Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Canal 180, a new TV channel in Portugal, launches a companion iOS app, developed by Bliss Applications

Pedro Monteiro, digital art coordinator at Impresa Publishing, and the talent behind the new website Digital Distribution, looks at a new media app from his home country of Portugal: Canal 180.

Canal 180 is a new television channel on the Portuguese cable TV scene. It is the first national channel fully dedicated to culture and presents itself as a 'open source' channel, since some of its content is produced in collaboration with other channels and cultural entities. Canal 180 was planned as a 'low cost' channel and broadcasts for 6 hours every day.
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For the launch of Canal 180 (on Monday, 25/04/2011), it also launched a universal iOS application. The app was developed in Portugal by Bliss Applications, a new company that is developing various apps for different platforms. Bliss has won a couple of awards, in Portugal, for their work.

I talked with André Gil, Bliss manager, and he has given us a peak 'under the hood' on the Canal 180 app and what's to come in the near future.

Right now, the application is in its early stages due to the pressure to launch the app on the same day that the TV channel was publicly presented. In this version of the app, users can access videos of shows from the channel. Canal 180 has a dedicated YouTube channel where it uploads their TV shows. The application uses this videos (and the YouTube iPad API) and presents it on dedicated areas within the app.
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As a first page, the Canal 180 app displays the "Magazine" videos. Magazine is the premium show of the channel broadcast and it deserves a special treatment within the app. The full show is 'broken' in smaller videos, allowing for a smoother streaming and a quicker reply from the app itself.

The second section of the app is the Videos one, where users can check different content from the broadcast. This content is divided in three sections: Cinema (movies), Música (music) and Outros (other).

All of the Canal 180 content can be favorited or saved for viewing latter within the app, that's the third section of the app. Users can also login with their Facebook and Twitter accounts and share content.

André Gil also told us that in the near future the application will be upgraded to include the channels' TV listings and some of their websites' content. André is also planning to enable Apple Airplay in the application, one feature that wasn't present with this first launch since Apple TV is not a big product in Portugal. (Update: see comments for correction.)

On the interface design, I really think that Bliss team has nailed it. The app looks great and works like a charm. I'm looking forward for the next update to see how the 'written' content will be integrated within this design.

All in all, Canal 180 is a nice TV application delivering a good service to its users on the iOS platform. It has potential to grow and I'll be following it for the next months.

Pedro Monteiro

1 Comment:

Pedro Monteiro said...

I'm very sorry for a mistake. Since the app is using YouTube's iPad API, it does allow for Airplay. It was my mistake and I would like to apologise to TNM readers and to Bliss Applications.
Thank you
Pedro Monteiro