Our prototype system, talkTV, allows for this to happen. Simply explained, talkTV allows viewers to search through digitized broadcasts for quotes and to extract them. Type in “how are you” and talkTV retrieves all of the scenes from a video library where the phrase is spoken: maybe one clip from “Friends”, another from “EastEnders”, another from “Absolutely Fabulous”. They system searches the Closed Captioned subtitles embedded in many broadcasts. The Closed Captions’ primary purpose is to provide the dialog of the program onscreen for deaf viewers so they can ‘read’ television. We use the Closed Captions as a script that can be searched for quotes.
|Excerpt above from Who's Line Is It Anyway? published in proceedings of Computing & Fun 4.|
As a high school student I made a short film titled Channels which, in hindsight, influenced the development of talkTV. Channels was a ten minute video which chronicled a modern woman's life from birth to death with excerpts from different television programs. As the television channels in the video changed, different television characters completed each others sentences. I staged and videotaped all of the different television excerpts myself as I was worried about copyright violations. The principal of my High School played Judge Wopner, kids at the pre-school were in the Mister Rogers snippet, my mom's voice bought jewelry on the Home Shopping Network. The film didn't do too well at the county film festival, but was lauded for being creative.
Looking further back, talkTV was influenced by a comic titled MAD's Cable TV Roulette in an issue of MAD Magazine I picked up in sixth grade. Evidently it had a strong influence on me! I include it here without permission.