We present the results of two studies on social television concepts. In one study, a social TV prototype was tested in the field, allowing groups of users watching television at home to talk to each other over an audio link. Specific patterns of use are described, showing that users did perceive the system as valuable. In another study, focus groups were presented with several social TV concepts, and their responses were collected. These participants saw only moderate to marginal value in the concept. We discuss the discrepancy with reference to the limitations of each method. Based on our analysis, we conclude that our social television experience provides user value under certain favorable conditions. Participants deal with potential conflicts between conversation and television audio without the need for additional technical support, and there is no indication that a video link would improve the experience. However, designing for the social dynamics at the beginnings, ends, and outside of conversations remains an open challenge.