• 1


Dr. Jo Twist

Chief Executive Officer at The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment

Dr. Jo Twist is the currently the Chief Executive Officer at The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE). Previously at Channel 4, she was Commissioning Editor for Education, where she commissioned Digital Emmy-winning Battlefront II, a stable of games, and social media projects.She was also Multiplatform Commissioner for BBC Entertainment & Switch, BBC Three Multiplatform Channel Editor and was once a technology reporter for BBC News. With a background in digital media cultures, education, creative technology and youth culture, she has diverse experience in all aspects of interactive entertainment and culture.


Our sponsors, who reinforce the Hackfest kudos of looking to encourage creativity and innovation, so much so they provide amazing prizes for doing so!



Hack Schedule

Day 1 - 22/10/13



08:30 Registration & Welcome refreshments
09:00-10:00 APIs and SDKs get pitched by sponsors.
10:00-10:30 Meet the Mentors & Networking (Creatives and Technologists)
10:30 Hackfest starts!
13:00-14:00 Lunch break
17:00-18:00 Winding down for day
18:00-21:00 Late hack (optional)

Day 2 - 23/10/13



08:30 Welcome refreshments
09:00 2nd day of Hackfest starts

Lunch break Judges arrive and start to mingle with the hackers


Presentations to take place for the judges


Hackfest winners announced and awards presentation


Our Hack Judges

These folk play the vital role of determining who deserves to be crowned a Hackfest champ. As experts in their field they will take the time to meet our hack teams, evaluate the concept and review the presentations before deliberating over our deserving winners.

  • alki

    Alkiviades David

    Founder and CEO, www.FilmOn.TV

    Alkiviades (Alki) David, a media billionaire, is the Founder and CEO of FilmOn , the world’s largest OTT IPTV content library and platform offering business to business and direct to consumer solutions coupled with traditional VOD and TV distribution businesses. Customers include Lenovo/IBM and Dish

    Read More
  • jotwist

    Dr. Jo Twist

    Chief Executive Officer at The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment

    Dr. Jo Twist is the currently the Chief Executive Officer at The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE). Previously at Channel 4, she was Commissioning Editor for Education, where she commissioned Digital Emmy-winning Battlefront II, a stable

    Read More
  • andrewb

    Andrew Burke

    Chairman, Crisp Thinking Ltd

    Andrew Burke is the Chairman of both Crisp Thinking Ltd and Simple Matters Ltd, a Non-Executive Director StaffShare Ltd and a Partner at Snowy Road Ventures.

    Previously, he was CEO of Amino Technologies plc and before that he was CEO of BT Entertainment where

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

Prizes (Jury)

1. Best Overall Hack
2. Best Commercial Concept
3. Best Design


filn-on-tvThe Best Overall Hack team will win £500.00 - awarded from Filmon.com and picked by the judges. Filmon is owned by media billionaire Alki David, is the world’s largest OTT IPTV content library and platform offering business to business and direct to consumer solutions coupled with traditional VOD (Video on Demand) and TV distribution businesses. Customers include Lenovo/IBM and Dish Networks.

FilmOn Interactive is syndicated across 40 million US Cable homes and a brand new Sky TV / Freesat Channel in Europe - producing original content with pop-culture celebrities, Billy Zane, Gary Busey, Andy Dick, Jamie Kennedy, Janice Dickinson and Kato Kaelin and many more.FilmOn, owned by media billionaire Alki David, is the world’s largest OTT IPTV content library and platform offering business to business and direct to consumer solutions coupled with traditional VOD (Video on Demand) and TV distribution businesses. Customers include Lenovo/IBM and Dish Networks.

Filmon is also offering £500.00 pounds each for Best Overall Design and Best Commercial Concept.


aalogoThe winner of the Best Overall Hack will be awarded a £1000.00 bursary to the prestigious Accelerator Academy programme. Now approaching its 6th successful semester, the programme educates emerging entrepreneurs, providing them with the tools to turn their idea into an investable business. Using structured growth training, mentoring from exited tech & media entrepreneurs and access to capital from business angels, seed funds, VCs and corporates, the programme has funded two thirds of the businesses seeking capital to date, with more to follow. Having already supported nearly 50 high growth tech & media start ups in less than 2 years, the 12 week part time programme is well suited to help ensure the winner of TV HackFest has the best opportunity to build a substantial and successful business. If the TV HackFest winner is a sole founder or in full time employment, then they will be offered a bursary at the Academy's pre-accelerator coaching programme, with access to industry experts to help them shape their business proposition.  Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:

