Good news, everyone! TDS TV continues to evolve with some pretty sweet new features! For the past month or so, I’ve been part of an internal testing group that is checking out the latest Microsoft Media Room updates. Austin, my fellow blogger, and I divvied up the new features so we had a chance to focus in and discuss each of the new features (you can see his blog here).
Within the Live TV menu, there is now a way to sort the guide by category (Entertainment, Kids, Movies, Sports, etc.). This very cool feature comes in handy for any household that has a wide array of viewing interests–so pretty much EVERY household. In my house, the Sports category was worn out during the month of March. Between golf, baseball’s Spring Training and the World Baseball Classic and basketball’s March Madness, I was constantly using that filter to see what was on where. We also had little nieces and nephews visiting during the test period, so having the ability to filter on Children’s programming was extremely helpful for their stay!
DVR “watched program” Distinction –
If you are like me, you have more than a few favorite programs. And, within those programs, a favorite episode or two that you like to refer back to or watch whenever you need a good laugh or cry. With this new feature, shows you’ve already watched now display in italics within the DVR menu. This makes it easy to distinguish new, unwatched recordings from saved, already watched recordings.
Multiple Favorites Lists – I am an absolute creature of habit. I go to bed at the same time, I wake up at the same time and I have a set routine that I follow every morning. Not surprisingly, my TV habits are also pretty predictable. Despite the many viewing options with TDS TV, I generally stick to the same 5-10 channels that have my favorite programming on them.
With this new feature, I can now build a list of my 5-10 favorite channels, name it, activate it, and the guide is filtered down to show me only what is on my list! This feature allows users to build up to 5 different lists (per set top box!) to filter out your favorite channels. I can build a list for me, my wife, our nieces and nephews and the cat and still have a space left over for another! The lists are simple to access and very easy to turn on and off–a very cool way to personalize your viewing experience.
Panel List Reordering –
Due to the new features, there are new Viewing Options and Guide Options. You’ll see all the Viewing Options when you press the ENTER button while viewing live TV. You’ll get the new Guide Options if you press ENTER in the guide. Because of all these new options, the lists you are familiar with have been expanded and reordered.
With the new options, if you are watching a show and want to add it to your favorites list, just hit the ENTER button and choose the new “Add to Favorites” option and it will be added on the fly! If you are browsing in the guide and come across a show you want to add, again, just hit the ENTER button and choose the new “Add to Favorites” option there. With the upgrade, the ENTER button is a shortcut to many interactive features!
You’ll notice that many of the new features are focused on continuing to enhance the interactive viewing experience without interruption, something I think everyone will welcome.
That’s all I have for now, but it certainly isn’t the end of the plans TDS has for continuing to upgrade the experience! I’ll be back next time to talk about more cool stuff we have on the horizon. Until then, happy watching!