Tablets as a Second Screen

This year most TV manufacturers are pairing tablets with TVs to create what they call a “second screen” or “Dual Screen” experience. Why interrupt what you are watching to bring up menus that shrink the screen or overlay TV guide grids that block your picture, when you can bring up the menus and guides on your tablet?

Toshiba, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, LG and others showed up their apps that run on tablets to control and enhance your TV viewing experience. Although they would like you to buy their tablets, the apps will run on any Android or iOS device.

While you watch a movie, TV show, or other content, you can bring up a TV guide or the TVs internet content menu, browse to a program you want to view next--a TV show, Netflix movie, YouTube video--and then play it on your TV. And you can do this without interrupting the show you are currently watching.

The second screen is also about serving up bonus material--news, cast and crew, promotional photos, bios, trailers and so forth--as a companion app to what you are viewing. Instead of bringing up IMDB and other sources on your tablet, the information will be aggregated in the TV manufacturer’s tablet app to enhance the movie or TV show you are watching.

See my report on M-Go for a second screen app alternative to the manufacturer’s apps.