Wearable Tech World Feature Article
May 28, 2015

TV 'At Hand' via illico App for the Apple Watch

Videotron announced recently that it had released illico, a new app, available free of charge, for the Apple Watch. With illico, users can control their viewing experience without using a traditional remote device and easily view more content on demand.

Videotron is a subsidiary of Montreal-based Quebecor, and offers cable television, video on demand, Internet, wireless, and landline phone service for both consumer and commercial markets. The development of illico is a part of the company’s mission to bring its customers the best experience possible.

The company describes the new app’s functionality as complementary to a standard remote. Users set up illico by either installing it or upgrading it on their iPhone. The iPhone is then paired with an Apple Watch where illico can be accessed while viewing. The flip feature allows users to listen to music, or browse channels by genre or randomly. It is also possible to control record, play, pause, fast forward, and rewind features remotely.

The availability of illico for the Apple Watch seems to be another step toward the eventual demise of so-called appointment television for anything other than live events like sports or presidential addresses. In a nutshell, it facilitates viewing content on demand.

It’s also a little misleading to promote illico as simply an app for the iPhone or Apple Watch. The term can also refer to a website that resembles Hulu or Netflix that allows viewers to see movies or television programming on demand. The site offers some free content, while other content requires a subscription with Videotron.

As the Baltimore Sun pointed out, the House of Cards series has spelled the end of appointment television as we know it, and it can be argued that DVRs started the process years ago.

Whatever is keeping the networks from producing all shows in a similar manner to House of Cards may be from reluctance, perhaps some contractual obligations or figuring out how to change their business model, but the technological barriers are gone. Television networks have always been content providers; the only difference now is that viewers have more control over when they see it. 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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