December 27, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Evaluated version: 1.0
Pros: High quality videos organized by channel and curated by humans
Cons: Lacks central navigation window, no personalization to create more relevant videos
Google TV is not a cord cutters one stop solution because resistance from networks and online video providers makes it so. However, the recent addition of Android apps has unlocked more video options other than YouTube and vimeo. Redux TV is a clever Google TV app for users looking to fill in programming gaps with noteworthy online video.
Redux TV doesn’t hunt down television shows or online web series. Instead, it crawls the web for interesting videos, documentaries, and displays them in channels centered around a certain topic. For instance, the Tech channel has TED talks and interviews by Digg founder Kevin Rose. The Dress Code channel is all about fashion, home life, and style; Caught on Tape has unbelievable home video and closed-caption clips; Adrenaline is about extreme sports; Underground Comedy has funny skits, Music Backstage has performances and behind-the-scenes footage; and Street Level has documentaries on subcultures and interviews with tastemakers.
All channels on Redux are curated by a humans, an interesting change of pace from the algorithm-driven apps that have passed through Androinica HQ in recent months. On some channels, like Tech and Dress Code, it’s a winning formula because there’s a steady stream of great content that would appeal to all viewers. That’s not always the case with Comedy and Music channels because both artforms are so subjective. What curators find funny may make me laugh, but it may be a massive dud for others. Likewise, bands featured on the Music channel may lead me to do a lot of skipping while you’re still enthralled with a concert performance.
The curated stream of Redux is a risky but overall favorable strategy. Redux TV focuses on pressing play and leaning back to not put in any effort. Would it be nice to be able to find specific videos or have a central navigation menu? Sure. But then it would just be another YouTube. Instead, Redux goes out and finds interesting online videos, skits, short films, and docuseries that will keep your Google TV constantly broadcasting entertainment.