Monday, February 17, 2014

Netflix vs Setup Box vs TV

Jotting down thoughts after reading the following articles online -

What Netflix can learn from regular old TV
How to fix the Apple TV
Netflix faces 'House of Cards' backlash
What happens at Netflix when House of Cards goes live

I would definitely agree to the argument that setup boxes such as Apple TV and Roku have their downfalls while trying to match the TV watching experience and needless to say, I would think twice before I try to add one more gadget which might have limited downward / upward compatibility towards TV sets! And yes, why would I bother having this additional costs if there is already a movement for Online streaming of TV - ABC & PBS been the two examples I can think off!

The one thing that bothers me is comparison of Netflix (Internet television network ) with the TV itself. They are totally different in their end usability. As mentioned in the article TV telecasting is more controlled by the provider while Netflix Streaming / DVD rentals is more controlled by the end customer. Though the effort it takes to pick something on Netflix is extremely painstaking, that's the compromise we make for not having to drive ourselves to movie rentals and managing the whole pick up to drop in on time cycle. Wouldn't we have spent the same amount of time deciding on what to rent at the movie rentals ? The answer is a definite yes!!! As mentioned in my previous article on Amazon the advantage of having suggestions, viewer ratings and more real time data on the video I would like to watch adds more perks to streaming on Netflix. True, if you have had the Neftlix account for a couple of years now you must have exhausted your options which makes it more hard for you to pick something on Netflix, but that is a different issue that Netflix should consider solving. And yes, with more options on the table we will anyways take more time on deciding what we want to watch which is something Netflix cannot control completely. The suggestions, ratings and best match are some ways in which it tries to help us with a faster decision making but there is only so much they can do to make the streaming experience seamless!

Starbucks Travel Mugs - Design evolution!

Was at Starbucks this Saturday and been an avid travel mugs collector, I happen to browse through the latest displays of merchandise at the store.

The one travel mug that caught my attention was the stainless steel tall size coffee mug with a plastic top and no handle.

Current Version

This is definitely going to be the next item I buy at Starbucks for sure! 

The current one I am using is a stainless steel grande size coffee mug with a plastic top and a handle. I bought this one because it was stainless steel and much safer than the plastic coffee mug I was using earlier. The size of the mug was also much smaller than the older one which was also one of the important factors in my decision. Though extremely happy with this, I never really understood the need or necessity of having a handle. The handle really bothers since it does not fit well to the side of my bag pack or mug holder in the car. The two places where I would place my travel mug most of the time. Hence the newer design which is again much smaller and handle free wins me!

Previous Version

Old Version

Things I would consider improving in the current version are - 

1. Having an air tight lid which will avoid liquid spillages and which would help keep the liquid hot for a longer time

2. A substitute to the plastic lid with something that is much more safer and eco-friendly

3. Varying sizes to meet customer needs with a measuring scale

4. Something unique or eye catching on the mug that reminds me not to leave it in random places! :-)