Sunday, June 13, 2010

Television Man

I don't watch television. If you know me, you'll know I make that statement a lot. Certainly, there's a TV in my room here I've never switched on, as well as a TV in my hotel room I didn't turn on during my stay. In the house back in Dublin, there's no TV, and while the idea of a large high definition flatscreen appeals to my gadget loving side, I have no intention to get one. As I like to say, I don't watch television. This statement however, isn't quite true.

I watch quite a few TV shows. Some of them quite religiously. Well, before moving to Holland at any rate. Back in the old house, you could just set up the DVR to record Doctor Who and Stargate, and watch at your leisure. Charlie Brooker's Newswipe was another show I regularly tuned in to. This separation of provider and content suited me. I wasn't watching BBC 4 or Sky One, I was watching Charlie Brooker and Stargate. Once I set the DVR I knew I would have the leisure of watching Doctor Who any time I felt like from it's start time up until I deleted the recording.

This is one of the reasons Google TV interests me. It's also why I've begin thinking again about the idea of a Windows 7 or Boxee powered Home Theatre PC. Google unveiled their TV service at a recent technology exhibition, and at a glance what it seems to provide is a keyboard and a search bar for your television. A closer look reveals that what they're actually giving is a separation of content and provider, precisely what I want in my television.

Picture this, sitting in front of your television one Tuesday night. You feel like watching some House. Pick up your keyboard, type house. Google provides you with a list of when it appears in upcoming schedules on which channels, any episodes you have stored in your DVR or your computer, and any related clips it can find on Youtube or other video services. Set up a recording or watch a show. To me, it sounds fantastic. Of course you can already get a bunch of this functionality by installing a media centre suite on a HTPC and stick it under your television. What really sets Google apart is the idea that we'll see this service appearing in set top boxes and even integrated directly into some new televisions. I see this as a good thing.

Speaking of Stargate, the season just ended with something of a bang. It was quite brutal actually, a lot of people have been shot badly, with one main character possibly dead, it's unclear. I look forward to next season, the show is really picking up. Doctor Who will also be wrapping up over the next two weeks. Hopefully we're in for a good two parter for Moffat's first season. He's been building up to it since the first episode, so it should be enjoyable. I'm looking forward to it.

1 comment:

  1. I saw the ending of SGU and was like GRRRR, that show ends every episode on a cliff hanger..