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Why "Coactivity"? -- FAQ
TV+Web Coactivity

CoTVLogo.jpg (3779 bytes)

The Big Question:  Do couch potatoes really want to multitask?
Why is coactive multitasking a huge opportunity?
How does the radical simplicity of CoTV change everything?
Why "coactivity"?

Is this limited to TV+Web?
What is "Interactive TV" vs. "Coactive TV"? (Why I want my CoTV)
What is wrong with one screen?
What is wrong with current "two-screen" solutions?
Where are these screens?
Doesn't this "any-screen" approach require special boxes?
Call to action

The user experience of the CoTV™ Portal is simulated in a Demo

The Big Question:  Do couch potatoes really want to multitask? -- do they want to interact while watching TV?

Why is coactive multitasking a huge opportunity?

  • Maybe TV programmers could create something interesting -- and profitable! -- for some of those 74% (who are online, but doing unrelated activities) to do while they watch.
  • Maybe advertisers would find that Web ads that synchronized with their TV ads could put an end to John Wanamaker's problem -- Which 50% of ad dollars are wasted? -- and make those dollars far more productive.
  • Maybe search/portal services would find it useful to consider the context of a TV viewer's attention
  • Maybe TV viewers would appreciate Web services that were smart enough to know what they were watching

How does the radical simplicity of CoTV change everything?

  • The  most deceptively important aspect of CoTV is its radical simplicity.  CoTV exploits this simplicity to achieve far broader results than prior methods that have been stalled for a multitude of reasons.  This is not your father's ITV.
  • This simplicity is much like that of the Web. Few saw the power of the Web until it was ready to cross the chasm.  By creating a simple standard for using open and widely available technology to create an open market ecology for independent content and services, the Web bypassed the many barriers that had constrained prior online services, and became a powerful engine for development.
  • CoTV provides similarly disruptive and radical simplification that changes the game in such ways as:
    • Ability to select from the full array of existing TV-related Web content (without change, exploiting the 80/20 rule), simply by linking it into a TV-viewing-related context for each viewer.  Content specifically oriented to CoTV will add value, but is not a prerequisite.
    • Ability to associate TV-context externally, from any TV content, without any pre-connected triggers, thus eliminating dependency on program developers or distributors.  Their support will add value, but is not a prerequisite.
    • Ability to directly link consumers and advertisers, to generate high margins and to avoid barriers relating to industry structure and gatekeepers.
    • Accessibility of basic TV-context-related services to all Web users, so that a small increment of value can have a widespread effect that self-reinforces.
    • Reliance on standard, open Web services technology that facilitates a dynamic, open market ecology.
    • Natural momentum from the proliferation of wireless home networks, laptops, and entertainment gateways -- and from the increasing breadth and intensity of desire of media users to multitask.
  • CoTV simply adds a power assist to natural multitasking behaviors that users are undertaking on their own.  That power assist can catalyze a qaulitative change  in how people use electronic media.

Why "coactivity"?

  • We have been misdirected by the term "interactive TV." Skeptics are half right -- viewers rarely want to interact with their TV. But what they do often want is to interact with content that is related to what is on their TV.
  • "Coactive TV" directs our thinking to this experience of media multitasking, to how we can interact with Web-like hypermedia content in full coordination with what we watch on TV.
  • The technology challenge of interacting with our TV is a red herring -- a problem we need not solve. Users are doing it already. The problem we do need to solve is how we can enhance this coactive media experience, using the technology at hand (the Web on a PC), to be usefully coordinated. That is actually less daunting, and largely a matter of software.
  • The emergence of video on mobile phones, iPods, PSPs, and other devices highlights the fact that media types should not be tied to device types -- users should be able to choose the tool they want at any given time.

Is this limited to TV+Web?

  • No, it is really a matter of "coactive media."   Coactive TV is really meant to apply to any kind of video medium used with the Web (or other media), and coactive media refers even more broadly to any kind of media multitasking  -- especially where the using of the media is synchronized or coordinated.
  • CoTV is directly applcable to any kind of video, including time-shifted video on DVR or VOD, and non-"TV" video on DVD, file servers, or other media.
  • CoTV is equally applicable to audio (including music distributed via TV, radio, CD, Internet, or whatever.
  • Similarly, coactivity provides a natural extension to video games.
  • Also, coactive media need not include the Web.  Coactive combinations can include TV+phone, TV+instant messaging (or other chat), video games+phone, and the like.
  • Mobile phones, with their increasing functionality, may be particualarly popular for coactive use with TV or other video.

