Friday, October 13, 2006

Truly MyTube

Imagine this.

You go to Channel 1 on your TV to access a database which has every movie, every special, every sporting event, and every episode of every series. Not just the shows currently in the TV Guide for the next two weeks. I mean everything. You page through and select the shows you want to watch sometime later.

Now comes the fun part. The system searches:
  • the VOD schedule for free content.
  • the internet for free content.
  • the TV Guide and arranges to record shows that are scheduled in the next two weeks.
  • the VOD schedule for rental content.
  • the internet for rental content.
  • future editions of the TV Guide if none of the above searches were successful or if the viewer only wants free content or if the viewer doesn't watch the free content before it's no longer available.
At least that's been my vision of the future electronic program guide and a big reason why I'm compiling the trivialTV database.

I'm crushed I didn't think about a great twist to this idea earlier. Thankfully, other people much smarter than me think about these things too. People like David H. Tannenbaum of Dallas, TX., who filed a patent application (20060230418) on May 26, 2006 that was published yesterday.

Mr. Tannenbaum suggests that "users of the system may record program requests. Program providers may then access these requests from time to time and provide the requested program, even if the program had not been available at the time the request was initially posted."

Part of that last sentence really struck me — "access these requests from time to time and provide the requested program."

I'm going to change one part of that phrase. I'm going to replace "provide the requested program" with "fulfill the request for the program." If there are a lot of requests for a single show, the cable company will fulfill the request by adding the show to their VOD content.

Maybe this idea is the only way we'll be able to watch "Mary" (1985).


aux2master said...

Can you get any more ratings for the shows, like shares or viewers? It's an excellent site, BTW, and I've linked to it on a few sites.

dr. tv (mike vicic) said...

I do have share/viewer data for some weeks — data is more complete for the last five years than for earlier years. I'm planning to release that data in November/December as part of the current Date Lookup feature.

Early next year I'll unveil ep lists, which will have the same ratings, but in a great format if you're interested in ratings for a single show.

I hope I'll have time in December to do library research to extend the ratings data to dates before 1983.

aux2master said...

Looking forward to it. Got any ratings for different ages and genders? Thanks.

dr. tv (mike vicic) said...

Unfortunately, I've never entered age/gender ratings in my database. I know that's one of your specific interests, but that's a bit outside of mine.

aux2master said...

Are you aware of any sources for those types of ratings?

dr. tv (mike vicic) said...

I think some combination of TV Weekly, Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety gives some of what you're looking for. But I don't know how far back.

aux2master said...

They'll do some demographics when a show does particularly well in it, but that's as far as they go.

dr. tv (mike vicic) said...

I took a look at my notes.

The Wed. print edition of Hollywood Reporter reports ratings/share for adults 18-49 and total viewers for every show on network TV for the previous week.

I don't know how far back this practice goes, but I have a few printouts from this past summer with these demo ratings.

aux2master said...

Hollywood Reporter's been doing that since 2001. Before then, it was households/share and viewers, and before that, just HH and shares. Variety does the 18-49s every week as well. I'm looking for a weekly run-down of each show by specific demos like Women 25-54. I appreciate the help so far.