Sunday, 19 May 2013

Forthcoming TV movie tracker and reminder app

A Quick 'note to self' and appeal to anyone who may know if this already exists. If it doesn't, feel free to pinch my idea but tell me when you've built it so I can use it!

I used to belong to LoveFilm but I found that even though my subscription was cheap as chips, I wasn't using it often enough to justify the cost. I was having films delivered which I never got around to watching and just sent them back again. Many of the films were 'older ones' which Amazon sell for about £3 each.  I realised I can just buy the films I want to watch cheaper than hiring them (plus I get to keep them with the option to watch again one day).

My son just asked my if we still had LoveFilm because he wanted to watch Bruce Almighty. I checked and found that you can buy that film on DVD for £3.76 and BluRay for £9.52. On DVD it is cheaper than my old LoveFilm subscription.

I was about to buy it when I had another idea.  That film is often broadcast on ITV or Film4 so I suggested we may as well keep an eye out for it and when we see it in the listings, we can watch it or record it.

My wife often mentions that she'd like to watch 'Along came a spider' when it is next on TV. That is another film which always seems to be on TV but by the time I realise, it is halfway through (and more than the hour so I can't even go to the +1 version of the same channel).

Herein lies the issue which I think is in need of an app.

How about an app which firstly connects you through to IMDB, Wikipedia or some other online movie database which you can use to create a wishlist of films you want to watch at some point if they were to be broadcast but are not so urgent that you need to purchase or hire them right now. With a list created, you then find the data for the TV listings and compare that to the films wishlist. As soon as one of your film matches the listings, the app alerts you via email, text, pop-up message etc. This could be a smartphone app but could also be built-into the set-top box listing services themselves. By placing a film in a wishlist, a set-top box could automatically record it when it finds a channel which is broadcasting it.  The list could be refined - 'only on non-commercial channel', or 'only in HD'. The app could also build up history statistics to give you a rough idea of how often a particular film is broadcast and therefore how long you can expect to wait until it comes around again.

OK - off you go and build it please. Let me know when it's ready :-)