What is "Interactive TV" vs "Coactive TV"? (Why I want my CoTV )

  • There are three very different kinds of interactivity.

  • Interactivity with a TV set is the one that is simple and already successful. This got its first big jump with the use of the remote control to enable channel surfing behaviors, and is evolving to include video-on-demand, VCR-like pause, rewind, and fast forward, commercial skipping and the like. It does not change any content, only how we control the viewing of that content. This is a kind of interactive TV, and not insignificant, but it is not what is meant in any full sense of the term.
  • Interactivity with TV program content is the one that is "interactive TV" in its deepest sense, but it is also the most challenging to produce. This is the idea that the program, itself, might change based on viewer input. Advanced forms, which still seem pretty far off, include dramas where viewers get to choose plot details and endings. Simpler forms, which are enjoying some success, include programs that directly incorporate polls, questions, comments, and other forms of (virtual) audience response back into the show. There is much debate as to how effective and popular this kind of truly interactive TV can be. It seems likely that some forms of it will become popular, but that viewing of pre-defined content will remain a major part of the TV experience indefinitely.
  • Interactivity with content that is related to what is on TV -- "coactivity" -- is the one that has been least understood, yet is most likely to radically alter how we watch TV over the next decade. Examples include getting more information about what is on the TV, whether sports, movies, news, or the like. Similar (and most likely to pay the bills), is getting more information about what is being advertised, along with the ability to buy it. Partial steps in this direction are already becoming a mass phenomenon, but the failure to clearly distinguish this kind of interactivity from the first two has impeded recognition of just how valuable and widespread this could become -- and how readily it can be achieved.   As noted above, this kind of multitasking is already happening on large scale -- the problem is that there is currently little or no support for relating that interaction to what is on the TV. 
  • For more about the user benefits of coactivity -- and what kind of content and services might relate to a TV-viewing-context -- see Why I want my CoTV™.

What is wrong with one screen?

  • A TV across the room is great for lean-back entertainment, shared viewing, and light couch-potato interaction. It stinks for surfing the Web, reading more than small amounts of text, interacting with rich information (including a 500 channel program guide) or for complex transactions or data entry (like booking flights or comparing car models).
  • Even with big screen HDTV, reading text and rich interaction across the room is difficult. And even if you could do it, you are not likely to make better friends of the other people trying to watch the show (not even with the slickest of overlay designs).
  • Remember WebTV? How about Commodore 64s? Videotex and the pre-Web Prodigy? If not, perhaps it is because their user interfaces stank. Microsoft's "Freestyle" Media Center "ten-foot" interface can de-tune a PC for lean-back use, but there is no magic bullet that can make a lean-forward TV (with a "two-foot" interface).
  • A PC in a laptop or tablet form (with its "two-foot" user interface) is far better suited to rich lean-forward interaction than a TV and remote (with its "ten-foot" user interface). Even a PDA or phone can be good, and quite effective at keeping the overlays off your big screen.
  • TV is a lean-back experience. The Web is a lean-forward experience. Coactive TV+Web use is a more complex blend, spanning the range from video-centric to text-centric experiences, sometimes changing from moment to moment, but relating to a single content base.
  • So, the problem is that one-screen ITV is very limiting (even if the necessary advanced set-top boxes were deployed).
  • Wouldn't it be nice to have the right tool for the job, and be able to shift tools when the job shifts?
  • If you already have a lean-forward screen, wouldn't it be nice to be able to use it with your TV?
  • Isn't this the lesson of the emergence of cross-device content consumption?

What is wrong with current "two-screen" solutions?

  • What URL do you go to? What show are you watching now?...Now?...Now?   What if you change channels? Channel surf? Flip between two games or news programs?
  • What if you are watching Video-on-Demand (VOD), or pause or fast-forward?
  • What if your TV gets the BMW ad and the people down the street get the Pampers ad? (This already is happening in some places, and promises to become common.)
  • What if you were interacting with the BMW ad on your TV, and had selected two models, and now wanted to compare them equipped just the way you want? Would you have to either struggle with the TV interface or start all over at the PC?
  • So, the problem is that current "two-screen" solutions are program-centric, not user-centric.  The user must establish sync for each program.  If the program changes the user loses sync and must find another Web site (if there is one).  If the user watches VOD, time-shifts, or sees a targeted addressable ad, there is no sync.  No wonder this has not been seen as a viable long-term solution.
  • Wouldn't it be nice if the second screen knew what had happened at the first screen (and vice versa)?  CoTV can work with current two-screen "Enhanced TV" solutions (as offered by various networks and using services like Goldpocket) to add support across channels, and for VOD and DVR time-shifting.

