Turn Twitter into a TV remote control with magic #WatchOnSky tweets

British broadcaster Sky, home of "Game of Thrones" and "Mad Men", is following Comcast with magic hashtags that let you watch or record your favourite shows from your Twitter app.

Dragon
Turn Twitter into a remote control with Sky's #WatchOnSky hashtag Screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET

#thatsclever: TV broadcasters are finally finding an actual use for Twitter hashtags. A tweet tagged #WatchOnSky turns the tweet into a remote control that lets you watch or record the show in question.

British satellite broadcaster Sky, home of "Game of Thrones", "Mad men" and "Girls" in the UK, is tweeting about specific shows as they come on TV, and you can tap on the tweet on your phone or tablet to ensure you don't miss the show even if you're out of the house and nowhere near your television, DVR or remote control.

US TV network Comcast launched SEEit late last year, and now the remote control tweets have come to Europe.

Here's how it works: Sky sends out a tweet about a programme that's on telly right now, marked with the hashtag #WatchOnSky. If you want to watch the show in question, simply expand the tweet, and there are two icons that you can click on: either start watching right away on your mobile device, or tell your set-top DVR to record it.

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Click on a tweet marked with the hashtag #WatchOnSky to record or watch the show in question Sky

Clever, right? So you're out and about with your phone having a quick look at your Twitter app to kill time. A tweet pops up telling you that "Game of Thrones" is on -- "Goshdarnit, I forgot about "Game of Thrones"!" you think to yourself (I admit this is unlikely, seeing as there's an ad for the show on every flat surface right now and none of your friends can talk about anything else, but bear with me) so you tap on the tweet.

Opt to watch, and you can start viewing the latest head-lopping, dragon-broiled, incest-packed episode right there on your phone wherever you are, as long as you have a data connection. Or elect to tape it, and it'll be waiting for you on your Sky+ box when you get home.

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View a #WatchOnSky show on your mobile device or record it to your Sky+ box. Sky

Just like when you're watching at home, you have to be subscribed to the relevant channel to watch or record the programme in question. You need your Sky ID to sign in and access your account and let the app know which box is yours. And you need an iPhone or iPad to watch programmes live -- on Android devices, opting to watch live will prompt you to download the Sky Go app, through which you can watch live or on-demand films and TV.

You can also record stuff and control your Sky+ box through the Sky+ app.

Sky will tweet #WatchOnSky from Twitter accounts including @SkyHD, @SkyMovies and @SkySports.

 

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