Wednesday, August 27, 2008

TV Tomorrow: Navigation and Recommendation

TV continues to be more crowded as new channels emerge through different distribution paths. We need better navigation and recommendations to help the average person find the "stuff" that most appeals to them. We need a weblike experience on the TV set to better move through the myriad of options in front of us. And at the same time, helps to lead us and present to us content and advertising better targeted to our interests. As long as we are okay with the notion that Big Brother may be watching and our viewing patterns are no longer anonymous, our choices may become more "personalized". That should not be a problem as we are already going down that slippery slope and our web surfing patterns are already be watched.

"Forrester lays out a decade-long evolution that will ultimately result in most programming delivered on-demand with targeted ad messages based on location and behavior, along with community functions. This "Personal TV," as Forrester calls it, would also deliver a Web-like experience for consumers, with a portal-like menu of programming options and search functions." Why a decade of change; with so many companies vested in their infrastructure, change to an open architecture where all are welcome to join may take some time to gain full commitment. As an example, Verizon is unhappy with cable's version of an open settop box through its Tru2way platform. Cable's idea of open may not be Verizons.

Beyond better personalization and navigation comes recommendation. Tivo is already on that path, providing suggestions it records for its members of content they might like to watch. Its most recent announcement, a partnership with Entertainment Weekly of its top choices to watch. I, for one, appreciate the suggestion box and the help to find interesting content to watch. "The partnership is part of a growing push by TiVo to differentiate itself from DVRs offered by cable and satellite companies, which have managed to find a bigger audience even though they lack many of TiVo's bells and whistles." It continues demonstrate to me why Tivo is such a better product than the cable DVR today.

Will the quality of the content keep up with the quantity? Probably not. But perhaps it offers a better opportunity to revisit some long forgotten shows from your childhood. It's all out there to be watched again and again.

No comments:

Post a Comment