October 4, 2011

Another media service idea - EPG that doesn't suck for connected TVs.

Generally EPGs (Electronic Program Guides) suck in televisions. Those are landmark of bad engineer driven user interface design. Why we can't have have great looking visual EPG with information, pictures and videos about TV programs? One reason is that with current technology it's been impossible to transfer anything else than TV programs name, short information and schedule data to EPG. Bad UI design is to blame the TV manufacturers.

Now we're seeing first phase of connected TVs in market. Samsung, Sony, LG and Google all have TV-sets/set top boxes available with internet connection and app framework. So theoretically anyone can create apps for these televisions. By 2015 almost every television sold will be connected.

What if we build superior EPG app for connected televisions? It must be very simple and it's only purpose is to show quickly and visually what's coming at the moment/next from different TV channels. Of course you could also look forward and backward for a week but it'd be targeted especially to what's coming now (+-2 hours) so it could be made visually very attractive.

Even traditional television is nowadays more complex with new channels coming almost monthly. Often when I sit down and turn on TV I have no idea what I'll watch and try to look something interesting from EPG. So If we could make superior EPG that people prefer over television's own text based and boring one it could become huge advertising medium and so on business.