Rovi Completes Acquisition Of TiVo, New TiVo UX Interface Revealed
Rovi, the giant of on-screen program guide technology and search and recommendation tools, completed its $1.1 billion cash and stock acquisition of digital video recorder (DVR) pioneer TiVo, Thursday, and in an unusual turnabout, the buyer said it has changed its name to that of its new asset.
Shortly after the acquisition announcement, the company announced a new on-screen “user experience” called TiVo UX, which will bring together programming options from diverse platforms and sources in a viewer-friendly seamless search and recommendation experience.
“The new TiVo is uniquely positioned to provide ground-breaking offerings that address the rapidly changing media landscape,” stated CEO Tom Carson. “Our broader product portfolio, more innovative patented technologies, increased resources and a stronger financial profile position us strongly for success and to continue providing the ultimate entertainment experiences to consumers across the globe.”
Rovi said its shares will now be traded on Nasdaq under the TIVO ticker symbol. Daniel Moloney and Jeffrey Hinson, who were former directors of the old TiVo, will join the board of the new expanded company.
The new company expects big things from the acquisition to materialize quickly. Rovi said it expected at least $100 million in annual cost synergies to result, and 65 percent of that is forecasted over the first 12 months.
Read more on Rovi’s acquisition of TiVo after the jump:
TiVo, which first went public 17 years ago, was one of the first companies to introduce a hard drive-based video recorder tied to an on-screen program guide and intuitive program recommendation system.
TiVo called its initial devices personal video recorders, or PVRs, but later changed it to digital video recorder (DVR) as similar devices, like RePlay TV, began to appear followed by cable and satellite operators, among others, using DVR as a generic term.
TiVo had one of the most robust on-screen guides and user-friendly interfaces in the market, and over the years has profited from its related patents.
Rovi, which was at one point in its history known as Macrovision, the developer of a copy protection system for pre-recorded VHS movies and programs, has over the years branched out into a wide range of technologies for the digital age, many of which are centered around on-screen guides and search and recommendation technologies it has developed or acquired.
It garners considerable revenue from technology patents and licensing, and in April Rovi sued Comcast alleging that the cable MSO’s power remote recording and program search functions in the Xfinity AnyRoom DVR and X1 box violated its patents.
Carson said the company will develop products that enable users to access traditional pay TV channels as well as streaming services and what he calls “emerging providers.”
Executives with TiVo have said the union in particular brings intriguing possibilities in the areas of metadata, enhanced and expanded recommendation features and voice technologies.
On the heels of the closing announcement, TiVo revealed it has developed a new user interface designed for “a new generation of user experience (UX)” from today’s TVs and mobile screens. The new UI is designed to bring content from “an increasingly diverse array of sources” quicker and easier.
Among the new capabilities is presenting a choice of shows based on such things as time of day, past viewing choices, and the devices used.
The UX is said to be “visibly rich” and “builds on TiVo’s world-class usability, ensuring the viewer is always close to what they are looking for across content sources, and provides customizable shortcuts for functions on the main menu to give users faster access to their entertainment – not just traditional TV and movies, but also music and short-form videos.”
The company said the system will redefine “traditional TV” and “allow every device to become a primary screen for video consumption.”
By Greg Tarr
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