If I have to scroll through another channel guide, or search using an archaic user interface one more time.!. I will just use my web streaming service instead. At least the web, video streaming apps have started to innovate how the consumers click through to get their content. TV channel bundled providers (Cable Cos., AT&T, Verizon, etc.) typically display ‘what’s on?’ in the form of the classic channel guide, or variations of it. The TVCBP , or TV Channel Bundled providers, also allow us to get through to content by drilling down into our desired genre. Finally, the TVCBP allow the watcher to search ‘painfully’ using the TV remote keyboard.
The set top box evolution, such as a UI revamp, are at times, slow like a huge glacier moving along in the Arctic.
Changes, here they come
First, the new ‘Media Guide’, is a display page of tiles, similar to a stock heat map, and Windows 8. In the first level of abstraction, the heat map MAYBE group by Genres.
The genre, or category grouping, has the channel / network icons grouped around the category. Hovering your mouse over the network icon will popup a live stream from the channel. Drilling down by clicking the channel/network icon, a tiled view of the current and the next 24h is displayed. The current show has a pop up for the current streamed show, selecting it then plays in the entire screen. If you hover over any future shows, one of two things occur. If there is a 30 sec promo for the show, a pop up shows the promo. If no promo, the show beauty shot still for the show is displayed. If the user selects the show, current or future, a menu overlays the still or show in progress with e.g. record show, DVR.
The UI would also allow the user to create their own tiled pages using their favorite channels, and again, hovering over the image would allow play out in a popup of the current stream. The tiles can be sorted by your popularity rating, general popularity rating, ascending or descending title names, and most watched videos.
If our TV bundled channel providers want to keep and lure new subscribers, then they need to innovate the STB software and think about how you evolve the viewer experience.
This post really needs a graphic of a ‘heat map’ of channels to truly articulate this post.
Genre grouped channels / media brands coalesced in clouds, similar to our milky way galaxy. A person can almost reach in the content universe to select a genre cloud, then navigate the network icons in the cloud. Highlighting the icon plays out the current video stream.
In hindsight, heat map may have been the wrong words to use. The ‘Content Cloud’ within the ‘Content Universe’ was one paradigm. Another level to overlay this Content Cloud is the heat of the ‘stars’ or networks. What is currently the most popular channels to view within the providers viewership.