"The Accelerator Academy represents exactly the type of investment in London's future businesses that will secure our position as Europe's digital capital. Using the nous of seasoned entrepreneurs to mentor those in the very early stages, alongside much needed access to investment, the Academy will give entrepreneurs a real leg up in a tough economic climate, helping to create London's future jobs."

skylogoThe winner of the Best Overall Hack will be awarded an iPad Mini from BskyB. Think innovation. Think bSkyb, a FTSE TOP 30 and the UK’s favourite triple play provider– TV, broadband and telephony. Now in over 10 million households they entertain, excite and inspire customers with the combination of great content and great innovation. This is the driving force behind their growth as they strive to be the UK’s no. 1 choice in entertainment and communications.

Briefs (Sponsors)


Filmon is offering two awards to be determined by their staff  at TV Hackfest - one for best use of their API where winners will take home £1000 pounds plus - potentially a lucrative contract. And second is best use of their affilation programme (embed) where winners will also take home £1000.



SmartPay Brief

smartpayThis year we are having two prize winning challenges!

Challenge A – Best Commercial viability

Implement the SmartPat.tv billing solution in an application you created (a dedicated app or one you created for one of the other Hacks). The most commercially viable and innovative use or SmartPay.tv will win you TWO prizes - An LG Smart Upgrader Box PLUS a Samsung Smart Blu-Ray Player!

We do not require specific payment types to be implemented – any payment type, working commercially on a live App will be eligible to win this challenge!

Challenge B - Fastest Implementation Prize

EVERY team to implement the SmartPay billing solution in LESS THAN 15 MINUTES will win a Giant Fluffy Teddy Bear! To keep you warm on those cold London nights (and your kids loving you forever :). Register your starting time with us at our HackFest table or at our SmartPay.tv booth – no. 421. Implement in a working Smart TV app, and fire-up at least one test transaction in one of the following types:

• A single payment in any supported currency.

• A recurring payment, starting a subscription plan in any supported occurrence (daily/weekly/monthly/yearly), with or without a Grace Period.

• A Dynamic-Price payment in any amount and in any supported currency, implementing our Server-Side-Notification (SSN) verification method (2-phase secured verification).

Register your Developer ID in our system with at least one transaction from one of the above – and you will be declared this challenge's WINNER! This is a speed challenge – implementation of the SmartPay billing solution is as easy and fast as pasting 2 lines of code in your app. We won't judge your app UI or design – the race is towards functionality and actual transactions!

zeeboxzeebox Brief

Create fun widgets in zeebox or use our APIs to build zeebox features into your web site

Win fame and fortune and!See more information here!

Well, £1000, and the chance to have your widget featured in zeebox!

The zeebox team will be on hand at the London TV Hackfest to help get you up and running with our APIs, brainstorm ideas and help you turn that crazy idea into reality.register now to take part. Whether you’re looking to build HTML5 widgets in zeebox, or use our APIs to power your web site or app, you’ll find all the docs you need in the Developer Zone

Looking to tap into our amazing synchronised ad platform and take advantage of real-time video fingerprinting across 150+ channels? Check out the Advertiser section for more – though that’s probably not something you’ll use for the hackathon. And, for broadcasters and content creators, we’ve got a great set of ready-to-use widgets, votes, polls, and way more – details in the Producers zone.

brightcoveBrightcove will present a prize for the best use of the Zencoder API as judged by their staff. The award is an Amazon gift card worth £500, which can be split between team members as necessary. The winning team is also eligible for free transcoding, which can be discussed with the Brightcove staff on hand. The Zencoder service provides customers with high quality, reliable encoding of live and on-demand video and access to unlimited video encoding power without having to pay for, manage and scale expensive hardware and software. In a nutshell, Zencoder takes videos from a website’s users, or other sources, and converts them into formats that are compatible with web playback, mobile phones, or any other device a service needs to support. During the transcoding process, Zencoder can also provide features like resizing, burned-in watermarks, thumbnails, clipping, and more."

The super brief, TL;DR description of our product: We're an API for transcoding video. Tell us where the video is, what outputs you want, and where you want us to put them when we're done.

Looking forward to meeting everyone next week!

smart-tv-allianceSmart TV Alliance is committed to providing partners with a platform to create interactive content on consumers' TV screens.

