Tivo Sees Big Interest in its Voice Technology

charles dawes tivoAfter the takeover of Tivo by Rovi and the change of name to Tivo, the company remains a supplier of ‘entertainment discovery solutions’. In the past, Rovi impressed us with the quality of its natural language processing and, of course, voice control has become an essential for service providers over the next year or two, so the company is in a good position, although it faces serious competition not only from Amazon and Google, but if the demonstration by TCL at IFA was genuine, also from Baidu in China. (TCL Uses IFA for Global Launch).

Charles Dawes, the Senior Director of International Marketing brought us up to date at the show. The latest Tivo software, Experience 4 (Hydra) which was launched earlier this year now has support for voice control and Tivo believes that voice is the best interface for more than 50% of discovery use cases. One of the advantages that Tivo has is that its software for the user interface can run on a range of different platforms including OTT streamers, Android TV and also Linux as well as Tivo’s own discovery platform, cubiTV. The result is that service operators can supply a consistent user interface, even if there is a range of different base platforms.

For Tivo as a whole, the development and provision of metadata has become more and more important and is needed upstream as well as downstream with consumers. Content providers are having to deal with more and more different ways of supplying content and each of them has different metadata requirements. For example, Tivo said, Turner has 44 channels of content, but they are provided over 200 different endpoints. Keeping track of the metadata is a challenge in such a complex environment.

Furthermore, sometimes metadata needs to be sent via the back channel as well, for example data on who has watched what which can help to improve the quality of recommendations. Tivo is supplying packages to broadcasters that includes keywords, themes, images and related keywords.

Tivo has done a lot of research on how and how much people are using services including voice and the company has promised us some extracts of that in the future.

Tivo cubiTVTivo can offer a consistent user interface on a number of platforms. Image:Meko