Wednesday, August 01, 2012
TV to go
Boost your TV with an app.
By Eric Kohanik
THESE DAYS, IT'S VIEWING ON THE GO. Tablets and smartphones present a radical shift in media.
A new study says 23 per cent of TV viewers between the ages of 18 and 34 tune in after buzz online through blogs, social media and apps. TV stars are getting in on the craze.
Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men) is a trailblazer in the Twittersphere. Last year, he moved the needle with a Twitter app (aplusapp.com) designed for desktops, laptops and mobile. Adrien Grenier (Entourage) is on the app bandwagon. His Reckless Adrien Grenier app (app.net/reckless) lets fans follow his every move.
These ones are fun, frivolous and favourite. Here's a few to guide your programming or help steer you to stuff on your big screen at home. Some must-haves:
What's On TV? From Zap2it
Let's start with the basics: TV listings. Onscreen guides on your TV are cumbersome and not up-to-date. Zap2it is the mother of TV listings services and What'sOn TV? is a customizable mobile listings app for iPhones and iPads (available at the iTunes App Store). Zap2it also has a mobile listings site (tvlistings.zap2it.com) that works on all other web-enabled mobile devices without having to download an app at all.
IMDb Movies & TV
The Internet Movie Database offers cast lists, production credits, trivia and loads of other information on almost every TV, movie and video production. IMDb's mobile site (available at imdb.com/apps/) serves up a version for almost every mobile platform.
Network TV Apps
Many popular shows are available from broadcasters who own rights to those shows in Canada. Among them: CTV (ctv.ca), CBC (cbc.ca), Global (globaltv.com) and Citytv (citytv.com). It's a tangled mess as to what apps are available for each platform. Check the mobile-services section of each network's website to see what's there.
Crackle - Movies & TV
Unlike most American sites, Sony's free online video service is now making its library available to Canadians. It offers a changing selection of classic TV and movies. (All in the Family, The Three Stooges, Sanford & Son, etc.) (Available for Android and Apple IOS through Google Play or the iTunes App Store, or through crackle.com.)
And to help make TV viewing even better:
This is a cool companion. Look up products, set favourites and even check inventory levels at the nearest store. (Available for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad through the iTunes App Store or at lcbo.com.)
These days, flat-screen TVS tend to be mounted on walls. Level on on the level is an app away with this free app. Available for iPhones, iPod Touch and iPad only. (Available through iTunes or at ihandysoft.com.)
(First published in Hamilton Man Magazine c/o The Hamilton Spectator - Summer 2012.)