Data is all around us. The more connected that we become through the use of the internet, our smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices, the more apparent it is how far behind the TV experience is lagging. While the Internet and mobile experience are evolving rapidly to provide a data-rich, personalized, and engaging experience utilizing the latest and greatest technologies, the TV world is lagging behind and has yet to harness these technologies to provide the same advanced experience.

When it comes to infusing the TV experience with the full power of the internet, there is a need to utilize data that is far deeper and more detailed than the data that is typically available to TV service providers today. So why aren’t operators already hanging their hat on the data revolution?

The unstructured nature of Internet data makes it harder to identify, match, and extract relevant data efficiently and in a scalable manner compared with the traditional, structured, VOD and EPG metadata that is available, either manually or from content owners. To take this leap into a reimagined TV experience, service providers need to go one step further and start using cutting edge Data Science and Big Data technologies. When combined, these technologies are able to analyze vast amounts of unstructured data, extract relevant information out of it, match the information to relevant content items, and utilize the information for deeper personalization features per viewer, thereby enabling the creation of an experience that is enriched with relevant and entertaining data and also tailor-made to every viewer, all in real-time.

By deploying TV platforms that feature Big Data together with Data Science technologies (e.g. Map-Reduce infrastructures, Deep learning, NLP, and more), TV providers can dramatically enhance their offering by enriching content with internet available data sources such as social reviews, content related entertainment news, profiled recommendations, advanced discovery, content related commerce, and more.

One example of utilizing such advanced technologies is by employing Natural Language Processing, or NLP, for the task of content enrichment. NLP technology is the ability of a computer program to understand human speech as it is spoken or understand and extract context out of human-readable textual data sources. With NLP, we are able to extract entities from content, such as personas (character names, talk show guests, etc.), topics of interest, and much more, then go ahead and process unstructured textual data from various Internet data sources which relate to the extracted entities and extract even more information which is unavailable in traditional content metadata. Moreover, by cross-correlating the extracted data from various data-sources, we are able to reach the required confidence that the data we find and extract is indeed relevant to the content that is being enriched.

Once TV service providers are able to infuse additional interactive layers into the TV experience, it becomes fully contextual in a way that is fully engaging, interactive, and personal.  With advanced Data Science, a lot more data, both structured and unstructured, can be processed, matched, and integrated into the end-user viewing experience on behalf of the service provider to increase interactivity and engagement.  Operators can match rich data with content, for example, by using sentiment analysis to identify online reviews written about a specific TV show and then adding it to the recommendation engine that drives content discovery. Other examples involve using state-of-the-art algorithms to identify merchandise in real time and offer a commerce experience that is directly related to the television content being watched. We’re also seeing service providers successfully extract information from video content and, in real time, provide interactive apps, Internet-related videos, and other relevant content.

As these technologies continue to evolve, the TV experience will reach the same level of interactivity, personalization, and engagement that is possible today on other Internet-connected devices and services. By infusing the power of the Internet into the TV experience, operators can create new value from content through contextual services, satisfying the demand for more engagement on every screen, including TV sets, smartphones, and tablets.

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