A major focus of the 2012 Cable Show in Boston is on user interface and user experience — it seems cable companies are rapidly realizing that the traditional cable box UI is pretty painful to use. Comcast just introduced a major revamp for its UI, and Motorola just announced its HTML5-based DreamGallery UI tool this morning, which will allow providers to more easily update, change, and customize the UI for customers. Motorola's showing off DreamGallery from the show floor and we got to see it in action and learn how cable companies will deploy it later this year.
This will allow providers to more easily update, change, and customize the UI for customers — Motorola's senior technical marketing manager David Brouda told us how providers now need to go through a complex re-writing process that can take months or even years if they want to update their UI. DreamGallery makes that process simple by using a WYSIWYG editor that can push changes live pretty instantly. Brouda showed us how to add a new programming category (a new genre of movies, for exmaple) on his computer, and it was pushed out to the other demo devices almost instantly.
The image above only represents a demo UI — providers will be able to customize coloring, branding, and many other aspects of the experience, but the takeaway is a more fluidly updating user experience. DreamGallery will also allow providers to more easily roll out their interfaces across multiple devices, like tablets. Brouda showed us the DreamGallery interface running on a Xoom and an iPad, and it provided the full compliment of programming options as the TV interface. It's also worth noting that this interface can also be run on smart TVs as an app, letting cable providers get their content to the TV without the need for a set-top box. This will hopefully make it easier for cable providers to start pushing their offerings out to other devices, something that's really started taking off in the last year or so. Motorola only has one service provider partner at this point (Shaw Communications in Canada), but it's actively looking to push this solution out over the rest of 2012.