Freedom of choice is great... until there are too many choices. And the Internet-connected televisions headed to market will soon open up millions of TV-watching options. Right now, most folks use the standard TV grid to scroll through channels and programming. But the move from linear TV to a new world of on-demand broadband television will require a fresh, more elegant user interface for navigating through an ocean of viewing options. "If a user sits down and says 'nothing's on,' we have failed," says Tom Woods, director of user experience for Rovi (formerly Macrovision), "I guarantee that out of hundreds of channels, Internet content and premium services, there is something of interest to them." But finding what's of interest is the key, and future TV user interfaces will need to rely on a combination of search, recommendations, content-centric thinking and better design.
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