TitanTV users: I got your feedback…and thank you! [See my reaction and respond to it below.]

August 4, 2006

Last week it was brought to my attention that the Blog Techcrunch had written an extremely cursory look at the state of television listings online. Fortunately for TitanTV.com several members chimed in and attempted to correct techcrunch’s incomplete diatribe…

So that got me to thinking. If our end users were so passionate about T3 that they’d quickly set out to correct techcrunch, perhaps they’d be passionate enough to help me drive the product road map. Perhaps our end users would be passionate enough to give me their heart-felt thoughts (good and bad) about TitanTV.

If you haven’t had a chance to read through the comments on my  previous Blog, here is a summary and what I plan to do about them:

T3 users said: We don’t want to pay to see what is on TELEVISION.

Between comments to the Blog and emails I received personally at all hours of the night the message was loud and clear — FREE is a good thing. Keep it that way. That said, not one person including me, ever wants to see a transition or interstitial ad, especially when getting program details. OK. Done. No more interstitial ads.

I’ve challenged the product development team to push the envelope so that we can keep you happy and make money from our efforts. Remember, you pay for TitanTV by using TitanTV. If you’re one of the few who wrote in saying you are using ad-blocking techniques then let me be perfectly clear. I would prefer that you use Zap2It. If I am going to invest in you then I am going to ask that in return you invest in me.

TitanTV users said: We’d like access to TitanTV via an RSS feed.

OK. Done. Stay tuned. I’d very much like this capability as well.

TitanTV users said: We don’t like it when there is data missing or it is incorrect. We hate missing channels.

Me, too. I hate bad data. What you may not know is that in the TV listings space there are really only two players, TV Guide and Tribune Media Services. Everyone gets their data from one of these two companies. Our base data used to come from Tribune, but for the past few years it has been TV Guide. Truth is neither company is equipped to handle the web. We recognized this years ago and built our own system to collect real-time programming changes from the television stations themselves. The notion suggested by several TitanTV members to go direct to the channels like Travel Network, Spike, etc is a great one. We’ll do it. Give us some time. These guys are used to faxing their lineups to TMS and TV Guide.

TitanTV users said: We’d really like some more robust features.

The good news is that 9 out of every 10 items on your wish list TitanTV already does. What did we learn? Simple. We need to make those features more obvious and have a better system for making sure you get the most out of the site. We’re going to work very hard in the coming weeks to make sure the following features are more intuitive:

  • TitanTV already searches for your favorites, basic and advanced.
  • TitanTV already lets you set up your favorite channels on cable and/or satellite and/or digital and/or analog on one simple tab called “Favorites”.
  • TitanTV already lets you show details right in the actual grid. That is a user preference that you can set. No need to mouse over and/or go to the details page.  
  • TitanTV already lets you print out your television schedules.
  • TitanTV already lets you set more than 3 hours on your grid.
  • TitanTV already lets you set your grid start time.

As for the other suggestions like ability to go back in time, changing the grid time to the next 1/2 hour block 10 or so minutes prior, multiple details pages, and etc, we will give those and all suggestions we received a hard look. We have a world class team of developers and if something can be done they can do it.

TitanTV users said: We want TitanTV to integrate better with our tuner card hardware and be more TiVo-like.

I couldn’t agree more.Without question our Mac customers are the happiest. We can build off of that success. I’ve personally tried MCE and BeyondTV and been nothing but frustrated. These and like products have a lot of work left. What we plan to do is bring our hardware partners in at least twice a year to explore ways to make your end user experience the best it can be.We’ve built a 60 person screening room complete with 200″ projection screen to facilitate the most productive partner integration discussions. If there is an opportunity here we will go after it and we will win.  

At the same time stay tuned for an announcement very soon to bring content to TitanTV — stream and download — from literally hundreds of content providers.

Really technical TitanTV users said: Why not make the PVR and watch now funtionality Open-Source so we can develop to it?

Sure. Great idea. Stay tuned… 

A few final thoughts: I genuinely appreciate all of the feedback. I’ve particularly enjoyed emailing back and forth with several TitanTV members. Obviously the above list is not inclusive, but it is an attempt to let you know I am listening. What is inclusive is that the product team reviews every comment, detailed or otherwise, each week in our screening room. We’re committed to making TitanTV one of the best user experiences on the web.One last note:  To the guy who suggested he’d have my knee-caps broken because of a missing regional sports channel, here is a url just for you: www.tvguide.com