Superchannel is a tool that enables anyone to produce internet Tv with interaction by the viewers through chat and discussion groups. The Superchannel is a network of people that uses streaming media to strengthen and create social connections by redefining the broadcaster/viewer relation.
Existing media like print, radio and television all have a provider/consumer approach to distributing their messages. There is a clear distinction between the producer and the consumer in today's media. This clear distinction leads to a passive involvement of the consumer because production of the media is inaccessible or privileged.
The Superchannel is an attempt to weaken the distinction between the broadcaster and viewer of television-like media, empowering the viewer with the ability to change the media as it is being created. The viewers can now use the media and the Superchannel as a tool, transforming their role from a passive viewer to an active user.
The users of the Superchannel can actively participate by interacting directly with the producers of the media during a broadcast, leave messages with their opinions, comments, or suggestions, or even become a producer themselves. In the space of the Internet there is room and potential for many more producers than there is in the world of television.
When the possibility of potentially millions of broadcasters is realized, the content of the media will become specialized to the specific interests of the users. The Superchannel system enables this discovery and development of the media by engaging the users directly in the creation and evolution of the content.
The producer/user relationship of the Superchannel also engages people to get personally involved. Existing Internet media forms like e-mail, discussion groups, and home pages all carry the message through a mostly text medium. Using streaming media the faces, voices, and motion of people can be used on top of text and other exiting Internet mediums to communicate a richer message.
People participating in the Superchannel typically do so because of a special interest in the content and community. Not only is the relationship between the user and producer closer, the relationship between the different users of the Superchannel gives a stronger sense of community. If there are multiple users with similar interests then the Superchannel is a place for these people to meet and build social networks. Much like the living room has acted as a social environment for television viewing, the Superchannel provides a global living room for all to come and interact.
Superchannel is initiated by the artist group superflex from copenhagen and the american programmer Sean Treadway.
Danish artists' collective Superflex have been collaborating with residents of Coronation Court, Liverpool's oldest tower block, to create an on-line community channel that webcasts their views and concerns globally. The channel aims to give other residents of Liverpool tower blocks access to the opportunities for personal expression and expansion, and community action, that new technology can offer.
The Liverpool channels form a major part of what is a continually expanding global community-led broadcasting experiment with other channels broadcasting from the Netherlands to Japan. The Coronation Court Channel will continue to broadcast news, events and debate from its residents and the members of the local community, whilst the Tenantspin focuses on issues to do with social housing, high rise living and local democracy, attempting to involve more tenants in the decisions affecting their homes and lives.