There’s never anything on the TV is there? That is apart from that fantastic thing you wanted to see, but missed among all the other dross that litters our channels. To help get around such mishaps, what Symbian needs is a TV schedule application. That’s where TvPyx steps in to save the day. This free Qt application lists the range of content on UK Satellite and Freeview TV. Read on to see what we thought about it.
Version Reviewed: 1.0.7
I have been waiting for a TV schedule application to come out on Symbian for quite a while. So when I saw TvPyx listed as a featured application in the Nokia Store, my interest was piqued.
The application starts off by asking you to confirm the region you live in. This helps it pick the correct regional BBC and ITV channels. As is standard with TV schedule applications though, you can change which channels will be listed.
Splash screen and TV listings.
It was performing this set up, however, that highlighted the biggest problem with this application. Its reactivity to touch is very poor. The buttons along the top of the screen are small, and consistently took me several attempts to register touches. Once in the channel selection screen, the opposite applies. Channels are actually too easy to toggle on and off.
This problem with the channel filter applies to the main TV schedule view too. It is very poor at discriminating between which touches are scroll gestures, and which are deliberate selection taps.
Fiddly channel filtering.
Both the lists mentioned above have left and right arrows at the top of the screen. This is because the lists have a limited number of items they can scroll through. Therefore, after you’ve scrolled your way down from top to bottom, you have to tap through to the next page of scrollable items. I don’t know if this is a limitation of Qt, but it seems very strange not to have just one continually scrolling list for each view. This process is made all the worse by the poor reactivity of the on-screen buttons.
The application has a search feature that hasn’t been implemented yet. Tapping the search button just takes you through to an empty page!
Single channel listing and programme tools.
Those gripes aside, TvPyx does actually have some novel functionality. Unsurprisingly, there is social network integration, letting you share what you’re watching with Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Identica.
Tapping on a channel takes you through to its schedule, which includes programme summaries. If you then tap on a programme, a toolbar appears which allows you to do the following things. First, you can share to the social networks mentioned above. Then, you can rate a programme, but it’s not clear if your ratings are submitted anywhere; e.g. to market research companies. TV series can be marked as a favourite, which are then added to a special channel at the top of the main schedule list.
Sharing to social networks and giving a programme rating.
The most novel function on the toolbar appears when you tap the Twitter icon. You’d be forgiven for thinking this would be a quick way to recommend a programme. It actually launches a Twitter search for the title of the programme. One should note that the specificity of the search will depend on how general the title is. For example, searching for Eastenders will yield more focused results than Coast, even though both are BBC TV series!
The Twitter integration really takes the application to another level. Especially since many TV shows are publicising official hash tags, inviting viewers to participate in conversation while the show is being broadcast. Tapping on a tweet brings up a toolbar of options allowing you to make your own tweet or reply to the tweet. You can even retweet in both the old RT and new native styles, and follow users.
TvPyx’s excellent Twitter integration.
I really wanted to like TvPyx. The overall design is modern and the colour scheme is easy on the eye. Plus, the Twitter integration is quite unique for a TV guide. Most Twitter applications provide the same functionality, but they don’t list TV schedules! However, the touch input issues just make it too much of a pain to use on a regular basis.
TvPyx is available for free in the Nokia Store. Until Pyxis Ventures can work out the touch screen issues, I have to reserve the high recommendation I would have otherwise given. Readers might also be interested in looking at the free UK TV Guide on the Nokia Store too.
David Gilson for All About Symbian, 19 October 2011
Reviewed by David Gilson at