Friday, October 15, 2010

Far-Fetched Idea Friday: Your Personal TV Channel

These days I rarely get to watch TV. It's partly because of my wife's no-TV-when-baby-is-around policy, but I also find TV lot less interesting than what's happening on Twitter and blogosphere. Although there are hundreds of channels to surf, it's rare that you find a channel that you want to watch.

TV That Never Listened To You
There are some solutions available today. You can record your favorite shows on Tivo and other digital video recording (DVR) devices, and view them at your leisure. But that's less than half solution for a techno geek like me. Most of interesting contents are on YouTube, ReadWriteWeb, TED, and TechCrunch. They are all on the web, and without them, you are not getting the latest news.

Let's pause for a moment and extend my TV analogy to web. TV is like monitor, that is easy. DVR is hard drive -- duh, it is hard drive. What about Twitter? Well, it's like CNN headline breaking news ticker scroll at the bottom of screen. Then what about tweet with short URL? It would be breaking news segment where newscaster hands over to reporter for detail reporting.

What would this mean for TV channel? Why can I just sit back and consume these news one after another?

Today I have to slide unlock my iPhone, open Twitter (my news sources), and look for interesting things to read or watch. Why can I not just turn on my TV and start seeing the trending news among my sources from the most interesting to the least? Most of contents are already available as video clips that can be viewed on TV. It would be like having my own TV channel that focuses on social media news, election politics, economies, interesting ideas from TED, and automobile news. And it will not have any crime, sports and weather reporting.

It seems like techno geeks can already experience what it is like to own your channel. You can go search for contents and set up RSS feeds from interesting sites so that you can get updates from those separate sources. You can also follow friends with similar interests in Twitter to get fresh bits of news.

But it doesn't pass is-it-easy-enough-for-Mom test. You have to spend lot of time on the web and know how to setup RSS feeds to be able to make your custom channel. Even after all that you have to sit in front of computer monitor or on mobile devices to consume them.

My idea is to make it really easy for everyone to create their own TV channel. The moment people turn on TV, and see list of categories they like, or what friends are watching, and can select from the list what to watch. As TV follows your interest and viewing pattern, it can curate contents to show you the way you want. You can pause, since it's all available on the web, flip to next article, or decide to share with your friend by forwarding the URL, who might be watching their own custom channel so that they can also follow.

That would be a TV worth watching. As long as your wife approves, that is...

1 comment:

  1. I think Apple TV, Google TV, Boxee, etc. are all steps in that direction.