Doing One Thing Right: Couchville

While all the online TV guides are adding bells, whistles and other tricks to their basic product of showing TV listings, none have created a really perfect, simple, online guide to what’s on TV.

Yahoo’s done some new things (which were largely hated by users), and MeeVee has started to integrate online video into its listings. Others we’ve written about have added social aspects to their services.

Couchville doesn’t do any of this, but they’ve nailed the most important feature – the guide itself. Tell it your zip code and cable or satellite provider and it shows you a simple, easy to navigate TV guide. A vertical red line shows you what’s currently on, and via an Ajax interface you can grab and drag the listings vertically (for channel) or horizontally (for time) to see more (this works much like the Google Maps interface).

Couchville is a service launched by Snapstream, which offers a PC based digital video recorder for people who’ve added a TV tuner to their computers. Data from Snapstream, like the most popular recorded shows, is included in the listings.

It’s very simple and it’s very useful.