Macrovision Becomes Rovi, Adds Liquid TV
Macrovision, the copy-protection media company, which bought out the dominant program guide company Gemstar-TV Guide, has a new company name Rovi and a new product.
Liquid, the new program guide technology, intends to be a broader navigation tool for TV viewers when it comes to broadcast guidance, via broadband-connected televisions, as well their personal media, such as users' music, videos and photos. The guide will also be a place for advertising.
"We are taking a guide that has been built into TVs and adding some major components; we are integrating with a number of partners," says Corey Ferengul, executive vice president of product management and marketing for Rovi.
Three of those partners include home entertainment retailer Blockbuster and its OnDemand service; Flixster, an online social media site for movie fans; and Slacker, a free, personalized online radio site.
Rovi's efforts follow that of Gemstar-TV Guide, continuing to do major deals with virtually all cable operators and big entertainment Web sites, such as Rhapsody.
A new push for Liquid will come when consumer electronics companies place it into new televisions. Rovi says it has deals with five of the top 10 TV set makers.
"One of the unique things is that we have similar technology across our consumer electronic products and service provider products, meaning we have a broad footprint," says Trent Wheeler, Rovi vice president of consumer electronic product management.
Advertising in the program guides is expected to be an added revenue source in future years. Most of the advertising, says Wheeler, will be follow current Internet advertising standards.
Advertising deals with consumer electronics companies are on a revenue-share basis. What is still undecided, says Wheeler, is how many ads will run, and what happens when a viewer clicks on an ad.