Searching for what I want to watch

Searching for the right content on TV is hard. It’s not easy to type words on a remote control. You can’t remember the title, just something about the series. It takes time – and you want to watch TV not type.

But it shouldn’t be hard. Which is why we sat down earlier this year and took a completely fresh look at search for one of The Filter’s US clients. The result is a huge step forward in the user experience of searching on TV.

We called The Filter’s Advanced Search Technology ‘FAST’ because that was what it had to do – get viewers quickly to the right content. But not require them to know exactly what they were looking for. So we enabled combined genre and sub-genre searching. The ability to look for a team or sport. Actors and directors were a given (even though many TV searches still omit this) but how about mood?

Since launching FAST in the US, we’ve implemented it for a number of other clients in the UK and Europe. In one case we had a bespoke implementation for a client done in a week, where their metadata was already in a good state and we had only to apply our search product. For others we have implemented personalised search, which draws on a user’s viewing history to put the best result in them as they type each character into search.

For each of us, searching online for the thing we want has become second nature. Looking for the best TV content right now has remained more challenging … until now. We think The Filter’s FAST tool is a game changer.

To discuss search on TV please contact damien.read@thefilter.com.