Software and TV Watching evolve: Pay no attention that man behind the curtain!

Working with Consumer electronics and being a Techno Geek I find the evolution of our Radio and TV Viewing habits an interesting commentary on our connected world.

In the early days of Radio, shows were broadcast at a certain time, and the family would gather around the radio in the evenings to listen to their favorite show. Radio was augmented by TV but essentially had the same consuming method. I have wonderful memories as a family watching the Sunday night movies together. As kids we would anxiously await the yearly viewing of favorite films such as the Wizard of OZ. The “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” line was forever etched as a powerful unveiling of the mysteries of what we believe vs what is real.

We have been moving for several years from a mode of “what is on now?” to “What do I feel like watching?” A lazy evening pushing buttons on the remote to see “what’s on” is still possible as you move through hundreds of digital cable or satellite channels, but that isn’t how viewing works now. Instead we have several on demand venues where you can build a list of movies, shows, concerts etc you would like to watch and place them in your Queue. Then when you have time for viewing, instead of watching what happens to be on, you can decide to watch what you previously determined you would like to watch.

Netflix was an early leader in on-demand viewing, with many others out there with various specialties. Vudu for current movies, Hulu for TV shows, Amazon for a mix of about everything. This shift in viewing methods has caused me to rethink how I spend my time in front of a TV and additionally just how the TV and Computer are evolving in my home.

A recent Netready Vizio TV adds more to this equation. The remote includes buttons for one press access to Amazon, Netflix and Vudu. All of which I have access to now in a very simple UI. I’ll include a picture of the remote below so you can see the buttons too. On the back of the remote is a micro keyboard used to enter user names, passwords and URL’s as necessary to configure the players.
This evolution while powerful and changing to the viewing habits, leads me to consider new ways to apply this technology. I’ll cover ideas for augmenting and improving these new abilities in my next blog.

It’s great technology which gives us the ability to “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” and yet consume the media as we freely desire.


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