by Mike Masnick

Do People Want To Do eBay Bids On Their TV?

from the where's-the-demand? dept

eBay likes to get involved in non-internet mediums, even though it often looks a bit lost doing so. For a brief period of time they had "eBay: the magazine," and for years they've been messing around with a TV show based on eBay. It's not entirely clear what happened to that effort (a quick Google search doesn't turn up much other than the same old plans about it). However, eBay is still interested in being a part of the TV space in a more interactive manner. Earlier this year, the company was messing around with a TiVo plugin for eBay that would let you surf the auction site via your TiVo. They've now taken that one step further and have done a deal with Time Warner to let people bid on eBay items from their TVs. Of course, you might wonder where the demand for this is. Were people really having trouble walking from their TV to their computer to surf eBay? While the feature may look nice, it is a reminder that most people use their TV as a "sit back" device, where they don't have to do very much or be involved. They just consumer (watch) what's given to them. The computer is a "sit forward" device where users are expected to actively do things (like bid on online auctions). It certainly seems like eBay is targeting the crowd least likely to care.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2005 @ 4:54am

    No Subject Given

    Think of it as the "Home Shopping Network" for morons.

    .... Oh, I guess that's a little redundant, isn't it ....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Tim, May 19th, 2005 @ 5:18am

    No Subject Given

    > Do People Want To Do eBay Bids On Their TV?< br>
    Well, no. I certainly don't. The idea of pratting around with an annoyingly fiddly UI in order to use my 28" telly as an irksomely low-resolution bogo-monitor just in order that I can waste money yet further, yeah right.

    But what I really liked was some voice-over bit of programme the other night: "to interact, press the red button on your TV remote now".
    I did; I veritably interacted. The screen went blank and I went back to coding... ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Boilerbob, May 19th, 2005 @ 7:36am

    Game show

    This may not be for everyone, but I can see something of an online game show. It won't work with generic PC bids, but it would/could generate interest with collectibles. It's not "Masterpiece Theater" but combining a game show with online bidding would draw viewers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    IdahoJoe, May 19th, 2005 @ 8:45am

    Re: Game show

    Well, it IS annoying to have to check my computer every so often to see if I've been outbid. The software that Time-Warner is offering pops up a message on my TV video telling me that I've been outbid and allows me to raise my bid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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