Spock Launches Social TV in Canada

written by: Richard Kastelein

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TELUS  has teamed up with Canadian Star Trek Icon Leonard Nimoy (Spock) in an innovative marketing campaign that announces Facebook on Optik TV as “The Next Frontier of Social Networking” in order to promote the launch of a bold new TV app,

TELUS, a national telecommunications giant in Canada  that provides a wide range of communications products and services including data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, entertainment, video, IP and satellite TV, has launched a new single screen TV App that allows one to interact with Facebook on a TV without missing a the program. It's the first emergence of Social TV in Canada from a major Canadian player on the single screen.

This innovative application is a Canadian first, and available for Western Canadians on the companies' popular Optik TV Set Top Box (STB). They are promising to bring a whole new dimension to both TV watching and social media. Through “Share my View”, users are able to post what they're watching on their Wall, creating a social TV viewing experience that brings their whole friends list into the picture.

“IPTV is the future of television, and with Optik TV the future is here at TELUS. We are committed to enabling a truly connected home, offering new ways for our Optik TV customers to stay connected and multitask while enjoying television, and to that end we plan to launch a number of applications this year,” said David Fuller, Chief Marketing Officer, TELUS. “TV applications are a great example of the power of Internet-enabled TV. This Facebook app brings social networking to the living room - it's all about making TV viewing a social activity again, in an exciting new way.”

The application wraps part of the perimeter of the television screen, allowing users to enjoy their favorite Facebook features while simultaneously continuing to watch TV programming. Included in the Optik TV subscription, the Facebook application on Optik TV uses the standard remote control to allow customers to view status updates, activities and Wall posts, find a friend, and write messages on friends' Walls. The application also offers the ability to view Facebook photo albums in slideshow mode to create a high-impact full screen presentation view of photos right on the TV.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Could not resist... Social TV: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Telus Optik TV. Its mission: to explore new ways to create media convergence, to seek out new platforms and build new innovation and, to boldly go where no company has gone before...☺ Groan....

TELUS Optik TV customers need only their current Facebook account and subscription to Optik Internet to take advantage of the Facebook application for TV.

The Facebook application was developed in partnership between TELUS and ES3, the premier developer of iTV (interactive television) applications for the award-winning Microsoft Mediaroom platform upon which Optik TV is based.

“Applications for IPTV, such as the Facebook app, are key drivers in the evolution of TV and how consumers interact with the largest screen in the home,” said Doug Edwards, CEO, ES3. “I truly believe the Facebook application for Optik TV presents a clear view to the horizon of purely integrated social activities that can be tied with our TV viewing experiences.”

TELUS offers Optik TV in British Columbia and Alberta communities. TELUS is investing $1.3 billion in network infrastructure in B.C. and Alberta this year alone to increase Internet speeds, introduce Optik TV to more communities, and expand its wireless network.

Optik TV provides more than 500 channels, including over 100 in High Definition (HD) and features PVR Anywhere - which acts as a server for an entire home and one can watch and record shows on any TV in the home, record up to three shows at once, or pause a program in one room and pick it up from the same spot in another room.

Another innovative feature, remote recording, allows customers to manage their PVR recordings from any Internet-connected computer or smartphone. Optik TV also offers Picture-in-Picture browsing; improved search capability enabling search for shows and movies by actors, directors, show titles or sporting events for immediate viewing or recording in the future; onscreen Call Display; HD Video On Demand; and HD Pay Per View, enabling you to order movies and live events from the comfort of a couch. Recently, TELUS customers became amongst the first in the world to be able to use their Xbox 360 as a digital television box for Optik TV.

For more information on the Facebook app visit Telus' website.

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