In India, TV Guides failed to acquire the cult status that they attained in the West, however, after the advent of digital distribution platforms like DTH, IPTV and CAS, their electronic avatar has made life a lot simpler. With Mobile TV, connected devices and live streaming being the next generation delivery mediums, there might be a need for dynamic Electronic Programming Guides (EPGs) – the more the channels and shows, across platforms, the greater role of discovery and scheduling.
TV Guide App
Bangalore based app development company JiniLabs has launched an app that lets users access TV listings on their mobile phones. Currently available only on the Android platform, the company intends to release iOS and BlackBerry versions of the app, in the near future. The app can be downloaded free of charge from the Android market and is ad-free for the moment.
– Programming: The app lists TV listings for around a 100 Indian channels, including channels from Star, Zee, Discovery, Viacom18 and Big (RBNL-CBS). The app features program listings for the next three days. JiniLabs intends to extend this to seven days.
– Scheduling: Users can set reminders and alerts for shows. The app also allows integration with Google Calendar, so the reminders sync automatically. We feel that this is an interesting feature, since it utilizes capabilities of the native platform.
– Favorites: The app allows users to create list of favorite channels to access listings at one place, in addition to program listings search.
– Sharing: It also has a social element to it, with the ability to share listings on Twitter and Facebook social networks.
What’s On India – EPG-On-The-Cloud
A company founded and promoted by Atul Phadnis, backed by investors including Nexus Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital and Wealth First, What’s On India is an EPG platform which runs a dedicated channel, in addition to an online guide, web apps and Symbian apps. It offers SMS and e-mail based reminders to users, through the apps, in addition to creating lists based on program content and popularity.
The company has now launched EPG-On-The-Cloud, a suite of on-demand EPG services that are designed to enable TV guide products and applications for connected devices and platforms including IPTV, Smart TVs, Mobile TV, Web TV, OTT Boxes, Broadband Connected Set-Top-Boxes. The EPG services include metadata, recommendations, ratings, search, poster-arts, translated EPGs and user behavior personalization routines.
With these services, manufacturers, service providers (including Telcos launching IPTV and Mobile TV), online, mobile and other application developers will be able to deploy differentiated TV search and EPG offerings on their platforms.
The company claims that the service is more dynamic, real time and accurate, compared to Cable/DTH set top boxes which are based on enterprise-server link-ups.
In the past, Bharti Airtel launched a mobile application for remote TV recording via mobile, followed up by Tata Sky doing the same. Perhaps it’s time that service providers extended the recording functionality to independent applications as well.