EPG or electronic program guides are with us for decades. Although the look of the EPG has undergone quite the evolution, the core purpose is still the same. EPG displays broadcast programming or scheduling information for current and upcoming programming and updates a viewer with information about the program.
Brett Sappington, a senior analyst at Parks Associates, said: “The consumer television experience is grounded in the viewer’s ability to quickly and easily find interesting, relevant content. Those services and systems that can deliver the right content to the right viewer will win the minds and pocketbooks of the TV-viewing world.”
EPG has evolved in the manner that also features backward scrolling to promote Catch-up TV. People who missed a program can view it on demand and EPG enables them to have a clear picture of what they have missed.
In the 2016 Ericsson ConsumerLab TV and Media Report, revealed that the average person will spend 1.3 years of their life perusing the on-screen electronic program guide (EPG) in an effort to locate TV and entertainment content. The same report also found that Video on Demand (VOD) consumers spend a “frustrating” 45 % more time searching for programming, in comparison to their linear TV viewing counterparts. In tandem, 57% of consumers in this study say the content discovery is critical when choosing a pay-TV service.
It is evident, not only that a better content discovery process is needed across the board, but that also the ability to find and access content across the multitude of mobile devices is the key.
There are several ways of how the viewer can find preferred content within Interactive TV Platform.
The traditional EPG as described above comes in two distinct modes, the matrix EPG mode, and column EPG mode. Traditional EPG delivers traditional content search for times when a viewer is not sure what he wants to watch and on which channel.
This option provides search within live TV shows, VOD titles, images ( a type of content), Catch up TV, or any combination of these. The search can be done by the title, description, genre, cast, or any combination of these. From a result, it is possible to access the description and furthermore to access the “program options” that are available for it (just as if it were accessed from other parts of the UI, e.g. the EPG matrix or a VOD category). This is an intuitive way of looking for content.
Based on the viewer’s previous habits and interests, which are stored by the statistics subsystem, Recommendation System suggests to each user live TV shows or VOD content. The system can learn, save and refresh the prediction model, read the available TV content, and build a list of the five new channels for the viewer. Why not let the recommendation engine to suggest wich content is the best fit according to viewers habits and interests?
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