March 08, 2009

The best EPG around?

Who's got the best EPG - Sky or Virgin? To be frank they both look absolute pants when you see the Verizon fibre TV service from the US - click the link the the "Take a look" button and have your breath taken away...

6 comments:

maestromarv said...

Stunning.

Let's hope our EPG 2.0 is along those lines "later this year"

demented said...

Hmmm wonder what middleware they use. We need it!

sammyjayuk said...

According to some site called Light Reading, they developed it largely on their own, after shunning Microsoft*:

"Verizon director of consumer product development Mike Naggar points out that the programming guide enhancements were developed entirely by Verizon's in-house engineers and developers. Verizon last year opted to develop much of the FiOS middleware in-house after rejecting middleware designed by Microsoft Corp."

The thing is, most of the stuff in that video could likely be achieved on Liberate (although it would probably be so slow as to be unusable on anything but a Samsung). VM have locked out Emmy again, so I can't have a play, but widgets should definitely be possible.

VM seem really reluctant to play up the capabilities of even their current platform (which, I suppose, is reasonably capable - if you ever manage to grasp the mouldy cocktail of ancient technologies), but it's not just VM. The BBC could do much, much better - hell, I can't even get weather for Plymouth (pop 250,000+)! In fact, it's only really Bloomberg's app (site, really) that actually takes advantage of the return path with things like a currency convertor and a personalised, persistent stock portfolio tracker.

Oh, and BT Vision uses Microsoft's middleware. I therefore find it slightly ironic that the PCs on the Vision stand in Drake Circus have Apple keyboards hooked up! Or was it mouses, or both? One, the other or both, certainly.

*http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=114099

Chris said...

I think Harry Hill should let them 'fiiiiiggghhhhhhttttt!' to answer the question.

sammyjayuk said...

Whoops, forgot to add:

While the UI for FiOS TV is impressive, perhaps the most exciting thing is the truly multiroom DVR - you can watch programmes stored on the DVR from any other box in the house. Then there's the Media Manager software, which the DVR can connect to to play music and photos from a PC.

Sam

sammyjayuk said...

Been messing about with the widgets concept in Fireworks today. Personally, I think Verizon's implementation is too flashy, giving screen real estate over to fancy graphics that could better be used for content.

Besides, I actually like VM's UI style, generally - it's understated and doesn't get in the way. So I took the dark look and a bit of inspiration from the old BBC i-Bar, and started mocking stuff up.

I've got 3 widgets in the "ViBar" so far, and want to tackle BBC Local next - I have some ideas for that which will hopefully explain why widget switching is via colour buttons not left/right.

If anyone's interested, I've put 3 images up on Flickr.

Sam