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Watching TV isn't quite what it used to be. With DVRs, DVDs (and Blu-rays), downloads, and apps, it's rare that we gather together as a group to watch our favorite shows -- even on the off-chance that we're watching something as it airs. But with Zeebox, you'll always have somebody to watch with, whether they're on your couch, up the block, or halfway around the world.
If Marty McFly had taken a TV Guide back from the future instead of Grays Sports Almanac, it probably would have looked a lot like this. At its core, Zeebox is a brilliant channel directory for the digital generation, but its usefulness doesn't end once you find something to watch. By leveraging the power of Twitter, Facebook, and its own social trackers, Zeebox is a powerful couch companion that doesn't just help you discover new shows; it actually makes what you're watching more enjoyable.
It's even fun to use when you're not in front of a television. A constant stream of tweets and comments acts as a sort of running commentary, letting you know which of your friends -- or favorite celebrities -- are watching what, and a list of "Zeetags" breaks down each show into topics to search and explore. Live buzz and audience gauges tell you what's popular and what you should probably skip.
Zeebox syncs with your cable operator, but some featured listings promote syndicated shows from other regions. It would be nice to identify shows with an IntoNow-style feature that identifies programs via audio, and the guide, which lists channels numerically but without their corresponding numbers, is somewhat frustrating.
The bottom line. Zeebox is such a stellar television companion, you don't need to actually be watching a show to enjoy it.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 4.3 or later
Great interface. Good social interaction. Endless discovery tools.
No audio identifier. Lack of numbers makes channel guide needlessly frustrating.