Is Comcast doing to TV what Foursquare is doing to location? Exclusive first look at Tunerfish

Tunerfish is an interesting new service launching right now at Techcrunch Disrupt. Here I sit down with founder John McCrea who tells me about this unique team and shows me what Tunerfish does.

You basically “check into” the TV shows you are watching, which lets your friends know what you are watching. This is cool because it is yet another way to discover new TV shows from your friends and it reduces the friction of sharing. Plus it will keep our Twitter and other streams cleaner of TV chatter (last night during Lost I saw a TON of messages that basically said nothing more than “watching Lost.”)

What do you think?

20 Replies to “Is Comcast doing to TV what Foursquare is doing to location? Exclusive first look at Tunerfish”

  1. Doing for TV what Foursquare's doing for location? You mean they're setting themselves up to be inevitably outdone by Google?

    Because, you know, this would be a great thing to do with Google TV.

  2. Vloop is doing something similar

    Social TV is something that will rise with the use of smartphones used to enable interaction –
    What will happen is that people will be able to real time interact with an entertainment product.
    I see this happening with branded content and game shows that reflect the company which has branded them.
    Imagine having a national audience playing right along with the program enjoying product codes which reflect their locations – It's a lot more exciting than posting on twitter – “I'm watching Lost”
    And what if you could provide an immersive environment where people could go instead of Universal City – where they can log in from anywhere in the country?
    And what about an activity that was engaging and fun around this product and show? I am making this happen in Second Life on a weekly basis. And for a fraction of the price –
    High concept – Highly targetd and incredibly cost -effective. I use a 3D Avatar based Virtual World as a broadcast media plaform. It is not about the 100 people in a room but the potential hundreds of thousands who can be reached through the broadcast of it.
    I am passionate about what I am able to do with a worldwide audience as I do with The 1st Question – a harbinger of future TV –
    Scobleizer when are you going to be on it?
    Thank you for this – I also see the future where you can sit at your couch – which is much more comfortable usually than the computer, and then play right along with their family, friends and like minds.
    A community in other words right around the programming.

  3. You can tune a piano, but you can't Tunerfish. Should probably sell that to someone, but you may have it free 🙂

  4. sounds interesting…

    But the risk is that these location based apps become fragmented — not necessarily the services.

    right now its easier for my twitter app to be extended to support these type of services… rather than going to specific app to check-in when you watch tv.

    secondly, the fun, is in the dialogue / conversation which tends to work well on twitter.

    in the UK typically there is a lot of conversation via twitter when there is a major event / political event / eurovision contest /etc.. and that works well and its more than just checking-in

  5. All I'm going to say is someone is already doing this. They are called Miso. So, this isn't revolutionary, it is just someone with more money and a larger presence in the world doing the same thing as a small company.

  6. I’d prefer this to be part of my Comcast interface than on the web. I don’t sit and watch TV with my laptop and I bet the “average” person doesn’t either. Ok… if you’re watching on a computer there are already many other ways to “share” what you’re watching.

  7. I don't mean to be cruel, but I am not impressed. This is akin to all the “tablet noise” on the cusp of Apple's iPad release. As I posted (see below), these walled garden approaches are doomed to failure. Microsoft & Google are “distribution network independent”. Best think these guys could do is choose their allegiance and partner now. Of course they won't do that…whatever you do Mr. McCrea, suggest you hurry up and get this out. Would be glad to interview you over skype on behalf of IT World Canada and provide a more “edgy” interview. (Sorry Scoble, you need to ask more tough questions my friend!)

  8. “Plus it will keep our Twitter and other streams cleaner of TV chatter”

    Are people going to want to switch over to another stream now to comment though? They’ve had a good year or two with major TV events to build a relationship on Twitter commenting about them. Now to have to drag their followers over to a new stream? Hmmm. Not sure I’d want to.

    Plus, Comcast operates on a pay model but now wants to offer a free service? Hmmm again.

  9. John McCrea is right to be excited, the whole TV, video, online entertainment change last Thursday when Google launched the TV thing, so this has presence, it is current, and has the ability to change my way of seeing other programs worth watching, good video and excellent intervue.

  10. Yes. Nielsen can't even tell you how many people watch a given TV set. The death of Nielsen has been a long time coming.

    Unless they adapt. But they won't.

  11. I was going to say the exact same thing.

    Google TV will quickly emulate this and as long it's successful — which it will be — Tunerfish will rot.

  12. Useless until this is in place:

    # quoting

    “In fact, the potential clearly exists for Comcast to integrate Tunerfish into the set-top box through an app running on Google OS or something like it, in order to remove the separation between the big screen and the small screen and allow people to share what they’re watching and see feeds without down looking at their laptops, smart phones or tablets.”

    A public Neilson for anyone to gather their own stats.

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