January 14, 2008

Jo Knows (my) TV

Been having much fun with the Slingbox that I got for the holidays. It's a neat little device, but I think Jo is enjoying it much more than I am. She likes to connect to it at random and pause whatever I'm watching. She also likes to record girly TV shows for her own enjoyment later (not that there's anything wrong with that). There's just something fascinating about being able to control a TV (and time-shift its contents) from 3k miles away. The 10s lag across the country, though, is a bit annoying when you're trying to watch a show together. Also makes it hard to fastforward the TiVo since the box itself is already 10s into the future. Max Headroom anyone?

I flew Virgin America this weekend for the first time and I was impressed. The interior looks like a sleek, sexy version of the Peppermill bar (if you never went, you missed out). Subtle purple lighting and all. The touch-screen computer at your seat is also a nice touch, allowing you do this things like watch TV, watch videos/tv shows on demand, and even order drinks and snacks anytime during the flight.

Despite being a well thought-out application, the UI suffered from some pretty serious flaws. For starters, the media bar that pops up when you touch the screen goes away after 10s no matter what -- even if you're using it. As you're pressing the up/down buttons to change channels, it'll just hide itself anyway. WTF?! It also only has about 20 channels, no networks (on NFL playoff weekend!!!) and few of those 20 would I actually watch. To add insult to injury, halfway through the flight, half of the paltry channels went away because of some satellite error. Oy. At least they had re-runs of The Office and 30 Rock on VOD.

I have two words for you: Parking Wars. That's right, it's Cops meets parking attendants. You know you can't help but watch. 'Nuff said.

I'll be at MacWorld tomorrow pretty much all day at the Google booth. I'll be doing demos around lunchtime and around to answer questions with the rest of my Mac compadres at about 4:30. Could be fun.

Posted by pinkerton at January 14, 2008 12:28 PM | TrackBack