Tuesday 10 January 2012

I like the sound of a smart TV

This is what I'd like my TV to do for me.

My main objective would be to watch exactly the things I like and to discover some new things I didn't even know I'd like. I get very limited time to watch TV, so I like to make it worthwhile. I prefer to watch films, enjoy a good drama series and the odd documentary. TV for me is a mix of escapism and education.

So what I really need is my TV (or the software inside it) to learn my preferences and make recommendations, a bit like the way Amazon has 'learned' my music taste and now makes pretty good recommendations. Better still would be if my TV knew the sort of programs I might like and recorded them for me (just in case I fancied the look of them). I think recorded programs or on demand via satellite would be better than streamed from my broadband connection. UK broadband is overstretched as it is, with more connected TVs I'm pretty sure your program would stop streaming just as it got to a good bit.

So here's the scenario - I sit down in front of my TV. My TV switches itself on and recognises it's me (face recognition is already in TVs apparently). I'm automatically presented with recommendations, split into - what's on live now, what's recorded that I've selected and what my TV thinks I will like. I simple speak the name of the program and it starts to play. Sounds great doesn't it? The good thing is it's not unrealistic. Samsung SmartTV, Sony Smart TV, Apple iTV and GoogleTV all have elements of this technology.

There's a lot of speculation on which of these brands will 'win the smart TV war' - well I think my money is on Google. There will be times when I sit in front of my TV and even with all these clever and accurate recommendations on what to watch, I still won't like the look of anything. That's where Google will be a winner. I can simply speak a keyword into the a Google TV search (that already knows the kind of stuff I like and the kind of stuff people who like what I like watch) and hey presto - lots of new ideas will appear.

Sounds pretty smart to me - where do I sign up?

Although... what happens when you add the other members of the family ?

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