TV Dinner: A Social TV Platform Based On Massively Multiplayer Online Games?

By Megan O'Neill 

This morning a brand new platform is dropping on the Social TV scene that claims to be a whole different ball game from all the other Social TV apps out there.  It’s called TV Dinner and co-founder Adam Broitman says, “We believe our interface is completely unique—not just in the social television space, but in the social media space at large.”  The technology, which leaves the check-in out of the social TV experience, is based on massively multiplayer online games.  Sound intriguing?  Yeah, it was for us too.  Read on to find out more.

TV Dinner is, in their own words, “a new, fun social TV platform you play with your friends and other TV fans.”  How does it work?  Tune into your favorite show and join a “Dinner” (the iPad interface literally looks like an old-fashioned TV dinner that sits in your lap) for that show.  As you watch you can share “nibbles” (i.e. comment, caption or create a poll about what you’re watching).  As you interact with content, you gain points.  As you gain points you see how you stack up against other dinner participants.  Earn the most points and become a TV Dinner Star.

So how does TV Dinner differ from other social TV apps?  Broitman told me, “We are not a check-in app.  We recognize that the check-in apps are evolving, but that was never our intention and it has nothing to do with the way in which we architected the system.  Our platform is not centered around singular, declarative statements that form a firehouse of conversation.”  Rather, they are out to encourage interaction and “promote a unique way to structure conversation around television and automate the process of filtering relevant content.”

And what was that about massively multiplayer online games?  TV Dinner CEO and inventor, John Swords, tells me, “We borrowed many MMO design and architecture principles because we strongly believe that social TV is better when there is a true realtime interaction, game play (goals, points, etc.) and reputation systems which foster community and content curation.  Our MMO-like architecture gives us a huge advantage in that we can develop very deep engagement game activities on top of our platform quite easily.”

According to a press release, “the first version of TV Dinner is an iPad application, but the company will bring its exciting new product to all devices in the near future.”

What do you think about this new take on social TV?  Do you plan to try out TV Dinner?

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.