Software and TV Watching evolve: improving and adapting to new models

In my previous blog [Software and TV Watching evolve: Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain] I mentioned how our TV viewing abilities have changed dramatically in the last few years. Starting with the VCR, then DVD recorders, DVR’s and now digital streaming services we can choose to watch essentially whatever we went, whenever we desire. This can be quite a different experience sitting in front of a TV with all of these abilities in place.

How does this involve the computer? Google among others continues to push this. Here’s a news article describing one such addition.[Is Cloud TV on the horizon for Google]

What features and usages make sense as a user with nearly instant ability to watch about anything you want? I believe that to make the experience useful requires a front end ability to balance sources with cost and desire, along with maintaining a viewing database and suggestion engine that is able to work across platforms and media services. I’ll explain this.

I want to be able to watch “Rubicon” a TV show and not have to worry about which service has it, or which might charge and which might be free. Software on my computer system should be able to pick the lowest price to view this content and present it to me. Perhaps with my confirmation if I need to buy it vs it’s available on a pre-paid service.

To really make this all useful I need a suggestion and search engine that knows not only what I viewed on Netflix, but also Amazon, Vudu and Hulu. That way I can get reasonable suggestions for things I might enjoy that actually make sense. By placing this ability under my control I could also control the privacy of my viewing data by limiting access to the providers I choose due to their ability to offer me services I desire.

Now we can really take this another step. Presume I’m sitting in front of my TV with all of these viewing abilities and a tablet in my hand. How can that tablet add value? Perhaps by analyzing my viewing and presenting me with options to learn more about the topic, location or other aspects of the currently watched content such as the director, actors etc. All of this is possible with our current technology, we just need it to be implemented and then it can be used to improve our experience as we use the technology. That is really the bottom line, improving our experiences as we go about life; thus changing the world for the better.
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