Rovi Corporation (NASDAQ: ROVI) today unveiled the product plans for the next versions of the Passport Guide, its guidance solution for service providers in the United States, Canada and Latin America. The product rollout for Passport will include significant new features, such as remote record and video on demand (VOD) search, that are designed to make it easier for subscribers to access and discover more of the television content they enjoy.
“There is an influx of television content that is readily available today to the consumer through the service provider, yet finding this content can sometimes be a difficult maze to navigate, with preset schedules often getting in the way,” said Corey Ferengul, executive vice president of marketing and product management for Rovi Corporation. “We’re making investments in our Passport Guide to help service providers deliver their services to the consumer while helping consumers more easily access the content that is available.”
One of the current trends in the digital home is time-shifting or recording content to watch at a different time than when it is broadcast. With the freedom to watch TV shows according to an individual’s personal schedule and not a preset TV schedule, consumers are watching more TV than ever, up over 1.2% year over year, according to Nielsen’s Three Screen Report (September 2009). The same report states that time-shifting is up 37.3% year over year.
Rovi’s Passport Guide is planned to make it even more convenient for consumers to discover the TV programming that they want to watch on their own schedules. The product roadmap includes several new features to enhance the VOD experience that allows consumers to simply search and find VOD content, start and stop an on-demand program in one room and re-start it in another, and watch prime-time TV on demand. In addition, the Passport Guide product plans include the functionality to allow users to set their digital video recorder (DVR) remotely or select VOD content for viewing at a later time from any device that can connect to the internet and open a web browser.
Planned new features for the Passport Guide include:
• VOD Search – Conveniently integrated with the current search function in Passport, consumers would be able to search titles, description and cast to find new content. The search results would appear on a single screen along side results from TV listings or combined On Demand and TV Listings.
• Whole Home VOD – This feature provides a whole home experience to watching VOD content by allowing consumers to share programming between digital set top boxes (STB). For example, the subscriber would be able to start a VOD program in one room on a Passport–enabled STB and then stop and resume play in another room on a different Passport–enabled STB.
• Primetime TV – For certain broadcast and cable networks that are offered by the service provider, consumers would be able to replay Primetime TV programs on demand without having to set a recording in advance.
• VOD Pick List – This capability would allow consumers to browse on demand content available to them through a web application and select programming to be put in their VOD queue for viewing at a later date or time.
• Remote Record - Consumers would be able to set recordings on their DVR from any device that can connect to the internet and open a web browser. This feature will be supported by Rovi’s hosted communications infrastructure and web-based listings application.
For the service provider, the Passport Guide is expected to include additional flexibility to introduce a multiple system operator (MSO) customized interactive home page, send targeted messages directly to the subscriber’s set top box and designate the navigation path to direct their subscriber to an area of the service provider’s choice after an on demand program has finished.
The new features in Passport Guide are planned to be available for service providers in two releases in the first half of 2010. The solution’s design is based on the Passport native platform available on various STBs.
About Rovi Corporation
Rovi Corporation (rovicorp.com) is focused on revolutionizing the digital entertainment landscape by delivering solutions that enable consumers to intuitively connect to new entertainment from many sources and locations. The company also provides extensive entertainment discovery solutions for television, movies, music and photos to its customers in the consumer electronics, cable and satellite, entertainment and online distribution markets. These solutions, complemented by industry leading entertainment data, create the connections between people and technology, and enable them to discover and manage entertainment in an enjoyable form.
Rovi holds over 4,000 issued or pending patents and patent applications worldwide and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, with numerous offices across the United States and around the world including Japan, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom.
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