How can you keep track of shows to watch when your content comes from not only broadcast TV, but also cable and streaming services? The challenge is no longer finding something to watch, but making sure you don't miss out. The old TV Guide solution just doesn't cut it.
Dijit Media today (May 20) launched a Web service that lets users find their favorite shows across a slew of providers. The service, called NextGuide, combines listings from any live TV service (over-the-air and cable) with movies and TV shows that can be streamed from Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Amazon On Demand and iTunes. NextGuide includes links to corresponding shows on streaming services and the ability to queue recordings to your home DVR. The DVR service is available to Comcast and DIRECTV subscribers.
In addition to helping you find shows, NextGuide makes it easy to set reminders for upcoming entertainment.
"You may be at the office and someone tells you about a great show," Dijit Media founder Jeremy Toeman told TechNewsDaily. "Now what can you do with that?"
Using NextGuide, you can quickly set reminders by searching for a show in the site's Universal Watch List — even for movies that aren't out yet, along with news related to the premieres. For instance, you can add Star Wars 7 to your list and get an email when the first trailer becomes available and when tickets go on sale.
The feature works for existing shows, too. When one of your designated favorite shows is broadcast, or a new season arrives on a streaming service, you'll receive a notification. [See also: How 'Arrested Development' Banana Stand Indicated Future of TV ]
You don't have to rely solely on your own discoveries. NextGuide includes a social feature that lets you follow Facebook friends to see what they're watching. However, Toeman also realized there are public and private sides of viewing — in other words, the movies and shows you'd like to reveal you’re watching (public), such as every season of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, versus those you consider guilty pleasures (private), like all six seasons of Nip/Tuck. [See also: Plastic Surgeons Get a Lift from Facebook ]
Sound like it's worth a try? Here's how to get started:
- Request an invitation. Once you receive it, sign up with your email or Facebook account. You'll be asked to select the live TV providers you access, such as local broadcast, Comcast, DIRECTV or Dish. You'll see a list of all providers based on your ZIP code.
- Start browsing. Search for a specific show or type of show, such as cooking, or use the tabs across the top of your screen. "Discover" is a good place to start. You'll see shows listed by several characteristics, such as What's Popular, New Shows and Season Premieres. Use Recent Activity to see shows that are popular among your Facebook friends and throughout the NextGuide community.
The Fans tab will let you see people who have recently joined NextGuide, along with those who share your taste in entertainment. Just as you can on Twitter, you can follow anyone on NextGuide.
- Pick your favorites. Once you see a show you like, hover over the image to favorite it (which becomes part of your public profile on NextGuide, similar to Facebook's entertainment boxes ), put it on your Watchlist, where it will remain viewable only to you; or set a reminder by clicking the appropriate button, and you'll receive an email shortly before the show airs.
- Set up the queue. If you want more information about a show, click on its picture. On the show page, you'll see upcoming airings if available, a link to record the show on your DVR, and options to watch the show immediately via a streaming service or buy an episode from an on-demand provider.
Currently, NextGuide online is available by invitation only. However, Dijit — which includes NextGuide features, along with TV remote capabilities — is available for the iPad. Toeman said an app for iPhone will be out soon, with an Android release scheduled for the summer.
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