On-Screen Guide Evolution Continues in Early 2015


Channel Master's EPG
Previously, we discussed the history of the electronic program guide (EPG), and provided a preview of what various businesses are doing with social EPGs.

Earlier this month, a new EPG iteration was revealed by Channel Master, a 65-year-old TV antenna business from Gilbert, Arizona.

The company’s version of the guide, described as “LinearTV,” has built over-the-top (OTT) streaming applications like YouTube, Pandora and Vudu directly into it, placing the apps, as well as other live Internet video sites, in a navigable interface with linear television channels.

"There's been a lot of industry discussion about the future of TV and it always focuses on the delivery of linear content via the Internet," stated Joe Bingochea, Channel Master’s executive vice president of product development. "For the first time in a consumer device, you can now see what that future looks like and we've engineered it to function within a familiar, simple user interface."

The EPG will be deployed into their DVR+ product this upcoming March; it currently sells in the United States and allows consumers who have cut the cord to view and record broadcast channels.

"Anything that's available to the consumer for free, we can connect that stream and deliver it into the channel guide," said Marketing Communications Director Shelley O'Connell. "This is very disruptive. Nobody else is doing it."

As the on-screen guide expands in its content coverage and variations, and as a significant portion of the masses utilize OTT services, it seems only natural that the two would ultimately converge for easy access.

The question now becomes will this technological innovation be quickly imitated, and/or will social functionality be added as well? And will devices such as the Channel Master eventually allow for the recording and storage of online content? As it’s just the start of the year, it’s likely developments will progress rapidly.

Author: Brian Cameron

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