even hurling insults and other abusive comments—has long been noted by ethnographic researchers and casual observers.

Now the box is listening and rushing to accommodate users’ wants and needs. Given the surge in the new varieties of mediated social interactivity, the very term “television” is becoming out of date. The idea of television as the transmission of video signals to receivers across distance doesn’t capture the dynamic nature of what’s happening at the frontier of the medium’s development. The more comprehensive idea of “telecommunications,” which used to seem too abstract, technical, or theoretically inappropriate to describe television transmission and reception now seems to be a more accurate and relevant descriptor. The “natural capabilities of television” that the editors of this book promote have begun to correspond in practice with the principles of any healthy form of human communication—real two-way or multi-way interaction.

Viewer ratings don’t come close to revealing the kinds of social experiences TV routinely facilitates. The intricacies and subtleties of the connection between television and its viewers inherently resist measurement, especially quantitative assessments. Ethnographic research and the other forms of qualitative investigation that first emerged in academic circles in the 1970s were proving to be better at penetrating the deeper levels of television’s social significance. Those more naturalistic techniques were later appropriated by commercial researchers and advertisers when market differentiation and the need for a greater understanding of how viewers actually experience (and relate to) television promised increased revenues. The advent of social interactive television poses complex opportunities and challenges for academic media researchers and others today. The theoretical and methodological approaches represented in the following pages will certainly help propel the next generation of television research in exciting—indeed necessary—new directions that are fitting for the times.

Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Pablo Cesar is a postdoctoral researcher at CWI (The National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science in the Netherlands) in Amsterdam. He received a Dr. Tech. degree (December 2005) from Helsinki University of Technology (Finland) and a M. Sc. degree (February 2002) from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Spain). Pablo Cesar has (co)authored over 40 articles (conference papers and journal articles) about multimedia systems and infrastructures, media sharing, interactive media, multimedia content modelling, and user interaction. He is, as well, involved in standardization activities (e.g., SMIL from W3C). He is co-editor of the TOMCCAP special issue “Human-Centred Television: Directions in Interactive Digital Television Research.” In addition, he was the general chair of the 5th European Interactive conference (EuroITV2007) and has given tutorials about Interactive Digital Television in prestigious conferences such as ACM Multimedia and WWW Conferences.
David Geerts has a master in Communication Science at the K.U.Leuven and a master in Culture and Communication at the K.U.Brussel. He leads the Centre for User Experience Research (CUO), part of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) as well as the Interdisciplinary Institute for Broadband Technology (IBBT), is involved in several research projects on user-centered design and evaluation, and is taking his doctor’s degree on Sociability of Interactive Television, with the purpose of developing guidelines and heuristics for designing and evaluating social television interfaces. He organized several workshops and SIGs at CHI2006, CHI2007 and CHI2008 and two workshops on Social Interactive Television at EuroITV2007 and EuroITV2008. David Geerts is co-founder of the Belgian chapter and program chair of EuroITV2009, the 7th European Interactive TV Conference.
Konstantinos Chorianopoulos is a lecturer at the Department of Informatics at the Ionian University (Greece). He holds an MEng (Electronics and Computer Engineering, 1999) an MSc (Marketing and Communication, 2001), and a PhD (Human-Computer Interaction, 2004). During his studies and research, he has been affiliated with engineering, business, and applied arts universities. Since 1997, he has worked in four academic research labs (Greece, UK, Germany), which specialize in the areas of multimedia, e-commerce, intelligent systems and interaction design. He has participated in many EC-funded research projects in the field of human-computer interaction for information, communication and entertainment applications in TV, mobile, and situated computing devices. In 2002, he founded UITV.INFO, which is a newsletter and web portal for interactive television research resources (papers, theses), news and events. He is the main author of more than ten journal papers and he has lectured internationally (conferences, tutorials, seminars, guest lectures) on several aspects (design, engineering, science, art) of interactive TV. He is serving on the steering committee of the European Interactive TV organization and on the editorial boards of ACM Computers in Entertainment and of the Journal of Virtual Reality and Broadcasting.


Reference UniverseReference Universe

Editorial Board

  • Nicolas Ducheneaut, Palo Alto Research Center, USA
  • Ian Kegel, BT Group Research & Venturing, UK
  • Newton Lee
  • James Lull, San Jose State University, USA
  • Kris Luyten, Hasselt University, Belgium
  • Anxo Cereijo Roibás, Vodafone Group Services Limited, UK
  • Daniel Salber, Joost Technologies, The Netherlands