Where is the new TV Guide? (Redux)

I recently asked “If apps are the new channels, where is the new TV guide?” and today there is a bit of buzz about zeebox.

So, is zeebox the new TV guide?

In short:  Not yet – but its the sort of thing that could be.

Zeebox is currently aimed at social networking while watching broadcast TV, with a bit of discovery thrown in.  Its also a wireless remote for a limited number of Freeview TV sets.

They say that in the future there will be support for Android, PVRs and things like iPlayer.  So I don’t see why they shouldn’t add support for apps, if apps do become the new channels.  What they will need to do is provide a way for apps to pass info back to zeebox – which will be harder to get people to take up than it would for Amazon, because zeebox don’t control the platform.

Quite how you support the chat functionality – which seems to be at the core of zeebox – on things like PVRs and iplayer, I don’t know… but if they could have a way of commentary messages turning up at the point in the program where they were written, that might be quite cool.  It would also allow enterprsing people to do their own directors commentaries – or indeed their own MST3K style spoofing.

And if they can add support for PVRs, why not for DVDs?

Then add a shop where you can buy the DVDs it recommends you watch, and we have a bit more of a monetization strategy.  They could have their own marketplace for apps-as-channels too.

Unless they can build streaming (or some other form of content delivery) into their app, I don’t see a long term future for zeebox as a standalone thing.  However, if their endgame is to get bought out by Facebook, TV manufacturers, Apple, Sky or Amazon, zeebox might be onto a winner!

(As an afterthought :  adding comments to a programme / DVD / YouTube clip based on fingerprinting the audio or images might be an interesting challenge – it would mean your comments would work on any edited form of the show, and could be inserted at exactly the time you wanted to see them, no matter how you chose to start / stop / pause the programme.  There are lots of ways one could go about doing this, depending what exactly you wanted to integrate with)

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