TiVo (née Rovi) has unveiled a new user experience called TiVo UX that combines various programming options from various platforms and sources in what the user sees as a seamless search and recommendation function. It said the new user interface redefines “traditional TV” and “allows every device to become a primary screen for video consumption” and is designed for “a new generation of user experience (hence the UX).” It is intended to offer content choices from “an increasingly diverse array of sources.” The biggest new function is predictions, in which TiVo tries a best guess on what a viewer is most likely to want to see at various times of the day. TiVo said it is a recommendation that’s based on viewership data that will save time.
Margret Schmidt, chief design officer at TiVo, said, “The new UX brings the content the viewer wants right up front faster through expanded discovery and predictions from their own cable subscription and the best online video sources. In short, we designed this UX so the viewer spends less time searching channel guides and opening apps and more time enjoying their favorite shows.”
TiVo UX offers customizable shortcuts for services such as Netflix and YouTube. When a viewer wants to watch episodes from an OTT service that is in the TiVo Guide, TiVo UX automatically launches directly into playback. TiVo UX provides for continuity when viewing a series by automatically showing episodes when they’re only available on different services – such as older episodes from a monthly subscription service like Netflix and newer episodes from an on-demand services such as Vudu.
TiVo was one of the first two companies to launch a DVR. It has always been differentiated by having increasingly functional on-screen program guides and intuitive menus. Its patents have brought it large amounts of royalties but it has never been as successful in the retail market as expected. Its biggest deal was a long-dead deal to sell DVRs to DirecTV. In recent years it has successfully licensed its software and guides to a number of cable TV companies. It has been an innovator in DVRs, most recently launching the 4K capable TiVo Bolt DVR at retail. One click allows viewers to skip the commercials that are in episodes that have been recorded – except for newscasts.
TiVo CEO Tom Carson, previously Rovi CEO, said TiVo will keep developing products and services that allow users access linear pay TV channels and OTT services plus what he called “emerging providers,” which could be live streaming services such as Facebook and Twitter or pay TV services that are setting up OTT services or even content providers such as TV channels or sports teams. The company said its strengths are in metadata, enhanced and expanded recommendations and voice technologies.
The current TiVo DVRs support either over-the-air broadcasts or the pay TV services that cablecos and AT&T’s DirecTV offer. They use a cableco-supplied CableCARD to log on to a cablecos pay TV service but have nothing that works with most telcos’ IPTV-based pay TV service…
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