Washington, D.C. (April 22, 2013)
Editor's Note: TV's
Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to
best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If
you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by
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Q. I keep seeing
these commercials on DIRECTV for Viggle. It's supposed to give
you prizes and other stuff for just watching TV. What exactly is
Viggle and is it worth my time? -- David, San Diego, California.
Viggle is a social media service
that offers rewards such as gift certificates for watching TV
shows; it can be used by downloading the Viggle app on your
smart phone or tablet.
And while DIRECTV heavily promotes Viggle in commercials shown
only to its audience, you can use it if you subscribe to other
TV providers as well. (DIRECTV, however, does offer 5,000 bonus
points if you sign up for Viggle using your DIRECTV e-mail
account, password and the code word, "DIRECTV".)
Here's how Viggle works:
When you are watching a show, you click on your Viggle app and
"check-in." The Viggle software will pick up the audio of your
program and award one point for every minute you watch the show.
According to Viggle, it will reward points for watching the
entire show as soon as it verifies the program's audio from your
television. You don't have to keep the app open for the entire
show. A 30-minute show will get you 30 points and a 60-minute
show will get you 60 points. (Certain shows offer bonus points.)
Viggle only works with shows 60 minutes or less, but it will
work for both live and recorded programs.
Note: If the audio verification fails three times, Viggle says
you can check-in manually and get your points. But you can only
use the manual feature if the show is still on the air.
You can also use Viggle to chat with other viewers, but, of
course, the real come-on is the points and what you can do with
Well, I have to tell you that unless you are a frequent -- and I
mean, frequent -- TV watcher, it may take awhile to accumulate
enough points to capture a decent reward. For example, a $25
McDonald's Arch Card certificate will cost you 62,500 points. A
$5.99 DIRECTV movie certificate will cost you 9,000 points. And
that Royal Caribbean cruise that DIRECTV talks about in its
Viggle commercials? That will cost you 4 million points.
So if you like to engage in social media while watching TV,
Viggle can be a fun and mildly (very mildly) rewarding
experience. But if you're going for the cruise, you might want
to quit your job and start watching TV 24 hours a day.