German public broadcaster ARD has commenced offering viewers with connected TV sets the possibility to use their smart phone or tablet as a remote control for navigating through its catch-up TV service ARD Mediathek on the TV screen.
The second screen application ARD.connect which is based on interactive multimedia standard HbbTV has been designed to simplify access to on-demand content: Instead of having to navigate with the remote control buttons, the catch-up service can be used by typing or swiping on the smart phone or tablet.
In contrast to navigation through the TV set, the TV picture is not reduced in size or removed, but remains visible across the full screen. During TV consumption, users can access supplementary information and web links using their mobile device. Other viewers just wanting to watch the TV programme won’t be disturbed.
Besides ARD’s catch-up TV service, the application can also be used for the catch-up services offered by regional ARD affiliates MDR, Radio Bremen and WDR as well as ARD’s digital channel Einsfestival.
ARD.connect which is based on a development by German broadcast technology institute IRT is launched by accessing the HbbTV edition of ARD Mediathek and scanning a QR code. This way, the TV set and the smart phone or tablet are technically interconnected.