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Challenges of DTT in Colombia (V)

In the fifth installment of the challenges of the implementation of digital television in Colombia, the topic of media convergence and the concept of crossmedia will be addressed.

Luis Fernando Gutierrez Cano.
Luis Jorge Orcasitas Pacheco

Undoubtedly, the Internet brings effects in the processes of reception and content creation and in the design of programs and digital television programming. Today it is evident that the viewer (now user) went from consuming content passively  and on a single screen to a permanent search for new experiences that allows interactivity and participation with the medium. In the following table called Perceived changes in the audience, these transformations are appreciated and the spectrum that television covers today along with the possibilities offered by the Internet.

Television + Internet = more audience
Today it can be said that both the Internet and television are the main media in which telematic development has been solved, due largely to the social and cultural roots of television and the possibilities of mobility, access to information and interaction that the Internet allows. Hence the importance that the implementation of digital television, link and value the possibilities of media convergence and respond to the needs of an audience that is transformed. Television is the queen and if you add the Internet you reach more audiences when you think of a user who uses multiple platforms from different  languages. The Programmer thinking about the construction of a multipurpose message. A clear example of this is Caracol Televisión's interactive tool, Parlar TV (, a  new free application that allows users to interact with the Colombian channel's favorite programs.

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In this installment we will continue talking about the concept of media convergence and the terms crossmedia and transmedia, as new forms of communication from which editorial content, audiovisual or marketing strategies seek to reach large audiences through multiple media, platforms and destinations, thus achieving greater effectiveness of messages.

Multiple Platforms: Multiple Purposes
Today's media landscape is a mix of applications, platforms, and a combination of media with advanced navigation structures to support various kinds of activities, including marketing, gaming, collaboration, blogging (website on which one or more authors chronologically publish texts or articles) among other actions. As a platform for these media, the Web proves to be one of the most focused and the one that allows two-way communication. Cross-media, media convergence, experience design, emotional design, etc., are concepts that are becoming increasingly popular in interactive design. However, cross-media interaction design is not just about the Web. Games, smartphones, tablets, iPods, players and other mobile devices also have a great participation in this era of communicating and sharing content with others in the world.

Traditional media are called to change so as not to die and must evolve and adapt to new technologies day by day. The convergence of media does not imply the replacement or fusion of the old media, but these adapt and enhance each one in its scope, which results in the transformation of these and the creation of new ones. It is clear that there are notable differences between traditional and digital media, among the main ones are media integration and degrees of interactivity. It is the digital language that has made possible the convergence of the media, by sharing the basic elements that constitute texts, images, sounds and videos, all on the same level.

The concept of crossmedia
Crossmedia is any content that is distributed  across different channels and platforms. The concept of crossmedia was born in the 90s, with the evolution of the media, the existing intermediate market and the great boom of portable technologies, which brought as consequences new ways of presenting ideas, concepts and forms to reach many interconnected audiences, totally related to each other in a dynamic, unique and direct way.

The emergence of this type of form of expression creates a varied set of new concepts, such as transmedia, which  is basically telling a story through multiple interfaces where each of them has a different and unique level of information, making the user able to interact and create their own story, and that forces them to propose a medium-to-medium relationship, in front of the idea of a less passive spectator.

Stages of crossmedia
There are four stages in crossmedia: the initial one, with the first contents that are distributed exactly the same through different channels (the same film in cinema, DVD and TV). A second stage that is identified with the "extras", contents such as making of, interviews, etc., which are distributed as a complement to the content but not of the narrative. A third stage, in which the content is completed on another channel (a television series whose chapter ends in an intriguing way and that at the end sends you to a website to know more). And the evolution of these techniques is transmedia, which involves building a narrative and communicative universe around the original content, which enriches it, complements it, and provides multiple channels of entry to the story, which can function independently.

The concept of transmedia
The concept of transmedia implies a narrative that develops through different channels and supports, on and off line, which constitutes a coherent narrative universe. Each of the parts that make up the story must have its own meaning and, it is perceived, as an understandable narrative, although it may be partial. The stories that emanate from the main narrative must be able to be understood as isolated narrative units even if the first story is not known. They should complement, add or extend the main message of the story. It is explained that it is not transmedia when at the end of a film the viewer is sent to a website with more information, interviews or unpublished shots, because these extra materials, do not have a narrative structure on their own, do not generate a new story as a result of the main story (spin off). That would be Cross-media, because the story expands across different platforms, but the materials with which it does so are not narratives with unity of meaning.

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The differences between pure and hard crossmedia is usually more of a marketing strategy that seeks to increase the number of views on different platforms of the same product, with additions. While transmedia forces creators to expand the universes of the stories with increasingly sophisticated environments in the analysis of characters and plots, creating a very satisfying experience for fans, always eager to know more. With transmedia techniques, not only do you attract more audiences: art also wins.

Particular cases
Here are examples that explain the differences and coincidences between the crossmedia and transmedia concepts.  These are:  Harry Potter, Isabel, Heroes, 360° Concept and Star Wars

Harry Potter
The portal launched by J.K. Rowling, the creator of Harry Potter. This is an interactive website where fans of the young magician have access to unpublished materials about the characters and chapters written especially for the project. Registered users have identity with one of the names of the well-known wizards, so they can read and play by getting involved in the story.

This campaign achieved a reach of 78% on television alone. According to the study, with a considerably lower investment, the Internet campaign managed to add 6% of the audience, especially in that target that does not consume television or consumes it to a lesser extent; if you add to that, the contribution of print advertising in magazines (4%), the reach of this crossmedia adds up to 88%.

