Call me a dreamer, but I believe that the World Wide Web has the potential to change the way we watch TV. Not just that inevitable merging of broadcast and Internet delivered programming, but the WAY we watch. For starters let’s look at ClickTV, available at the Virginian Pilot website (http://www.pilotonline.com). The Pilot has a well designed TV viewing guide called the Greensheet which comes with the Saturday edition of the paper. Like the TV listings in the daily paper the Greensheet presents the television schedule in a grid format. The Greensheet takes you a bit further however, with an unbroken 24 hour-a-day layout. There is also a complete move listings section wich includes the familiar (how good is it) star rating, brief synopsis, and channel / times shown information. Imagine being able to custom design the Greensheet so that only the channels you watch are reported, listed by your own priorities. That’s ClickTV.
ClickTV is a customizable web site. Once you list your preferences, ClickTV will custom publish – on your computer screen – a TV grid, in three hour blocks. Register for a free password and ClickTV will electronically publish a TV grid to your screen anytime you log on. This concept merits further comment. Computers have gotten so powerful and plentiful on the Internet that some company can (electronically) publish a TV guide for you personally every time you ask. O.K., there is an advertisement or two every time you click the mouse, but for service like that who cares?
Wait, it gets better. When you find something of interest, one click and the film’s review pops up with other information like who directed and who performed in the film. Click on the Director’s name or on one of the performers listed and ClickTV will list all OTHER films credited to that artist in the current schedule! From there you may see a complete filmography, a listing of every film and television show associated with performer, director or writer. See another film in the current schedule your favorite director crafted, or your favorite actor appears in? Just click “remind me” and next time you log on ClickTV will let you know that show or film is scheduled for broadcast.. With this tool and a little VCR programming you can create your own mini film festivals anytime you want! The bottom line is that in many ways the technology is now in place to make our lives a more interesting place – if and when we want it.