In its latest effort to reinvent itself as a content and media company (rather than a dial-up dinosaur), AOL has relaunched AOL TV and teamed up with i.TV to create a mobile AOL TV app for iPhone and iPad.
The new AOL TV features redesigned interactive listings that allow for social check-ins, personalized channel lists, DVR scheduling and a new calendar view. Additionally, the site features news and updates on all the hot TV shows, video recaps, interviews, and glimpses behind-the-scenes. Users can customize channels to remove channels they don’t want updates from and use the new click-and-drag listings feature instead of scrolling through listings.
Users can also download AOL TV’s mobile apps for iPhone and iPad to get TV listings and get TV info and recaps on-the-go. The apps are free and come courtesy of i.TV, which has partnerships with Hulu, Netflix, and TiVo to allow users to discover, watch, and engage with TV programs from their mobile device.
“By significantly upgrading AOLTV.com, in partnership with i.TV, we’re providing users with the simplest and most engaging tools to enhance and manage their TV viewing across all platforms -- web, phone, tablet and TV,” said Kerry Trainor, SVP of AOL Entertainment, in a statement.
To make the AOL TV relaunch possible, AOL has integrated the features from TV Squad, which it acquired with the rest of the Weblogs, Inc. network of sites (including Engadget and TUAW) in 2005 for $25 million. Until now, AOL Television and TV Squad continued to operate as separate, independent sites, but now AOL TV has merged the two together, which means all of the old TV Squad content can now be found on AOL TV. (And if you go to TVSquad.com, it will automatically redirect you to AOLTV.com.)
AOL said that some of the existing TV Squad staff is now at the AOL TV site. In 2010, TV Squad added former Chicago Tribune critic Maureen Ryan to its illustrious ranks, which included some 20 or so regularly contributing staff members.