Rovi, Formerly Macrovision, Unveils Digital-Content Guide
Macrovision is on the move. The company has changed its name to Rovi, unveiled a media guide called Liquid, and is partnering with Blockbuster OnDemand.
Liquid seeks to solve the problem of digital-content overload. The media guide aims to connect consumers to entertainment content on the Internet and digital content stored at home, as well as broadcast and cable TV, in one user interface.
"We see today's announcement of the Liquid guide as the next step in delivering on our new vision and mission to power the discovery and enjoyment of digital content," said Fred Amoroso, president and CEO of Rovi. "By uniting all forms of digital media into one interactive and personalized source, we believe our new guide solution sets the bar for how we'll experience home entertainment in the future."
An Integrated Digital Menu
Liquid will offer an integrated menu with a Television Content Guide, a Broadband Content Guide and a Personal Content Guide.
The Television Content Guide is a linear broadcast television discovery solution that manufacturers can embed into their devices. The Broadband Content Guide connects users to their favorite full-length television and movie content for both free and paid services, as well as additional content, including Internet video, popular music, social networking, and other Internet destinations. The Personal Content Guide helps consumers navigate their media collections and gives them the ability to share their content.
Liquid will also allow users to personalize the entertainment viewing experience by learning the preferences and tastes of viewers based on their interactions with the guide. Liquid uses this intelligence to store favorites and make recommendations for undiscovered content. The guide also stores user profiles, so each member of the household can retrieve a personalized guide each time he or she turns on the TV.
The Liquid guide is planned to be available for manufacturers in early 2010 as an entire package or individual modules.
Do We Really Need Liquid?
Consumers have access to more content than ever before, and savvy viewers are increasingly pairing traditional broadcast content with on-demand premium content and video from the Internet, according to Colin Dixon, senior partner with the Diffusion Group. However, along with the explosion of entertainment options comes the challenge of information overload.
"Consumers need a way to easily cut through the clutter to find the entertainment that really matters to them," Dixon said. "By combining intelligent entertainment recommendations with access to digital content, the Liquid guide provides consumers with an important new tool to help discover, manage and enjoy entertainment for years to come."
Phil Leigh, a senior analyst at Inside Digital Media, agreed with Dixon. Consumers are quickly realizing that finding the digital content they want to watch is going to get confusing because there's going to be such an abundance of options. However, Leigh is not convinced a guide will completely address the challenge.
"Ultimately, what we are going to need is search," he said. "It's nice to have a guide, but it's not doing the job because we want more specific information too often."