back to article iPlayer founder launches next big TV thing-Zeebox

The tech wizard behind Kazaa and the BBC’s iPlayer, Anthony Rose, has unveiled his long awaited next project – Zeebox. Speaking on a panel at Mipcom last week in Cannes, Rose declared that the future of television would be based on personalised recommendation, the premise of his new venture. “My starting proposition is that …

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Flaw

Wouldn't an EPG relying on recommendation/popularity just keep advising me to watch X-Idol?

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FAIL

"My starting proposition is that people hate choice. Either a trusted source says ‘here’s the one’… or it can be the force of overall, everyone what they’re watching – the most popular – or what specific friends are watching, or it can be a recommendation service"

Basically, what I want to do is copy Netflix, iTunes and Amazon.

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Unhappy

>Basically, what I want to do is copy Netflix, iTunes and Amazon.

Yeah but you're unusual. He's right. People in general do hate choice. That's why despite the length of time we've had PVRs most people are still only using them like VCRs to record stuff they'd otherwise miss. People like me (and perhaps you) who use a PVR to time-shift everything and 'create their own TV channel' are still in the minority.

It seems that most people really do just want to choose a channel then watch whatever it offers them for that evening.

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Bronze badge

I think you missed the point of that comment

I don't think ChrisInAStrangeLand meant that he wanted to copy Amazon, Netflix et al.

He's saying that's what Anthony Rose is up to. Copying the recommendation system that's already in a bazillion different online services.

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Crap time-shifted is still crap

Being a TV addict I made up a PVR using MythTv. At the time I thought, "Great now I will only watch good programs", so I ended-up hardly ever switching the TV on. The iPlayer is fine for the little that I watch these days.

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WTF?

So...

The grand plan to save tv, is to create a shopping channel based on monitoring my friend's soap opera watching preferences in bangalore ? Or worse, endless reruns of the x-factor, pop idol or strictly come dancing with adverts. Hold on ? This makes the assumption that my viewing habits are public and to be shared by default, otherwise it can't work.

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Big Brother

Ermm TIVO ?

Tivo does recommendations. Heck it even records them for you. If it were to follow twitter It'd record Simon Cowell's X-Files.

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FAIL

"People hate choice".

Really? They *hate* choice? So instead they think I want to watch the same things as my friends purely on the basis that we are friends and therefore our tastes are exactly alike?

Okay, well, good luck with that. The job centre is between Greggs and Argos when you come to look for it.

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Buying what you see?

I am sure I heard about someone trying that 5 years or so ago?

It's a nice idea in some regards, but worry in others. Just imagine the poduct-driven scripts.

"Oh, Superific Bloke! You saved the day again!"

[Cut to Superific Bloke, staring into the distance, chin thrust forward.

Make sure the lighting reflects off the Spangle-Wonder Sunglasses. In fact, give them a few flares in post-production]

"Sure thing little lady"

[Pan to Ms. Williams. She is hold her clutch-bag in front, ensure clutch bag is in focus. Highlight it in post-production. It's a Wibble Leathers "CityCarry", we earn 5% on every sale.]

[Ms. Williams sighs]

[Pull-back to revel Bodge Pseudo-Cock V8. Intensifying colours in post-production]

[Fade to clack, with Bodge last item to fade]

And then you have the issue of "exclusive deals" with vendors who will use the film to gouge punters. And it will be worse here and we constantly get gouged buy the US$1 = £1 conversion rates applied.

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Anonymous Coward

International deals?

So if I have lots of people from across the pond in my social media networks, can I watch what they are watching? And will it translate the brands?

Also hasn't Tivo been providing a service based on the viewing habits of its owner for years now?

To be honest I don't tend to watch the same American shit my friends do, I watch things that interest me. This rarely includes US comedy, however I do like some of their dramas.

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Is this the fella

who was behind the iPlayer badgering me to spill my viewing habits onto facebook? Certainly sounds like it, and I didn't like it.

I'd like the epg to tell me what is on, and when, not what it thinks I ought to be watching, but then I'm probably part of some luddite minority.

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I like his thinking...

... insofar as it solves the problem of having way too much garbage being broadcast and being difficult to sieve through to find the gems in the pile. (obscure documentaries on bbc4 spring to mind....)

Not too sure whether the time is ripe/right yet or how money could be made out of this but colour me intrigued by it.

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FAIL

Recommendations and Big Media

Hmmm, not much of a trust problem there, eh?

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Go

He's on to something

While a little choice is a good thing, endless choice can be exhausting and we're getting closer to the latter every day. Of course there's times when the ability to search or browse for a particular show is liberating but for the most part people don't want to have to trawl through listings looking for something to watch, they just want to slump down in front of something entertaining.

This is basically iTunes style "Genius mixes" for TV and if the execution is good, I'd expect it to be a hit.

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Anonymous Coward

all the content?

unless they only sign up certain content providers/rights holders.

my biggest problem with subscription TV at the moment is the lack of control over choice. To get the 5 to 10 channels I actually watch, I have to subscribe to hundreds of shit ones, what's the point?

If they can sign up sport, arts, drama, films then I'd be interested, otherwise its just another way of getting some of what I already get from Virgin.

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Thumb Down

It was sounding good right up until the stuff about eCommerce and advertising. I know they have to get their revenue from somewhere but having that crap built into the platform is a big turn-off for me. I've spent most of my adult life avoiding adverts and it's not a habit I intend to change.

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Anonymous Coward

Hate choice?

I do not hate choice. What I hate is the illusion of choice.

"X-Factor", "Pop Idol", "Big Brother" etc are all crap. Total crap.

All the voyeuristic docu-dramas? Crap.

All the emergency services video shows? Not as crap, but way too many of 'em

All the "documentaries"? "World's Most Haunted" is not a documentary FFS. It's a panacea for the feeble-minded. "Horizon"/"Wonders of the Solar System" etc should be documentaries but are too dumbed-down to be of any service.

The news? Crap. Even the venerable BBC has fallen to put pulp before major stories.

What we have is the fast-food equivalent of TV. There are good things out there, but one has to go looking and one CANNOT rely on the the crap promoted by Big Media. I happen to have cable, and if I was paying for it (long story) I'd be mightily pissed off. Once this ends, I don't think I'll bother me arse. All one needs is an Internet connection, nothing else.

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Stop

Enough

Theres a few of these sites now and yet not one covers US television and so they compete with each other even though I now alot of peope would rather watch American classics

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Anonymous Coward

People hate choice? Typical beeboid thinking. They choose things that the BBC and its camp don't like, so that really means they "hate choice".

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FAIL

What rubbish!

I have recommendations from my Humax DVR and I hate it. I have yet to accept even one. I only wish that I could find a way to turn these recommendations off. I love choice! I prefer reading about a program before I decide to record it. There is so little to record what with all the repeats, gameshows, soaps and food programs. Long-lived choice

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FAIL

Who is funding this kind of rubbish? I already an automatic system that recommends what I want to watch - it's called a brain. I like history and I like documentaries - it's hardly much of a stretch knowing which channels to keep an eye on.

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Anonymous Coward

Well it's not a new idea, but then he seems famous enough in the right circles and there are enough tablets/smartphones out there now that it may happen ... it's about time!

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