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TV ratings measurement system using a TV metre device

The TV metre device was developed for the company Mediaresearch to study television audience behaviour. The device can monitor the behaviour of television viewers when watching programs available on their TVs via antenna, cable TV, VCR, sattelite, etc.

In addition, the TV metre device can create interactive communication with viewers in the form of Q&A. The acquired information is sent via GSM connection from individual households to a data collection centre where it is assessed and made ready for immediate use. The system can also be used for flash polls, public opinion polls, evaluation of TV programmes, voting etc.

[TVM_kolac.jpg]The data collection centre is able to store all information received from households, make a remote set-up of the system’s parameters and conduct a diagnosis of the system’s activity. The centre, connected with GSM network by an operator or via GSM modems, transmits information as data files into the assessment system. Data are then statistically computed and made available for the Association of TV Organisations (ATO).
 


The SimEar Device – the 3rd generation of TV audience measurement [ model 2012 ]


With the advent of digitization and other possibilities of receiving television broadcasts ("Smart TV", Internet TV, multimedia support), SimEar has developed a third generation TV audience meter. The device allows measurements in basic TV viewing as well as other specific tasks such as deferred audience - Time Shift, HHD recording, and USB recording. SimEar uses the "audio matching" comparative method. Given the complexity and easy availability of today's TV technology, measuring sound is the right solution.

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The audio output from TV technology is processed by the SimEar device and "sampled" by a special algorithm. Measured audio samples are sent to a collection center, where in real-time they are compared with reference sound samples. The collection center continuously samples television stations and stores them in a database - it is also possible to retrieve feedback evaluation ratings from the audience. With that, of course, are considerable connection demands on the server capacity of the collection center.

SimEar is designed to synergize with the concepts and operation of electronic devices today, and includes expertise in modern graphic display, interactive icon changes, and more. An essential part of SimEar is the remote control, which is not only used to log viewers, but also for communication with the collection center (logging changes in the household, subscription orders, changes in TV technology equipment, etc.).

Installing and connecting SimEar devices with TV household equipment is completely non-invasive and does not affect in any way the existing TV wiring techniques. The measured data is transmitted with integrated GSM data connectivity to a collection center. Due to a fast data connection we can remotely update the firmware in all devices, allowing very quick responses to the evolving needs and possibilities of electronic measurement.

From 2012 to 2013, ELVIA company made approximately three thousand SimEar devices for measuring TV viewership in the Czech Republic and for foreign projects. The device is developed by Mediaresearch a.s. and for more information, please visit the websites www.mediaresearch.cz and www.peoplemetry.cz.


The TV metre device – a modular system [the 2006 model]


Our experience gained from TV ratings measurement conducted between 2001 and 2006 was put to use during the process of development and construction of a new version of our measuring device. Thanks to the new model, the number of monitored Czech households increased by 500 and the device continues to be used in turn. The fast development in the production of home consumer technology and in both analogue and digital TV signal transmission raises expectations about TV ratings measurement systems. Elvia’s new modular TV metre device is ready to meet all these expectations.

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The device consists of a remote control containing slots for labels with names of individual household members. Near the TV set, there is a graphic display modem which regulates brightness when viewers are logging in, which shows important data (which viewers are logged-in and which programme they are watching) and which displays a set-up menu and other information. Measurement of the data obtained from home television system and communication with the data collection centre is conducted by a modular extension server. The server collects data from internal and external chips located in the home television system and interprets their content on the display and in the data collection centre.

[TV-metr2.jpg]The server’s hardware inventory can be reconfigured and extended by means of slide-in cards, which are placed into ready-made slots - similarly to how a PC can be reconfigured. Thanks to this, the server can be modified to measure even rather complex home television systems. In households with more than one TV set, the communication slots connect servers by wire, wireless and with the centre by GSM connection. A new measuring slot (method) can solve the problem with the diversity of home television technology and with new ways of TV signal transmission without having to design an entirely new measuring device.


The TV metre compact device [the 2001 model]


TV-metr5.jpg In 2001, Elvia had a panel of 1,333 households monitored in the Czech Republic. For five years, the company Mediaresearch has conducted a statistical data analysis from these households. The quality and detail of measurement was performed to the client’s utmost satisfaction and Elvia was thus able to continue to use its current device to measure TV ratings in the Czech Republic. Information about TV ratings published in the media is based on Elvia’s product - the TV metre device.

Data from the TV metre are being sent throughout the day by SMS messages into the data collection centre. The new model can communicate with GPRS, which enables more extensive configuration including the TV metre device software update.

The 2001 compact model consists of a remote control and a TV unit with a display, which collects data about users and usage of home television technology. The communication unit then collects data from all TV sets at home, archives them and transmits them via GSM network to the data collection centre.

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