Rovi announced yesterday that it has a TV Guide widget for the Yahoo! Widget Engine platform that is now available on select Samsung HDTV models. The utility provides listiings of programs on 28 of the most popular networks. The widget shows what’s on now, as well as what’s on next. The selections are also listed by category, such as Sports or Movies.
This just one more clever use for NeTVs (televisions that are connected to the Internet). Instead of having to change to your subscription TV service’s program guide to see the channel listings, you can just pop up this widget. It should be quick and convenient.
The one problem I foresee with this is that it only helps you watch programs as they air. With more and more people watching programming that has been cached on a digital video recorder (DVR) or their cable company’s servers, this widget may lose some of its utility. If you look up a show that’s about to air, you’ll presumably have to go somewhere else if you want to set up your system to record it.
Eventually, we’ll have a unified interface where you can do everything: schedule recordings, watch programs you already recorded, watch live programming, and access streaming video services on the Internet. It won’t be easy and it won’t be this year, but we’ll get there eventually.