I was reading about the new boxee tv box on the Verge and it really got me thinking. I think the boxee is a cool idea with the “Free TV” antenna and cloud DVR features. However, with the emergence of broadband, there is still yet a technological breakthrough in the TV viewing experience:
Sure, there are newer “smart TV’s” that are Internet connected with apps like Pandora and Netflix. There are second-screen experiences like IntoNow which uses your tablet or smartphones to check-in and connect with others. There’s the Apple tv which serves as an Apple ecosystem hub for your iTunes and iOS content. There’s Google TV and Roku that streams content with apps and connect the tv to the Internet. But doesn’t it all feel so clunky and not integrated?
I am a Time Warner Cable subscriber and certainly feel that things could be much improved. The DVR software that comes with it makes me feel like I’m still in the 90’s. The controls are clunky and irresponsive. The guide is nonintuitive and the typefaces are horrid. It looks like there are more updated software for TWC but it has yet to be available in my area.
I feel stuck because there are better options out there like the Tivo and DirecTv but then it’ll cost some additional premium.
With all that said, I think we’re still living in a world where the TV viewing experience is still in a old school era and that things could be much easier.
I understand that there are many complications involved in the hardware/software/cable companies/media content providers equation. But at the end, wouldn’t a better product and experience equal to more customers equal to more profits?
I dream that one day watching TV would be as easy as telling Siri “show me the latest episode of Parks and Rec”, or when I see a funny clip on YouTube, or got a good recommendation from a friend, I could watch the whole episode on whatever device I have with my existing cable subscription.
Sorry for the little rant… 😉 I just had that urge from using the TWC DVR…
p.s. I’ve been trying to rethink the TV guide experience and design, maybe sometime I will share some of them in the blog.