Digitalsmith, the Durham-based video technology company, just announced that Time Warner Cable will be using their Seamless Discovery technology to create a sophisticated search function for all their platforms. This way, all subscribers can easily find what they want to watch, as well as find what they might be interested in watching, whether they are watching on their TV, smartphone, or iPad.
Currently, Time Warner Cable subscribers with iPads and smartphones are the only ones who can experience the benefits of Digitalsmith’s Seamless Discovery technology. It makes recommendations based on past viewing choices, just like what Netflix or DirecTV’s Genie DVR does. It also takes the extra step of letting viewers know where the movie or show can be accessed—whether it’s a regular cable channel, broadcast network, or in the On Demand library.
“The search and recommendation function is a really important part of the customer experience,” Time Warner Cable spokesman Rich Ruggiero said, “because we offer hundreds of channels. We offer literally thousands of shows on an on-demand basis, and now we’re offering them on multiple platforms.”
This is a great feature that adds more value to any pay TV subscription, which could reduce customer churn. Discovering new shows and movies are always fun, and should be one of the standard perks of paying for TV—especially since consumers are always looking to justify any expense.
Progress has been uneven, especially when it comes to TV Everywhere service. That said, the reluctance to allow truly mobile TV Everywhere service is understandable, because it would allow customers to bring their subscription anywhere there’s an internet connection—including internet connected homes without pay TV subscriptions. What’s to stop friends and families from using the customer’s user name and password to enjoy TV they didn’t pay for in the comfort of their own homes? Is it really that expensive or too much of a hassle to create technology that only allows only one log-in at a time?
There are many reasons why true TV Everywhere is not a reality yet. It doesn’t seem like the broadcasters or pay TV providers are in any hurry to provide it, and perhaps subscribers aren’t exactly clamouring for it either. Since mobile devices tend to have capped data plans, using your pay TV subscription to watch an HD movie as you wait at the doctor’s office can result in budget busting overage charges.
Still, Digitalsmith’s search function is a great free feature—it helps you watch more TV, which is the only reason to pay for TV in the first place.