6 ground-breaking EPG concepts

3D menu system

  • What is it? An EPG for 3D television
  • Why is it cool? 3D is the future of TV, and this EPG concept makes it that little bit more accessible

NDR 3d

Kevin Murray: When it comes to 3D, what we have been looking at mostly is the graphics.

When you watch TV it is amazing how much of it is graphics – more than most people realise. By making minimum adaption to the graphics, you can make them respond a lot better to 3D. What you usually see with an on-screen graphic is that it is offset, so it looks as if it is pushing away from the screen.

Because we have made a relatively simple change to the underlying graphics, it still works in 3D terms. The graphics for the selection has been moved forward.

We are exploring what you can do with the 3D space to make the EPG easier to use.

TR: What can we expect from a 3D EPG?

KM: With 3D and graphics, you have got some space. But if you put up some logos in the 3D space, it may clash with the 3D which is behind it. It destroys the illusion. Some people can handle it, but for others the 3D illusion just collapses. To stop this from happening what you can do is tilt the logos, making them much easier to see with a stronger 3D presence. So, when dealing with graphics, you don't just have to think about the XY placing but also the depth.

By adding gentle movement to the graphic this aides in the 3D illusion, it gives the person watching it more clues to depth. If you move your head nothing changes in the background, so adding slight movement makes the effect work better – as does the gentle disappearance and appearance of logos and graphics. If things are flat on, they also ruin the illusion, so by adding a slight angle, depth is added.

EPG – Snowflake-style

  • What is it? An award-winning design-lead EPG interface
  • Why is it cool? Minimal fuss with maximum potential, Snowflake proves that EPG's don't need to be feature-rich to be ultra cool


JB: 'Snowflake' has been designed to deliver a similar look and feel across a variety of platforms – broadcast, mobile phones and so on.

Snowflake's is a minimal overlay on to live TV, and is controlled by a remote with just six buttons. A bit like the iPhone concept we also showed you for Sky, Snowflake can also be controlled by iPhone or iPod touch. The interface can also handle stored photos, music and radio.

TR: So, things like Flickr can be accessed?

JB: Exactly. If you are watching, say Planet Earth, then you will also be able to access photos from the places that are shown on the programme.

Like-wise with travel shows, you will be able to order your holiday through the EPG, or view more details on the places.

If we show you a scene from Lipstick Jungle, you can see that you will be able to order the dress you can see. And if you look at this snowboard scene, if you like the clothes and the equipment, then there can be links to this as well to tell you more.

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.