I have dropped Sky, I now no longer have any linear broadcast television in my house, but that doesn’t mean I no longer have access to television, I now just get to set my own schedule.
Or at least I would be able to set my own schedule if there was a consistent, easy way of doing it across multiple platforms.
I used to pay Sky nearly £50 per month just for television – this gave me access to their TV stations, movie channels and most of that content on demand.
Now I pay about £15 a month but that is spread across Amazon Prime, Netflix and Now TV (yes I know it is still Sky). I consume these, along with BBC iPlayer, Demand5, 4OD, ITV Player and some YouTube channels on my Playstation 3.
The problem is – and I’ve observed this watching my wife use the device – it isn’t that easy switching between platforms when what you want to watch might be on a different app.
It isn’t just on the Playstation either, I also have those same apps on my iPad, as do each of my children and my wife, and it isn’t easy working across the devices.
What we need is an open, searchable protocol that can be implemented by each on demand operator allowing you to search and playlist across platforms.
Lets say I get two hours per night where I have time to watch “TV”, at the moment I spend the first hour or so each night hunting through thousands of shows and movies for something to watch.
What I’d like is the ability to set up my own schedule. So on Monday I can say over the next two weeks I want to watch Alpha House on Amazon, Drop the Dead Donkey on Netflix, Panorama on iPlayer and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown in 4OD.
I should be able to have one ‘My Schedule’ channel on any of my chosen devices that lets me click play and watch it all as I’ve scheduled without switching apps.
Or failing that – as a minimum I should be able to call up a global search box on my TV or tablet, search for a show or style of show (often I’ll type in ‘feel good movie’, ‘sports comedy’ or ‘something geeky’) and have it give me a list independent of platform.
It would then just open the app I need at the show I want when I click on the result. Surely it can’t be that difficult to make work?