Once upon a time when you weren't sure what to watch, you'd just channel surf. At most it required cycling through dozens of channels. Now we have hundreds of channels, and thousands of streaming options. It can be overwhelming, and that's where Dijit's NextGuide wants to help.
NextGuide is an app that will—in theory—allow you to link up your cable account, along with any streaming service you frequently use to the app, drop in a few of your favorite shows, actors and/or interests, and have it spit back a customized grid of not just shows currently airing on TV, but also available streaming selections. The reason why this is all still theoretical is because for the time being, DirecTV, Netflix and Hulu are the only services supported. But Dijit CEO Jeremy Toeman says there are plans to add the APIs of many more providers and services in the coming months.
But when it is at full power, you'll be able to launch Netflix and Hulu titles on your tablet directly from the app, link your IP-connected cable box so that you can schedule shows on your DVR. Sadly you won't be able to control a cable box from the app, but there are whispers of future functionality.
Then there's the interest-based guides. If you have a favorite show, movie, director, actor, or general interest, you can create a new guide while will build recommendations based around whatever term you give it. Love Gene Hackman? NextGuide will crawl through your services and give you all the Hackman you can handle. Interested in Fashion? Enter the term to get a list of fashion-related shows and selections.
Though it's still very far from reaching its full potential, the ability to effortlessly manage multiple services and have the app logically organize and personalize video content is enticing. And if the company can really ramp up hardware support, this could be the way in which we all choose what to watch in the future. You can download the app today from the iOS App Store. [Dijit]