[opendtv] News: Your Converging TV

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: OpenDTV Mail List <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2008 09:15:34 -0500


CES 2008
Your Converging TV
Lou Hau 01.10.08, 6:00 AM ET


What's a nice, hard-core techie company doing scooping up media properties?

Macrovision (nasdaq: MVSN - news - people ) is a leading provider of content-protection and digital rights management technologies. But during the past month, Macrovision has signed an agreement to acquire Gemstar-TV Guide (nasdaq: GMST - news - people ) for $2.8 billion and completed an $82 million takeover of All Media Guide Holdings, publisher of the popular All Music Guide book series.

It's all about getting into your neo-techie living room television.

In an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show, Macrovision Chief Executive Fred Amoroso observed that cable and satellite companies currently deliver virtually all of the programming that consumers watch on their TV sets. But emerging services and technologies, such as Vudu's movie-download set-top box and Netflix (nasdaq: NFLX - news - people )'s plans to stream movies via LG Electronics TV sets, are allowing consumers to bypass cable and satellite to get the entertainment content they want.

"The reason why the cable and satellite industries are going to be first movers in trying to incorporate Internet-related content into their relationship with you is because if they don't manage it, they will wind up seeing individuals getting that information from other sources,'' Amoroso said.

Macrovision wants in on the action to serve both sides of the street--that is, TV manufacturers, set-top box companies and equipment makers that work with cable and satellite companies and others that don't.

A year ago, Macrovision acquired Mediabolic, which makes software that enables TVs and other consumer electronics devices to connect to one another and to receive content directly from Internet-based sources.

The Mediabolic platform was an integral part of the partnership that Macrovision announced last week with CinemaNow to provide manufacturers of digital TVs, set-top boxes and network-attached storage devices with the ability to download movies from CinemaNow directly to their products.

As consumers are able to draw more entertainment content from ever-expanding sources, sorting through it all won't be easy. That's where the acquisition of All Media Guide Holdings and the pending takeover of Gemstar-TV Guide come in. Both will provide Macrovision with massive amounts of data on movie, TV and music releases that clients can use to create "recommendation engines" and personalized on-screen user interfaces to help their customers locate and discover offerings across various media that are relevant to their interests.

In addition, Gemstar-TV Guide also has a "My TV Guide" service that enables device makers to provide consumers with the ability to manage their entertainment options across different platforms. For instance, My TV Guide customers can use a cellphone to program their DVR remotely.

Pull it all together, and "we have platforms and data to really create a much richer future environment," Amoroso said.

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