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Tube Time: i.TV Review

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 12/7/2008

Television and movie listings right on your iPhone. Annoying Netflix advertisements included, no extra charge.

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    TV Junky

    Cross-device media synergy is the real goal of devices like the iPhone. This is a way to integrate all technologies into the same consumptive pattern for the users. Whether this leads to alienating consumption or efficient media use is really up to the user, but none the less it definitely leads to a more directed use of all of these outlets. As the internet becomes the primary tool for media dissemination we do not see an ousting of television from its seat of authority, but instead a more specialized use of it by audiences. They are not going to sit by and watch just anything now that the “pull” media dynamic of the internet has replaced the “push” mentality of television. Instead now the more savvy individuals will want to know what’s on even before they get to their remote. This is where your iPhone comes in.

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    My TV

    i.TV, sticking with the annoying “I” paradigm, is a program that is specifically designed to act as a detailed TV guide. When you first open the program it finds your current location using GPS and asks if that’s where you would like the listing to be based out of. Next it gives you a list of local service providers, which you are intended to select from. Here it downloads and updates your listings according to your preferences. From here you are then given a list of all the channels, and what shows are on them at a given time. You are able to browse through them one by one, or even look by time block. When you select a show it will tell you a bit about it, have reviews from different sources, display upcoming programs of a similar or identical nature, and give you a chance to do things like set reminders or order the DVD from Netflix. The application also has a movie theater function that looks up movies that are playing in your area, gives information about them, and then shows you which theaters they are playing at. The My Media section allows really for you to just set favorites for different shows, movies, and actors, among other things.

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    Enough Features

    The program itself is about as good as you are going to get for free. The movie theater function is as good, if not better, than any other movie listing application for the iPhone. Since it comes packaged with the television listings you have a nice “all in one” media information program. The TV listings are clear with graphics, and it works better than even normal website functions for searching through TV listings. It is nice to be able to check that kind of information when you are on the go.

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    One of the biggest turn offs about this program, and many of the free applications available through iTunes, is that is really acts as an advertisement for Netflix. As if it is not bad enough that the entire idea of television listings is to advertise those channels, we have to be subjected to Netflix ads on almost every possible page. In addition to this it tends to run fairly slowly at times, even when it is using Wi-Fi rather than 3G.

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    Why Not?

    These things aside, it is still a useful and fun program that is not a bad choice for free. Seven out of ten stars.