What do you call the remote control in your house? The remote, the clicker, the hoofer-doofer -- or the iPhone? Sky has teamed up with telly-watching app Zeebox to turn your smart phone or tablet into a remote control for your Sky box.
Remote-control features will be built into Sky apps so you can take charge of your viewing with your mobile or slate, as well as discussing what you're watching live with other viewers on social networks.
Zeebox is a social TV-watching service that hooks into your Twitter and Facebook accounts to show what your friends are watching, and give real-time viewing figures. It also works out what's being talked about on TV, and creates tags for those references, called Zeetags, that you can click on to find out what a show is referring to. You can even buy things that are mentioned in the programme.
Zeebox was co-founded by the chief technical wonk behind the BBC's iPlayer, Anthony Rose. Sky has bought a 10 per cent stake in Zeebox for a multi-million-pound sum, and will be the only UK service to offer Zeebox features.
Zeebox will be added to Sky apps such as Sky News, the Sky+ remote app that lets you set your Sky+ box to record something even when you're out of the house, and Sky Go, which lets you watch Sky on your iPhone or iPad. As well as the remote contol, Sky planner and Zeebox features, there'll be extra bonus content related to the programme you're watching.
Sky has gone in for apps in a big way, catching on to the increasing trend for dual-screen or second-screen viewing -- keeping one eye on your TV and one eye on the second screen of your phone, laptop or tablet to see what people are saying about Beyonce's bump or Cheryl's tan lines or something.
Rival Virgin Media also has remote recording apps for the Virgin Media TiVo set-top box, while Samsung and Panasonic offer apps that control their TVs. Meanwhile, the first Android-powered Google TV goggleboxes are on their way.
Are you a Zeebox user? Are apps like this a welcome bonus to the televisual experience or an annoying distraction? Tell us in the comments or on our primetime Facebook page.