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Streaming TV Services Highlight Industry ‘At a Crossroads’

With the legal battle over streaming television service Aereo potentially headed to the Supreme Court, another streaming service, Syncbak, has secured investment money from CBS and support from the National Association of Broadcasters. USA Today reports the new technology proves the industry is “at a crossroads.”

Users download the Syncbak application, which uses a smartphone’s or tablet’s GPS to determine which available stations lie in the user’s vicinity. The affiliates determine which programming can be accessed through the application. WOI in Des Moines, for example, has most of its newscasts available for live streaming.

WOI Vice President and General Manager Russ Hamilton said he frequently uses the app to check in on his station’s programming. He said the application gets consistent usage, although actual numbers were not available. He said mobile television is likely here to stay. “I’m not smart enough to figure out the future of television, but it’s definitely headed that way,” he said. “People are on the go.”

The technology allows broadcasters to send their signal to the Internet and restrict access to users within the station’s geographical markets. This provides a countable number the networks can use when determining advertising rates. A trial run with the television ratings agency Nielsen showed that Syncbak gives the networks accurate numbers.

Syncbak founder Jack Perry says the company believes in “paying the rights holder.” The service has been installed at 300 affiliates nationwide, according to USA Today.

 

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