TV Curation Apps

If you like TV, you know that science is trying to mate it with the Internet. Right now, it's not clear what we'll gain; do you really want to tweet about a show that bad? But as it turns out, there are some ingenious new tools for curating your TV-watching, and we've found seven of them. With these apps, you can track favorite shows, snatch clips out of live TV, identify a show Shazam-style, or set up reminders for when your favorite cricket team is playing. Better yet, you can do all that stuff along with other people not currently in your living room. But first, some ground rules.

Miso
Miso is a TV check-in app for iOS, Android, and Web: kind of like Foursquare for TV. Unlike Foursquare, however, Miso awards people points when they talk with other Miso friends while watching a show, so you're encouraged to be social about your TV watching if you want to earn badges here. Miso's coolest feature is its real-time notifications, which alert you when your friends are watching or commenting upon a show -- presumably so you can flip on the TV and watch with them even if they're not there. Easy enough, but there is way more you can do.

Get Glue

GetGlue is an app to watch, not least because it's the pet project of often-followed Valley entrepreneur Alex Iskold and it just raised several million from Time Warner (among other investors). It's also to date the most popular way to "check in" and rate any media you're consuming: TV, books, music, movies and so on. Since you can check in all sorts of media on GetGlue, a lot of check-ins pile up; it becomes a timeline, which you can also have pushed to Facebook and Foursquare. Since you can also rate your media after you check-in, your friends can view your tastes over time, presumably in order to mock them. So you liked Black Swan, huh?

Thuuz

Thuuz is one of the more ingenious web startups we've seen lately. Built for sports fans with busy schedules, Thuuz first asks you which teams you care about (in basketball, hockey, baseball, soccer, cricket, or football). Using current statistics and your tastes, the system then calculates an "excitement rating" for each game that is about to air in the leagues you follow. If you love the New York Rangers, you'll get a text when the Philadelphia Flyers are about to play a highly ranked team; since these teams are historical rivals, Thuuz knows you want to see the Flyers get trampled, and that this is a holy cause worth DVRing.

SnappyTV

This ingenious little app for the iPhone and web allows you to clip up to 20 seconds of a show and send it to Facebook or Twitter. You can also grab embed code, which presumably means Tumblr and other curation tools are game, too. The only problem with SnappyTV is that it requires the company to have a partnership with the TV network for "snaps" to actually work on a given live TV show. Launch partners include Fox and Bravo, which means a lot of popular shows are snap-able, but not all of them. Networks like the service because it gives them insights into the most popular scenes in a given episode, so we're hoping more jump on board. This app is awesome.

TV Tune-in

For a relative unknown, this platform has a surprising list of advisers: Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and other execs from Visa, NewsCorp, and O2 among them. Don't get excited yet--TV Tune-In isn't exactly aimed at consumers. TV producers are supposed to use TV Tune-In to create branded iPhone and iPad apps for each of their shows, where fans can play trivia games, watch extra footage, tweet, earn "virtual badges" and "chat with friends." So far, there's little sign of these apps in the wild, but expect to see a flood of show-specific apps from this developer and others to hit the App Store in the coming year. (One of the best show specific apps to date: Glee Karaoke, made by Smule.)

IntoNow

This iPhone app is basically Shazam for TV shows. Put on a show, crank up the volume, and hit the big green button, and IntoNow uses the show's soundtrack to identify the exact show and episode you're watching. From there, you can "check in" by announcing your show-of-the-moment on Facebook or Twitter, or you can use your results to add titles to your Netflix queue. Just a few days ago, Yahoo bought IntoNow for $20 million a mere 12 weeks after its founding, making this an app worth watching.

Tunerfish

Owned by Comcast, Tunerfish is another TV check-in app with big backers and big potential. Available for iPhone, Android, and mobile Web, the app allows you to check in, view "trending" shows in near real-time, and be notified with a Push notification when one of your friends checks in to a show. There are badges to be earned, and we're willing to bet that these badges will start to carry some kind of real-life rewards once Comcast decides it's time to market this app more widely.

How To Curate Your TV Watching

If you've ever reblogged or retweeted, it's time you revisit the world of TV apps. Here are seven apps in contention for that spot on the couch next to you.

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