Macrovision Changes Its Name to Rovi, Unveils New ‘Liquid’ Media Guide Platform for HDTVs


rovi program listings screenshot

Big news today from Macrovision. The company has decided to rebrand itself as Rovi and is unveiling a new media guide platform currently dubbed “Liquid” that will make its way into Internet capable set-top boxes and HDTVs from Sony, Panasonic, Vizio, and others in the next couple years. According to the company’s press release, Liquid will offer an enhanced 3-D style TV/Broadband content program guide and will allow users to scan/search for available media on the Internet and from UPnP compatible network PCs and media servers. Content partners presently include: Blockbuster, CinemaNow, YouTube, Slacker, and Flixster.

Aside: Our friend, Davis Freeberg, points out in the comments section at BusinessWeek that Rovi appears to have plans for banner ads in their platform. Notice the large Leaderboard and Skyscraper ad units in the screenshots provided here and here. Interesting… no word on what the plans are with that.

Rovi Launches Digital Media Guide to Transform the Entertainment Discovery Experience

Relationship with Blockbuster® and Other Content Providers to Enable Access to Online Content such as BLOCKBUSTER OnDemand™ Movies

Santa Clara – 7/16/2009 – Rovi Corporation (NASDAQ: ROVI), formerly Macrovision Solutions Corporation (see press release titled, “Macrovision Solutions Corporation Formally Changes Name to Rovi Corporation”), today unveiled a new media guide, code named “Liquid.” This new media guide is capable of connecting consumers to entertainment content on the Internet and digital content stored at home, as well as broadcast and cable TV in a single, elegant user interface designed to simplify the entertainment experience.

Today’s consumers have more entertainment options than ever – from television shows and movies to online video content, music and digital photos. With so much content available, the problem then becomes how to sort and find what you really want to watch.
Supported by Rovi’s extensive collection of rich entertainment data and intelligent discovery technologies, as well as Rovi’s experience in developing market leading program guides, the Liquid guide enables consumers to easily sift through the enormous amount of digital content available today. It builds upon the familiar user experience of the television guide to make it easy for consumers to find what they want, when they want it.

Rovi also announced today that it is working with Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI, BBI.B) to easily integrate access to BLOCKBUSTER OnDemand content and services directly through the Liquid guide. This integration will enable consumers to enjoy Blockbuster’s growing library of digital content with their family and friends directly and easily on the TV.

The Liquid guide is designed to provide a direct access to content from leading online entertainment services such as Slacker radio and YouTube™ XL, a website that is optimized for watching YouTube videos on large displays, allowing people to easily interact and engage with content they choose to consume on their own time. It is also compatible with leading movie technology provider Roxio CinemaNow.

“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 Corporation. “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.”

“We’re excited to be working with Rovi, a company whose deep knowledge of consumer electronics will put us another step closer to our goal of being in every screen where consumers want to watch movies,” said Kevin Lewis, SVP of digital entertainment at Blockbuster. “The integration of BLOCKBUSTER OnDemand into Rovi’s new Liquid guide will make accessing and enjoying our premium digital entertainment easy and convenient and underscores our mission of providing convenient access to media entertainment, however and wherever consumers want to receive it.”

Liquid Guide Features
The new media guide solution is comprised of three distinct, but integrated solutions: 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 CE 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 not only helps consumers navigate their media collections, but it also gives them the ability to share their content from the ease and comfort of their television screens.

The solution is also capable of personalizing the entertainment viewing experience by learning the preferences and tastes of viewers based on their interactions with the guide. The Liquid guide uses this intelligence to store favorites and make metadata-enhanced 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 designed to be able to connect to social network applications, such as Flixster – one of the largest social networks for movie lovers on the web – to access and provide recommendations directly through the guide. “With over 20 million monthly users on the Internet and mobile devices, Flixster helps people share and discover new entertainment content. Bringing that service directly to the TV, as part of the Liquid guide, solves a key missing link and will add enormous value to our users and their friends,” said Joe Greenstein, co-founder and CEO of Flixster.

Availability
The Liquid guide is planned to be available for CE manufacturers in early 2010 as an entire package or individual modules.

“The Liquid guide is an ideal solution for consumers looking to conveniently access and enjoy personal digital media, as well as their favorite entertainment, on the broadest possible range of connected devices,” said Dave Habiger, president and CEO, Sonic Solutions. “Pairing with Rovi’s new guide solution is an important part of our overall strategy to give consumers instant access to premium movies from the Internet through Roxio CinemaNow when and where they want it.”

“The Liquid guide offers an elegant solution for today’s consumers, allowing easy access to their favorite content and rich information on a variety of connected devices,” said Jonathan Sasse, senior vice president of marketing at Slacker. “Rovi helps our listeners learn about the artists and albums by providing detailed biographies, reviews and more. Slacker radio provides a premiere music experience without having to work at it and Rovi helps us do this.”

“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,” said 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. 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.”

Liquid Guide Screenshots & Graphics [ZIP]

About Rovi Corporation
Rovi Corporation is focused on revolutionizing the digital entertainment landscape by delivering solutions that enable consumers to intuitively discover new entertainment from many sources and locations. The company also provides extensive entertainment discovery solutions for television, movies, music and photos to its customers in the consumer electronics, cable and satellite, entertainment and online distribution markets. These solutions, complemented by industry leading entertainment data, create the connections between people and technology, and enable them to discover and manage entertainment in an enjoyable form.

Rovi holds over 4,000 issued or pending patents and patent applications worldwide and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, with numerous offices across the United States and around the world including Japan, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom. More information about Rovi can be found at http://www.rovicorp.com/.




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