Rovi is scratching the iPad with the TotalGuide xD, a customizable media guide designed to let cable operators extend TV content viewing, search, discovery and recommendations across tablets and smartphones.
Initially, the product will be available for Apple's popular iPad tablet. Rovi expects TotalGuide xD for the iPad to be available for trials in the second quarter of 2011 to MSOs that license its i-Guide and Passport guide products. Additional reference designs for other devices are expected to be available throughout 2011.
TotalGuide xD can let cable subscribers use an iPad to find and watch entertainment content including broadcast TV, video on demand and authenticated streaming video content.
Armstrong Cable, a Pennsylvania-based cable provider that uses Rovi's i-Guide interactive program guide, expects to test the TotalGuide xD iPad implementation. The operator serves about 245,000 video subscribers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Maryland.
Other cable operators that use Rovi's i-Guide include Time Warner Cable's Los Angeles and Dallas systems, Charter Communications, Insight Communications, Mediacom Communications and Bresnan Communications.
TotalGuide xD provides search functionality; a "six degrees" discovery and recommendation feature for finding related content; dynamic recommendations including most popular, similar and friend recommendations; and social network connections via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail. In addition, according to Rovi, the mobile media guide platform will allow remote connections to set-top boxes in the home to schedule DVR recordings, change channels or start a VOD session.
Major pay-TV providers have moved quickly to adopt the iPad platform, with Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network and Verizon among those offering iPad applications as extensions to their traditional video services.