Macrovision outlines the future of the EPG

TV Guide owners - and metadata specialists - Macrovision outlines the future of the electronic programme guide
TV Guide owners - and metadata specialists - Macrovision outlines the future of the electronic programme guide

TV electronic programme guide and metadata specialists, Macrovision have outlined the future of the humble EPG, noting that our TV guides will soon be able to learn lots more about what we like to watch and give us personalised recommendations for shows we might like.

Following the recent news that Sky has re-jigged its HD EPG, Macrovision – formerly best known for its protection technologies on physical media – is bullishly moving into the EPG technology business.

Macrovision also provides rich metadata to music and media companies such as Nokia, Sony, Samsung, Sky and online services such as Shazam, Pandora, Spotify and others.

Consumers not Hollywood starlets

Most interestingly, the company also recently obtained American TV listings company TV Guide, with Macrovision's 'Chief Evangelist' Richard Bullwinkle, telling TechRadar:

"We're a Silicon Valley technology company, we want to wow consumers not Hollywood. We're not interested in starlets."

Macrovision is working with a number of TV manufacturing partners, developing EPG technologies that will be able to learn about each individual in your household, provide recommendations for shows they might like and incorporate recommendations from their selected mates from various online social networks.

Sony is set to be amongst the first to release Macrovision's "Neon" technology later in 2009.

Bringing the mobile, TV and PC together

Macrovision's huge database is constantly updated, "by a team of 130 music writers, 80 TV writers, 50 movie writers and 5 games writers," Bullwinkle informed us.

"In the future, our aim is to bring it all together, with the same EPG interface being accessible on your phone, your TV or your PC," he added.

In addition to the big players such as Sony and Samsung, Macrovision is also working with lesser known TV brands such as Vizio – an up-and-coming brand that Bullwinkle assures us are very soon going to be doing some pretty innovative stuff with its TV guide guidance and recommendation tech.

"In three years' time the EPG will look very different to today," said Bullwinkle. "It will largely be made up of pictures (of actors, box covers and so on) and not words.

"It will have personalised info that is relevant to you. It will know and learn about how you like to consume your media – and will deliver you the best experience for the device you are viewing your media on, whether that be a computer, a television or a mobile phone."

Adam Hartley