Better Channel Navigation in TVs

Out here in India we used to have just one TV channel, when we were growing. TV Remote was something which we have seen when we got old. I remember that when we bought our first Color TV in 1987 (A Bush model), we chose to buy the one without remote since we thought that it doesn’t make sense to pay Rs 1000 just for a remote.

Then came the satellite revolution, around 1991 odd, and suddenly 100s of channel were visible. When I read a report in Time magazine in 1991-1992, I didn’t believe it. My college library used to get 100s of magazine and I thought that this is not about India. After some weeks I was seen working with local cable guy to fix things, apparently a couple who has just moved in a close-by apartment has agreed to pay 200 or whatever for this satellite connection. When we first watched MTv we were as good as dead. We could not believe it.

The result of all this ensured that TV Remote became a standard fitment. Now you could flip channels. Then about 2 odd years back, we got DTH (Direct to Home) where in you get a set-top box and the beauty of this system was that there is no cable-wallah in between, the signal reception is good and you can access TV Guide.

So if you are on “Tata Sky” or “Dish TV’ or recently launched ‘Big TV’, you can find out much more about the running and future TV programs. Life is simpler, better and more richer now.

So in this life, while browsing or surfing channels, I thought of something. In Tata Sky, there is a way through which you can find out ‘whats playing’ on next channel and you can browse the list, without actually changing the channel. So if Star, Sony and Zee are configured one after the other then while watching Star, you just press some keys and you can see a text information of whats playing on Sony. At this point you can either chose to change to Sony or go to next Channel.

What occurred to me that whether it wont be killing, if I can also see a small video preview of next channel. This small preview would help me further since I can figure out whether they are playing any ads or not. Sometime these small previews could actually help me to find out the details of the ‘content’ rather then reading it. Especially if I am familiar with that particular program. A small preview is enough for you to register whether the program is “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2009” or “Big Boss” or “The Great India Laughter Challenge”. Over time it may happen that you only video previews since those are much more easier to register.

PIP (Picture in picture) is already a solved problem. This is just another good use case of using PIP technology. TV makers ??? Can you do it.

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