6 ground-breaking EPG concepts

Inventive advertising

  • What is it? New ways advertisers can use an EPG
  • Why is it cool? You'll never stop advertising on TVs, so you may as well see it in a more inventive way

NDS inventive advertising

JB: Interestingly, consumers are skipping less than they thought they were. Advertisers obviously want to make their adverts more relevant, so this is where the idea of substituting adverts comes in.

Say they have bought 30 seconds of airtime on a channel, they may want to advertise half of the products to one household and half to another. So, say you have a household which has children and one that doesn't have children, they can show off the sports car/family car to the family it would be relevant to. They are getting better use out of their 30 seconds this way.

We have a whole infrastructure head end and in the set-top box that allows this advert substitution to happen on live television.

You can have a substitution from the hard-disk drive with no noticeable change to the live stream. When you get to the end of the advert it actually splices back to the live stream once more.

TR: What other advertising have you been working on?

JB: Another piece of space that you may want to sell is the pause space. So when you pause a programme, an advertiser may want a static advert to appear when the programme is paused.

There are issues with this, with programme makers not liking adverts going on the top of their shows. There are certain shows in America, which don't allow their credits to be squeezed to make way for page furniture but again it is something which advertisers are looking at.

On-demand channel branding

  • What is it? A way to bring on-demand closer to the look of its TV channel
  • Why is it cool? It makes on-demand viewing a more seamless TV experience

On-demand branding

JB: The line between live television and on-demand television is becoming more and more blurred, so we are looking at how to help brand on-demand to make it look more like the live TV channels the shows come from.

So, while EPGs at the moment shunt you off to another menu for on-demand and break up the brand of the channel, we have designed menus to move away from the 'now' and 'next' banners and actually use a new interface which shows, say, the brand of Channel 4.

In effect customers shouldn't notice if something is on-demand or not. The interface should make it as easy as possible to watch content, not hamper the user.

desparate housewives

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.