Growing up, my parents referred to the television as the “idiot box” or the “boob tube” because of its power to sap my ability to do anything other than stare blankly into its cathode glow. But the TV-viewing experience is undergoing a transformation as new levels of connectivity bring with them an assortment of applications designed to make watching TV a whole lot more active.
Recently, Vizio announced that it was bringing Twitter and Facebook functionality to its TV sets. Yahoo’s widget engine offers access to weather, Flickr photos and eBay. In the meantime, Cablevision is hooking up its TV and phone services so that when the phone rings, the TV show being watched can be paused.
The thought of all these new features junking up a television screen was enough to make my colleague Om title one of his recent posts, “Sometimes a TV Should Just Be a TV.” But most of the readers that responded to our query about whether people really wanted widgets on their TVs said yes, and preliminary research from TDG earlier this year echoes that sentiment. According to TDG’s numbers, 76 percent of consumers think having a widget toolbar on their primary TV set would be valuable.
I’m inclined to agree, but rather than trotting out the standard widgets that give me stock information, or allow me to order a movie on Netflix, here are five apps that I would love to have on my television. Read More about 5 Apps I’d Like to See on My TV