Where are these screens?

  • What if my PC is not located where I watch TV? It will be. Wireless notebooks are increasingly common. Wireless tablets are even nicer for use while watching TV.  Mobile phones, PDAs, iPods, game machines, and other such devices can also be handy.  Heavy media users will have them first, but before long, a substantial portion of all consumers will have them.
  • What about enhancement viewer tablets from the TV and STB vendors? Nice, if they are general-purpose devices - otherwise who will pay for them?
  • Wouldn't it be nice if you could use any PC (or PDA, phone, or similar device) with any TV?

Doesn't this "any-screen" approach require special boxes?

  • All it needs is some added software on each screen to coordinate with the other screen(s).
  • This can come from any of a variety of sources:
    • Any cable or satellite service can provide it for the TV set-top box, and you can download an extension to your browser for your PC, tablet, or PDA.
    • Alternativley, the linkage can be done within the home, and this will come to be seen as a natural feature of how intelligent devices coordinate with one another in the wired home.  An example of in-home linkage based on DVRs (Digital Video Recorders, aka Personal Video Recorders, PVRs, like TiVo) is illustrated in the diagram below.  Media Center PCs can be used in the same way.
    • Similar linkage can be achieved using inexpensive media adapters like those now available to link PC media content to TVs and stereos
  • Advanced "any-screen" service that mixes "one-screen" and "two screen" service (depending on the user's desire to lean-back or lean-forward) can also be provided (but this does require advanced function to drive interactions on the TV). 
  • Wouldn't it be nice if you could use any screen you have and then consider investing in advanced or dedicated one-screen systems after you see whether you really want that?

Technology should empower, not confine. Sometimes you feel like leaning back; sometimes you don't.

Who will provide my CoTV™?
  • Teleshuttle does not offer CoTV™ services directly, but seeks to assist other service providers in doing so. 

Coactive TV 
User-centered Convergence 2.0

new media technology from   Teleshuttle Corporation
CoTV Today and Tomorrow
CoTV was ahead of its time in 2002 ...and still is
Now TV "screen-shifting" and "companion" apps are now changing how people watch TV.
  • iPhone and iPad awakened the giants -- as an irresistible platform for coactive TV apps.
  • AirPlay and Chromecast have made screen-shifting easy and popular
  • Social TV apps (about what you are watching now) are drawing users.
  • Distributors are promoting 2nd screen apps and increasing openness.
  • Independents are using ACR (Automatic Content Recognition) to do it for themselves.
  • Twitter Ad Targeting and Comcast See It are bringing rich new functions to a mass market

The time is ripe for ubiquitous "always-on" TV sync
-- a single app and context portal for any companion content for any show (and any ad).
TV is ready to be reborn for the 21st Century!
still more advanced CoTV features are yet to come.

...Recent blog postings on CoTV developments

Reisman on User-Centered Media

...Recent postings on CoTV
Tenth Reisman CoTV patent issues 8/19/14.

Usage scenarios for advanced features

CoTV in the news:

Coactivity concept -- initial white papers (from 9/02):



CoTV-PVR.gif (9479 bytes)

Teleshuttle offers license to CoTV patents.

CoTV technology can be offered by service providers in TV, Internet, e-commerce, and allied fields. Teleshuttle seeks to cooperate with all industry participants to develop and apply these methods to facilitate simultaneous media multitasking, to assist in the development of services, reference designs, and standards, and to license this technology broadly for widespread use.

Richard Reisman -- Bio

Contact Information

Richard R. Reisman, President, Teleshuttle Corporation
20 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10003

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Coactive media:  Relating to media multitasking.  The simultaneous or alternating use of two or more media, such as TV and Internet (Web, etc.), especially where the using of the media is synchronized or coordinated typically (but not necessarily) on multiple devices or screens.

Coactive TV:  Relating to multitasking use of both television and the Internet (Web, etc.).  The simultaneous or alternating use of TV and the Internet, especially where the using of both media is coordinated or synchronized, and especially where the TV and the Internet browser are automatically coordinated with one another typically (but not necessarily) on multiple devices or screens.

Copyright 2011, Teleshuttle Corp. All rights reserved. / Patents pending