In May at TechCrunch Disrupt, we got our first look at Tunerfish, a Comcast-owned service that asks users the question, “What are you watching?”. Today, the app is headed to the iPhone — you can download the free application here.
The gist of the application is simple: instead of aimless channel surfing, which often yields lackluster results, Tunerfish lets you see what your friends are watching (think Foursquare for video). Launch the Tunerfish app, and you’ll see a list of the shows your Tunerfish friends have checked into (you can choose to check into content that spans television, movies, and online video) as well as trending shows. Once you’ve found something you like, you can check-in to notify the rest of your Tunerfish-using friends what you’ve come across. Updates can be syndicated to Facebook as well.
It’s a little basic, and I suspect that most people won’t have many friends who use the service yet, but it also has potential down the road. Tunerfish was built by the Plaxo team that Comcast acquired in 2008. John McCrea, who leads the team, says that at this point when you use Tunerfish and come across a show you’d like to watch, you’ll still have to surf to the proper channel yourself (in other words, there isn’t any integration with Comcast’s cable box or your TV).
However, he says that such automated channel changing will eventually be possible through “integrations with channel-changing apps and IP-enabled TVs and set-tops”. In the meantime, though, he says “the most important battleground for TV check-in apps will be smartphones and tablets”. McCrea also says that the team is talking to Comcast’s online video streaming service Fancast about ways to integrate the two services (picture seeing what your friend is watching and tapping their status update to start viewing that show immediately).
McCrea also says that an Android app is on the way.