Bright Idea: Searching Your TV

Last night I was flipping through the channels on my TV looking for something to watch that might actually stimulate my brain instead of kill it (ya, good luck). I usually only watch sports, news, or the occasional documentary or sitcom and so have my usually channels to check. After seeing poker on the sports channels (a game where you can sit down and smoke while playing it is not a sport!), I decided to venture to the maze of the other 300+ channels on the dial.

I had flipped past the movie “The Good Sheppard” earlier and went looking for it again. I flipped and I flipped. I was sure I had seen it. “Why can’t I search this thing?!?!”

Bright idea: Make it easier to search my TV for the show I want.

I know, I know – DVR and digital programming guides have search already! Yup, the kind where you can click on the show type (sports, news, etc.) first then find, or where you have to segment your channels beforehand…the kind that makes you jump to many screen before finding what you need. It’s more of a Yahoo directory than a Google search.

The idea is for search to be as easy on my TV as it is on my computer. Without a keyboard it won’t be as simple but here’s the concept:

1. Press a button on my remote control and a search box pops up on my screen

2. No keyboard so I get a dynamic menu with a list of program types, and I select one

3. The menu changes to show me the programs for that type (maybe ordered by my viewing habits! I like spy movies and if my TV knows I like them then it shows me them first…I know big brother and all that)

It’s a similar thought as what exists today but presented in an easier to use and simple way. Sort of what Google did with search online.

If someone knows of a service that has this already (or if Google is working on it) let me know in the comments.

  • Ryan

    Jaafer, what about a tag cloud. Each show can attach 3 keywords, and the tagCloud could be cycled from Keywords from the shows, to the latest searches on the network.

    Benefit to I’d like to see is tv-guide to have an online version where I can come and see what new shows are coming out..I can pick my shows for the week, and a SMS message gets sent to me daily to remind me of what shows are on. If I missed it, it can link me to a 99cent download of the episode.

    I could put in my favorite 5 actors and each time Harrison Ford came up in a movie..I’d be informed.

    Hope all is good 😉

  • jhaidar

    Hi Ryan –

    Great ideas! I think we’ll definately see some cool things in the TV future. AT&T is really pushing the envelope with U-Verse.

    Tivo and other companies do some stuff around messaging but its from the Web. I think the central thing is that interactive TV tools need to make my TV experience better, not give me things that I could care less about or make me think when I’m watching Family Guy 🙂

    Look forward to catching up soon!