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How can I use my mobile device together with my TV?

Published: January 2014

Q. How can I use my mobile device together with my TV? I own a smart phone and a tablet and am looking for ways to use them to enhance my television watching." —Ben Shelton, New York, NY

A. According to a recent study by Nielsen, 85 percent of people with a ­mobile smart device use it while watching TV at least once per month, and 40 percent do so daily. They might be e-mailing, texting, or checking Facebook or Twitter, but a growing number are using their smart phones and tablets to display content directly related to the programming on the big screen, such as behind-the-scenes looks, interactive chats, and extended programming.

We’re starting to see “second screen” apps that sync to a movie or show to provide related interactive content such as polls and trivia games. For instance, last fall NBCUniversal launched an app that lets you play along with its "Million Second Quiz" game show, earning points that could help you get a shot at appearing on the show. For "The Killing," AMC shot extra videos and photos and created games and trivia contests that were available when the show aired.

Some apps fold in social-network functionality, using Facebook and Twitter for TV-viewing interactions. Now apps such as GetGlue, Miso, and Zeebox offer new ways to discover content and provide a way to share with friends.

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