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CES: Macrovision Repositions Towards Content Discovery

by David Mercer | Jan 11, 2009

Macrovision is not a name many consumers will be familiar with, except perhaps those with a close interest in breaking content protection systems. Macrovision evolved as one of the early leaders in this market, and its technology is today deployed on 249 million TV set-top boxes and 12 billion DVDs. It also prevents the copying of many pay-per-view television programmes. Over the past year or so Macrovision has moved forward aggressively to reposition itself as a player in the wider content discovery business. Its major move was to acquire Gemstar-TV Guide in May last year, giving it a leadership position in TV guide technologies. We discussed Macrovision’s plans for the next wave of TV interfaces with Richard Bullwinkle, the company’s chief evangelist. Richard demonstrated the new Neon guide, which will include innovations that will bring greater power and personalisation to the interactive TV guide. Neon will allow viewers to see not just lists of TV programmes, but also what content is available on their home network devices as well as from the Internet. Where and when Neon gets deployed depends on CE manufacturers and service providers. But Macrovision clearly has a head start because of its TV Guide market leadership. And as Richard was keen to point out, competitors looking to develop internet TV applications that provide information about television programming should be aware that Macrovision has lots of intellectual property in this space. One issue which I debated with a number of players here at CES is the problem of tailoring TV and internet guides to multiple users within the household. While nobody expects TV users to “log on” before they can watch TV, the fact that Macrovision’s and other new services allow increased personalisation does beg the question: which member of the household has control as the “administrator”, and how easy will it be for younger household members in particular to override security restrictions. When content is being sourced from all over home networks and the Internet this is likely to become an increasingly vital question and it didn’t seem to me that anyone at CES has really solved this one yet. Client Reading: Digital Media Devices Global Market Report Add to Technorati Favorites
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