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Sort By Program Name option

I am currently trying to sell my parents on the idea of cutting the cable cord, as they are retired now and cannot afford their $150+ monthly bundled services anymore. They've just migrated away from their land line (finally), and now have even less of a reason to keep all those useless services.

The trouble is, the online streaming market is still very fractured. By that I mean, different providers offer different shows. Some even offer different episodes of the same show, when compared to other providers (to illustrate this, here's a hypothetical: A show like NCIS may offer the 5 most recent episodes via CBS.com, Hulu may offer all past seasons but only to Hulu Plus subscribers, Amazon VOD may sell you them instead, etc). 

My parents, being old and impatient, have little to no tolerance for menu-heavy systems that require lots of footwork to find the content they want.

Rather than having to surf around to iTunes, Amazon VOD, Hulu, Netflix and finally the individual TV network websites, if in the background, PlayOn could cull the available program lists from all providers and combine them into a master program list by title #-Z, so folks could simply find NCIS, and then be presented with a list of seasons (in the case of TV), and then a clear and easy to understand way to find each episode something like "Episode 1: Pilot (4 sources)" and when you land on that, it gives you the text description (synopsis, box art if any, etc) and a list of providers such as, "1. Amazon VOD ($2.99), 2. iTunes ($29.99 Season Pass), 3. Hulu Plus ($X/mo. sub), 4. Netflix ($8/mo. sub), 5. CBS.com (Free)"

I realize this could require a significant amount of development work to create, but finding some way to mitigate the fractured nature of the market would go a long way to providing some much-needed convenience.

2 comments

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    Avatar
    Cowboy77

    I think I already pitched something like this out to the PlayOn community and nobody took an interest in it... I don't know what you're using to stream these videos to, but usually you can change how they're sorted on the hardware side as PlayOn has mentioned they can't do much to organize how they're listed. 

    For myself I ended up just downloading all of the episodes that I wanted with PlayLater because then I know for sure that the full file is there. It might be helpful if your parents watch some longer shows because you can usually download an episode while watching them and just keep going like that. If that's too much of a hassle then I hope your idea makes it through. 

  • 0
    Avatar
    Bob Buechler

    Hi Evan,

    Thanks for the support. :) PlayLater is certainly a fantastic option to help. I think PlayLater is something they would begin to leverage if they decided to take the leap. The hardest part to defeat is the perceived barriers of entry. Since perception = reality, if it seems complicated and hard, then it is (at least for that person).

    In my case, I use a PS3 to view the content. They're currently exploring an Apple TV (because they already have and are comfortable with an iPad and their interface is very clean/minimalistic. They're also looking at Boxee and Roku.

    Regardless, I think some way to unify the factions for the consumer would go a long way.

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