Whenever any company besides Netflix or Hulu begins discussing TV, I get a little dreary. Especially when such companies make cell phones. The joy of watching a television show is almost always dragged down by the incessant ads, frustrating controls, mind-numbingly, unnecessarily, infuriatingly complex programming bundles…it’s a mess. And television augmentation services? Even worse. I don’t need to flood my TV screen with information about the shows I’m watching while I’m watching them. That’s what my phone is for.
Well, apparently, Motorola agrees, as they’ve just announced their upcoming SocialTV platform. The idea seems to be that as you veg out in front of your TV, you’ll let your eyes drift to your tablet or phone for all of your social-networking, supplemental content, or “real-time chat” needs. Provided that you own a Xoom or an Atrix. Everyone else is right out.
Ok, so saying it doesn’t sound like it sucks may be a bit misleading, but hear me out. Remember the most recent episode of House? The one with that homeless dude? You totally know his voice, but the beard, man…it’s…it’s making it hard to know where you recognize him from. Augh. This is driving you nuts. So you pull up IMDb. Let’s see, let’s see….search for “House”, scroll down to the episode guide. OK. Most recent episode. “Chris Marquette”? Who the heck is….ok. Filmography. Oh hey! Linus! From Fanboys! Of course!*
Then later in the episode they shave his beard off and it’s totally obvious. Ugh. Of course you, being the narcissistic social media whore that you are, you head over to Twitter to vent your rage about the Fox television program making you look up things online. Off to the Twitters!
Now, imagine you had an app that handled all of these things at once. All. two. of. them. How crazy would that be?
In all honesty, like most apps that try to make TV viewing more social, this is probably going to suck. But I can definitely see the potential. Or could have in 2003. You know what I would’ve liked back then? An app/device/site that would allow users to “check-in” to TV shows they were watching. That way, we could all either IM or voice chat while watching the shows. That would’ve been really cool. Of course, I’ve lost the need for that since I latched on to Netflix and Hulu and divorced myself from scheduled programming forever.
Still, it might work. Maybe a site/app where you can share what shows you’re watching with people, and arrange virtual events with your friends. “Hey, wanna get online and watch the new episode of Community on Hulu with me?” “Awesome!”
Wait. Guys. This actually sounds cool. Forget this SocialTV crap. Build this site for me instead.
*– May or may not be based on a true story…..
Seriously. Stuff like that bugs me. Every time.