Isabel is a Spanish television series based on the life of Queen Isabella I of Castile. It was released in September 2012, and covers the life of Isabella of Castile, from her childhood to her proclamation as queen. It is produced by Diagonal TV for Television.

TVE (Spanish Television) created for this series an interface where, in addition to being able to see the chapters, users could also appreciate aspects of the production (How it was made, photos, promotion ...), and even learn about what social life was really like, economic and political of the time.

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In addition to the series, TVE offered viewers on its website videos about the history of what happened in the episode in broadcast as well as curiosities about the time in its application +Isabel31 that was used by tens of thousands of users during the broadcast. Subsequently, the interactive character of the series went further. TVE gave fans the opportunity to comment live on chapter 22 on Twitter along with some of the actors of the series.  The so-called 'Chat Isabel' was a success and every week two cast members were in charge of commenting on the chapter with the fans. Similarly,  "Isabel. The conquest of Granada", a complete and rigorous interactive documentary about the military campaign of the Catholic Monarchs.

Fictional television series produced by NBC, and written by Tim Kring, which began on September 25, 2006 and ended on February 8, 2010.  It tells the story of people with normal-looking characteristics, who have discovered within themselves supernatural abilities (telekinesis, instant regeneration, etc.) and that they are connected to each other to prevent a series of calamitous events from happening.  The series features an extension of the series, called "Heroes 360 experience" "Heroes: Evolutions", later, which was created to explore the universe of the series in other media and has a number of magazines, websites, games, a web series, and other elements that complement the series itself. And sometimes, it gives the viewer the opportunity to interact directly with the series.    

This concept gives us the idea that everything is transferable from platform to platform, the creation of a network where users interact with the object in question. In this case the series Heroes that was developed mainly on television, but is deployed to other media in order to provide viewers with an exploration of the universe of it.

Today, despite the existence of programs or series such as Heroes, directed for television, these products are projected beyond a simple series where the viewer is sitting comfortably waiting to receive the information; this scheme emphasizes intrigue to force those who really want to know the background of the series by dividing it into several platforms. Small details of the series or programs  suggest that there is something beyond them, as if spreading the television of our reality, to an idea of creating an alternative reality where this fantasy world can exist in the real world.

One can mention the case of television or film sagas that take a new direction and take even bigger steps in the series-viewer interaction. Products such as Star Wars have  developed proposals linked to a series of comics, and even animated series, which have made it possible to tell other parallel stories; the attractive thing now is that week by week, this type of product allows  the viewer to choose the future characters; options ranging from the choice of the sex of the characters, their powers in the story and their future as a villain or a hero, which will later appear directly in the story and television creating a bond between the person and the series.

In short, today the concept of cross-media is in all branches of communication that we can imagine; it is an evolutionary step where users do not need to live but enjoy.

Why cross-media?
Partly due to the large increase in available media and information platforms; this situation has created a huge desire in  people who want to explore  and discover the bottom of everything, wanting to be part of the story itself;  therefore,  it is necessary to think that the users they were are no longer so, so there is a need to change. Nowadays, any multimedia project, advertising, etc.,  must think of crossmedia as the necessary tool to transcend. Cross-media presentation is the evolution of the idea and the true source of information because "knowledge generates knowledge."

Likewise, in advertising and marketing, a strategy based on personalization and multimedia use is used, which optimizes the response of potential customers to traditional advertising. And it is that most people are only able to recognize about 50 advertising messages, among the more than three thousand with which they are bombarded daily. Newspapers, television, radios, magazines, mails, text messages and other multiple media participate in this complex process also called "information cloud".

Advertising according to jon dornaleteche Ruiz
In: Definition and nature of the cinematographic trailer (University of Valladolid, 2007).

Wait in the next installment...
In the next installment we will continue to talk about digital television and the innovation of advanced hardware and software and innovation in the design of production and distribution of digital television and processes.

ALCUDIA BORREGUERO,  Mario. BARCELÓ UGARTE, Teresa.  LEGORBURU HORTELANO, José María, Media convergence New challenges for global communication. Madrid: CEU editores, 2012.

BESTARD LUCIANO,  Maria. Audiovisual production. Barcelona: Editorial UOC, 2011. Page 210.

DORNALETECHE RUIZ,  Jon. DEFINITION AND NATURE OF THE CINEMATOGRAPHIC TRAILER: Published at the University of Valladolid, October 2007.

HILLIARD, Robert L.  Screenwriting for radio, television and new media. Mexico: THOMSON PARANINFO, 2000.

LÓPEZ GARCÍA, Xosé. Digital convergence: reconfiguration of the media in Spain. Santiago de Compostela: Universidade Santiago de Compostela, 2010.

PRÁDANOS GRIJALVO,  Eduardo. Translation from the original document by Gary P Hayes. December 2012, in

SCOLARI,  Carlos A. Transmedia narratives. When all  media counts. Barcelona: Deusto libros, 2013.

VILLA MONTOYA,  Maria Isabel. Cross-media production: The case of Televisió de Catalunya. Research submitted to apply for the degree of Doctor in Communication Content in the Digital Age. Departament de Comunicació Audiovisual i Publicitat 1.  Faculty of Communication Sciences. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2011.

Suggested Websites: #

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Periodista de la Universidad de Antioquia (2010), con experiencia en temas sobre tecnología y economía. Editor de las revistas TVyVideo+Radio y AVI Latinoamérica. Coordinador académico de TecnoTelevisión&Radio.

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