At the center of the revamped Google TV experience that rolled out last fall is its TV & Movies app, which is a blended guide of content currently airing live on TV and available for streaming from the popular internet services (Netflix, Amazon, HBO Go). As Product Manager Rishi Chandra mentioned when we caught up with him at CES, personalization is something Google will be focusing on going forward and that's shown in the updated app being pushed out today. When it's first opened, users will login and be asked to rate a few movies and shows so it can get a sense of their tastes to know what to present, Netflix-style. There's more information displayed up front too, with expanded descriptions, and details below each show so viewers can find out about the episode that's on more easily. For a few more details on what's new and refreshed, check after the break.
That enhanced menu also includes the 1-5 star ratings for each show that ideally will help it improve the listings over time. If your favorites are mostly on one channel, then they can also be added as a Favorite, so all of that channel's shows will be in the list, all the time, or you can add shows and movies to the queue directly for easy access to them on streaming services. Finally, if you're at all interested in what everyone else is watching, the team has added a "Trending this week" list culled from Google searches. Judging by the usual trends on Twitter, we'll get our TV suggestions elsewhere, but it is an interesting parallel to the data already being collected and reported by companies like TiVo and GetGlue. We don't know if Google will dive headfirst into the TV ratings business, but with enough data anything is possible. As we get ready for the second generation of Google TV hardware to launch however, the first hurdle will be improving the user experience enough that it convinces customers to buy in this time around.
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