Friday, April 8, 2011

How the DTH can be made better

There is no denying the fact that DTH is pretty much the pinnacle of the tv experience here in India. With a host of mega corporations investing big bucks, this business of keeping people entertained is only likely to get bigger with each passing year. With increasing competition though, companies, be it Tata Sky, Dish TV, Airtel, Reliance had come up with something extra, something more than just television. They called it the interactive services. Although most of these are available to the customers for free, some like Tata Sky, do charge the consumers for availing these features.

And this is where this post of mine comes in. There are a lot of interactive features available on DTH platforms, but most of them are literally spam attempts to get money out of you. To be fair, none of these are of real help to the consumers. I feel there is a lot of scope in these services and if implemented well, some new truly interactive features could be revolutionary.

Like what you say? Okay, lets start with something basic. How about a weather application? An app which will help you get the latest information of the weather in your city. Considering the fact that almost all mobile platforms have a weather app, I assume it should be pretty easy to implement.
How about a facebook/twitter app? An app which will help you post links to facebook, post status updates based on what programmes you are watching, etc. (I do recall seeing something like this on Gadget Guru the other day, the country where this is already a reality being Japan)
How about a news app? Something which will aggregate news content from various news sources and present it to you in a reader friendly format.

Of course, these features wont be commercially viable unless some in-app ads were introduced and that is perfectly alright. I dont think many would mind paying a premium (albeit not an outrageous one) for these apps. Even then, implementing them wont be easy, a massive overhaul of the insanely ugly interface of most set top boxes is the need of the hour. User friendliness is definitely on the top of the agenda right now for most companies, but frankly, one must not lose sight of aesthtics. It seems to me that in an attempt to pack in maximum advertising and other money making options, the pure quality of the interface has taken a backseat. With the increased competition I hop some of this will change, otherwise, watching television in India (both content-wise and otherwise) is an absolute pain in the ass.

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