The Smart TV Alliance's motto is 'build once, run everywhere'. The members' ambition is to align on technology that will allow app developers to create apps and successfully run them on all supported Smart TV Alliance platforms. Smart TV Alliance utilizes open solutions technology and Smart TV Alliance Apps can be developed using open standard (HTML5) systems. There is no pressure for our Smart TV Alliance partners to adopt 'tight grid' developments as you have the flexibility to create your own experiences. Enriched content can be given to consumers by developing interactive experiences via their Smart TV Alliance app.
Smart TV Alliance applications run on TVs, but can now integrate with apps on tablets and smart phones. Your mobile app can start an application on the TV, and can communicate with it, both directly or via the cloud.

Please refer to the links below for information on the API and SDK for the challenge.

Keep monitoring this page during the event for an answer to the most frequently asked questions. Please refer to the links below for information on the API and SDK for the challenge.

Technical details 
Please refer to the links below for information on the API and SDK for the challenge.
Keep monitoring this dedicated Smart TV Alliance Hackfest page during the event for an answer to the most frequently asked questions and other possible updates: https://developers.smarttv-alliance.org/multiscreen_hackfest_2013.


Develop an app that demonstrates the possibilities of the Smart TV Alliance Specification 2.5 API's in the most enticing way possible, while still limiting the required horse power of the application. Multiscreen apps, with elements running on both mobile device and TV are encourages but not compulsory. You may use other available and compatible API's at the event. Your app should preferably include video and/or video. The app must be demonstrated on the Smart TV Alliance SDK 2.5.

Those contestants that prove their awesome skills by demonstrating the app on one of the available Smart TV Alliance compatible Smart TVs (with some assistence of the available Smart TV Alliance team, if needed) have a better chance of winning the prize of the challenge!
If you plan to develop a multiscreen app, please bring your Android tablet/smart phone.

The prize for the best Smart TV Alliance app will be $1000 of Amazon vouchers for the winning team.

Important links
Below you can find links to our development website, where you can find the information to get your app up and running quickly (you may need to register first).

Smart TV Alliance Specification V2.5 (Describing the available API's on Smart TV Alliance platforms *)
SDK Download Page (Smart TV Alliance SDK 2.5 Software for testing and demonstrating your App, Guidelines with hints and examples, and Manuals on the provided software) - please remember to use SDK Version 2.5 that matches the Specification Version 2.5.


Smart TV Alliance Developers website: Smart TV Alliance Developers’website

Smart TV Alliance dedicated Hackfest page: https://developers.smarttv-alliance.org/multiscreen_hackfest_2013 (please log in or register first)

Smart TV Alliance
Official site of the Smart TV Alliance

(*) a number of physical copies of the specification 2.5 are available at the venue.


Frequently Asked Questions

Those of you who already started working on the app had some interesting questions, for which we will reproduce the Q&A below. In case your answer is not in the list, come find us !

Q: I have an issue I want to debug, how can I do this on the emulator ?
A: The emulator includes webkit inspector, that allows you to do advanced debugging (Javascript, HTTP headers, network traffic etc.). To debug inside the emulator, right press on the app and select 'inspect element'. The debugger will pop up. Depending on the speed of your host PC and the app currently running, the debugging goes more quicker.

Q: Does the app execute online or do I have to download anything into the TV/SDK ?
A: All Smart TV Alliance apps execute from your own server, meaning you can treat the app just as any regular web app (including server side scripting such as PHP running on your own server).

Q: Can I use a pointer device ?
A: Yes, although the Smart TV we brought for the event only supports the method of navigation using CSS3 spatial navigation that all Smart TV Alliance platforms support (up/down/left/right and OK key on the remote control) so please make sure your app at least supports this spatial navigation method, but pointer is also supported. An example is included in the documentation, but generally it works something like this:

<a href="#" id="myid" style="nav-left:#myid2;nav-down:#myid2;">CSS3 spatial navigation link 1</a>
<a href="#" id="myid2" style="nav-left:#myid;nav-down:#myid;">CSS3 spatial navigation link 2</a>
(note that you should add some focus highlight too, to see where you are)

Q: Which SDK version should I use ?
A: Your app must be demonstrated on the latest SDK version, which is SDK Version 2.5.

Q: Can I show multiple audio or video on the same page ?
A: Please use only 1 video or audio track playing simultaneously. You can of course show multiple still images for video that is not playing.

Q: Can I connect an external device to the TV/SDK directly ?
A: Not directly, but you can of course always use your web server as 'proxy' between the TV/SDK and whatever external device you want to connect to your Web App !

