(Pocket-lint) - Gone are the days of multiple remote controls and on-screen applications, television is moving into a new phase - one that makes life a whole lot simpler.
Just imagine, you have one remote for one box that gives you all the channels, catch-up TV and box sets you could ever want, without having to come out of one service and into another. Just switch on your TV and away you go. Idyllic, yeah? But surely a fantasy?
Well, no. You can have that right now. There is a way out of the clutter.
Look at netgem.tv, for example. It's a platform designed specifically to promote the content best suited to you rather than ask you to trawl through individual apps. Even its price plans are simple. Whether you opt to get your netgem.tv-powered set-top-box through an internet service provider as part of a broadband bundle, or from netgem.tv itself, you pay one monthly fee and get the shows you want to watch front and centre.
Here then is how to declutter your TV viewing and save yourself a bob or two in the process.
Simplifying smart TV apps
When televisions first became smarter and could connect to the internet, it made sense for them to offer similar experiences to smartphones. Users were used to using mobile apps on a daily basis, why not just transfer that concept to the big screen?
However, as time has progressed the TV app experience is no longer innovative, it is obstructive. It has never worked as well as on a mobile phone or tablet; you can't simply tap your TV screen for starters, you have to scroll through and click a remote button, which then takes you into the individual app before you can even start your hunt for a show or film.
Navigating your way around a smart TV app platform, no matter how well laid out, is clunky. And, with each application offering its own user interface and navigation system, it can tear you away from simplicity - you have to learn each different apps' layout just to play a chosen programme.
In addition, smart TVs have hardware limitations. We are already hearing of apps being withdrawn from smart TV platforms only four or five years into their lifespan because a built-in TV processor is no longer powerful enough to carry them. But, unlike a smartphone say, you shouldn't expect to have upgrade your set on a four-year cycle.
That's why an all-in-one set-top-box experience, like netgem.tv, makes complete sense. As a dedicated device, it has the internal tech to run the latest upgrades easily, and sports an integrated platform that brings the content rather than apps to the fore.
It presents shows drawn from all of its available services, channels and apps by genre, making it much easier to find recommendations to watch based on your favourite category. That means you can spend more time watching your favourite shows instead of searching for them.
Simplifying your TV viewing
We are willing to bet that your TV has a digital tuner in it - after all, it wouldn't be a TV if it didn't, it'd be just a monitor. However, we are also willing to bet that you spend most of your time hunting for shows to watch using the electronic programme guide.
While that is a long-established tradition, it really isn't the most effective way to discover content.
Take netgem.tv, it offers the full Freeview Play roster of free-to-air channels, plus an EPG, but it also presents live and upcoming programming in a simple to view, easy to navigate format.
It offers those broadcasts alongside the best box sets and series available on streaming services, including Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hayu and Rakuten TV. And, as you can start your selections in their respective catch-up services, including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5, straight from the menu, you don't have to faff around with multiple clicks on the single remote control or, better still, the netgem.tv app on a smartphone.
That's not to say that netgem.tv hasn't got a neat EPG trick up its sleeve too. Catch-up TV can be started by simply opening the guide, scrolling backward to the news or episode of Eastenders you missed, for example, and clicking on it there.
This is how TV should be. Not different remotes for different streaming devices or paid TV services - either just the one that does everything or simply control the lot through your phone.
Simplifying your TV price plans
The last bastion in the TV tech revolution is pricing. Paid TV services usually come with multiple, sometimes confusing plans and options depending on the amount of channels you want to add, an upgrade to HD, sports and/or movies.
That's fine for some, but keeping the pricing simple is as important as presenting the content in a user-friendly format.
For netgem.tv, that means providing a set-top-box, access to all of the channels on Freeview Play and catch-up TV services for one monthly fee. In addition, you get exclusive channels at no extra cost, including the newly added Premier Sports all for £14.99 per month. And, if you want to sign into your Amazon Prime Video membership and/or pay for Rakuten TV digital movies and shows, they are integrated into the experience too.
There is one other way it differs from some rival services, superfast broadband providers have decided to bundle netgem.tv with fibre because it is the king of streaming.
Internet service providers, including WightFibre and Purefibre, offer the box and access to all the features brought to you through netgem.tv as part of their own broadband bundles. Some include Amazon Prime Video subscriptions too.
So, if you really want to make your TV experience as seamless as possible, while keeping the bank manager happy, you don't have to wait for smart TVs to catch up, innovation is happening right now. And netgem.tv is at the very heart of it.
A netgem.tv set-top-box and access to the service is available from £14.99 per month. Click here to find out more.