Before TV schedules disappear completely, there’s a breed of TV channels that have built their schedules around predictability.
Audiences know that at 7pm on More4 they’ll be an episode of Grand Designs. And an hour later they’ll be an episode of Top Gear on Dave. These schedules feel unchanging: the only certain things in life are death, taxes and Jeremy Clarkson shouting ‘Power’ at 8pm.
However, this type of schedule breeds fatigue: have I seen this episode before? God no, not the boring team build on a housing estate in Birmingham. Again.
Is there anything that my TV could do to help me out this situation? At this point I could of course just run to the shop and buy a PVR, yet a hard disc full of Jeremy would be more than I could bear. One solution would be to update the on-screen TV guide. Here’s a copy of an existing guide:
Whist the description does provide a nudge as to whether I’ve seen a show before, the on-screen guide could do so much more. Have I seen this before? Did I watch all of it? When?
Here’s a quick sketch of a on-screen guide that aims to solve these problems:
The dot shows whether you’ve seen the program before (an outline), watched a portion of it (half full, as demonstrated) or not seen it (fully coloured in). The guide also shows when you’ve watched it and how much you’ve seen.
In the future you could also add in the ability to rate a program. However, this sketch is an answer to a short term problem only. How long before the iPlayer and on-demand kill the schedule completely?