Watchitoo Lets Viewers Be Part Of TV Shows

Don’t you wish you could be part of your favorite show? Watchitoo may just have the answer.

The New York-based startup aims to redefine “Social TV” by bringing live videos of Internet fans and other commentators into TV broadcasts. The company can incorporate feeds from up to 25 webcam participants in an HD telecast.

CEO Rony Zarom said many large companies are interested, but wouldn’t identify them. “There’s a desire to involve viewers in creating content on TV as well as the Internet,” he said. The idea could be used for news programs, talk shows and other live events,

Some networks are already takers of the Web-only version of Watchitoo. Animal Planet has hosted a live web event: Whale Wars: Viking Shores where viewers debated about whaling issues.

There are 2 models available for Watchitoo: a $5,000 one rack-unit encoder that supports up to 720p HD and 10 concurrent streams; and a $10,000 unit that supports up to 1080p and up to 25 live streams.

The company doesn’t just take in Skype feeds and show them on air. The videos pass through a “virtual control room” where it sets video quality and other parameters. “It’s a professional tool that you can’t get from Skype.”, Zarom said.

The 40-employee company founded in 2007 has raised $10M from Decina Ventures.

Source: Multichannel