My grandma’s TV is ancient. Despite our best efforts to bring her technological mindset into the modern day world, she doesn’t want a new TV. She’s quite happy with the one she has. And now, for the first time, I understand why.
It turns out my grandma was right all along. Who would’ve thought? An elderly pensioner giving advice to a Digital Media Researcher on how to be digitally (un)savvy; if you can get by with what you have, what’s the point in all the ‘mod-cons’? I found myself asking exactly the same question when preparing (or attempting) to install the all new can’t-believe-it’s-finally-arrived-O-M-G ITV Player app for the Samsung Smart TV. Finally, I can watch any ITV content at my own convenience, and on my super clever telly. Or so I thought…
Before I continue, it is worth noting that I consider myself to be significantly more advanced than my grandma in terms of digital awareness. Previous to this installation (or lack of), I downloaded the BBC iPlayer app (yes, my mum could probably do this one, but there are more I promise), the All3Media catch-up app and the Redux online video app. All of these examples are (just as the TV says on the box) smart, simple to use and downloaded and installed automatically in under two minutes. Simple.
Oh ITV. It’s always been a love-hate relationship. You gave us The X Factor, but then you gave us Britannia High. You gave us Cheryl Cole, but then you gave us Tulisa. Now you give us a Smart TV app, but then don’t let us use it. And trust me, this battle hasn’t been fought half-heartedly. The app launched on 6 July. It’s now Day 19 and I still can’t use it. And I am not alone. Fellow comrade Luke Sowdon from Bradford has also been tragically wounded. Together on Twitter we are bravely fighting the tiresome app war. We have been targeted with pitiless terminology such as ‘firmware’, endured the dreaded ‘Contact Samsung’ threat and even resorted to weaponry known to the computer literate as, the USB. One day, we shall conquer.
As dedicated as Luke and I are, most viewers would probably just give up. We can’t even be sure of the rewards. What if we achieve installation only to falter at a new hurdle? No, we must have faith. There will be off-the-cuff Coronation Street viewing. There will be app harmony. And every grandma in the land will be ditching their prehistoric TV sets for a Smart TV. Just don’t ask me to install ITV Player.