Q: What are the most important points to take into consideration when I will deploy my app to the TV ?
A: The TV platforms have a few distinct differences from the SDK 2.5 emulator: it runs video and audio decoding in hardware, so some things may perform a bit differently or be a bit limited. It also is less fast than the SDK emulator, which is meant as a functional emulation of the Smart TV Alliance specification, rather than an exact emulation including the TV speed. Lastly the TV at the event does not have a pointer, so you will have to use the CSS3 spatial navigation as explained above.

The Smart TV Alliance team can help you with any questions or feedback you may have regarding the SDK and API during the event.

gracenotefinallogoGRACENOTE BRIEF

Help reinvent TV with us at TV Hackfest in London. Gracenote will be offering a Lego Mindstorms-EV3 for the best hack that uses at least one of our APIs. Other prizes include awesome Gracenote Timbuk2 backpacks – perfect for traveling with laptops and other gear.

Rethink the TV Experience – On All Screens

Hackers can tap into our Gracenote Entourage Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) platform to create killer companion Apps that let tablets and smart phones recognize what’s playing on TV and synchronize with programming. Hackers can also dive deep into our database of TV listings data and imagery to help rethink the Electronic Program Guide – making it easier for TV viewers to find what to watch tonight. And don’t forget about music. With strong roots in the music industry, Gracenote’s Music APIs will also be available for hackers to create a connection between music, movies and TV. The possibilities are endless.

Click here to check out all of our APIs.


The Facts

When: 22nd & 23rd October 2013

Where: Apps World, Earls Court 2, Warwick Road, London, SW5 9TA.

How to get there: http://www.eco.co.uk/p/how-to-get-here/94

Start time: Kick off at 9am

Dress code: Comfys, daps and anything else you will feel ready to code in.

Visit www.apps-world.net/europe for full details & to register for a free developer pass

Frequently Asked Questions

Still left with any burning questions about the show? Hopefully you can find the answer below but if not feel free to drop us an email on info@the-hackfest.com

  • When do we find out the briefs? +

    Sponsors briefs will be made available to all participants approximately one week prior to the start of the hack. We will also introduce registered hackers to each other so groups can start to be formed, if you so wish
  • What should I bring? +

    Laptop or tablet, comfortable clothing and any gadgets or tools that may help your team win!
  • What happens if I don’t like pizza? +

    Whilst we will aim to cater to individuals, dietary requirements it is impossible to meet all requirements. We will endevour to ensure a variety of toppings are provided and there are plenty of crisps to go around. Catering outlets will also be available within the Apps World exhibition for those looking to stretch their legs and mooch around the expo
  • How big are the prizes & will I be able to take home on the plane? +

    Details of all prizes will be posted on the website prior to the start of the hack. If you havent pre-planned any transportation for potential large prizes the hackfest team will assist in arranging suitable delivery to your selected address.
  • What will I be provided with? +

    Power sockets, WIFI, hot & cold refreshments, food, seating, and beanbags for the lean-back hackers! 
  • What is Apps World? +

    The leading multi platform app event with free to attend developer workshops and exhibition. Apps World plays host to over 250 exhibitors and over 8000+ attendees including developers, mobile marketers, mobile operators, device manufacturers, platform owners and industry figureheads. With 12 targeted workshop tracks, speed meetings, one-to-one meetings, parties, and awards the event will be tackling a spectrum of issues across the app ecosystem. Find full details and register for your free pass here – www.apps-world.net/europe
  • What is a hackathon? +

    A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers, collaborate intensively on software projects. Occasionally there is a hardware component as well. Hackathons typically last between a day and a week in length. Some hackathons are intended simply for educational or social purposes, although in many cases the goal is to create usable software. Hackathons tend to have a specific focus, which can include the programming language used, the operating system, an application, an API, the subject and the demographic group of the programmers. In other cases, there is no restriction on the type of software being created.
  • 1

Our Media Partners

Helping us connect with the industry our media partners play a crucial role in the sucess of The Hackfests


Meet the Host

richRichard Kastelein is the founder of The TV Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on TV innovation. He is an award winning writer, publisher, innovation catalyst and futurist and has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab and sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels.

Kastelein has also worked with broadcasters around the globe such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategies - particularly Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen.

He is a Fellow of the the UK's RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce),  an assessor for the UK Technology Strategy Board and, as a volunteer,  has mentored startups via incubators in both the UK and the Netherlands.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin.com. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. Kastelein also writes TV formats - one which was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012 - and he is working on more transmedia writing projects as well as involved with a number of startups as an advisor and founder. 

Kastelein will be hosting his third TV Hackfest since founding the brand in 2012. 

Hook up with him on Linkedin.