Opera Software today unveiled the 'mobileIPG' (mobile Interactive Programming Guide). mobileIPG converges Opera's capabilities in the iTV and telecom markets by using Opera's support for open Web standards. A mobile phone can now trigger the recording of a TV program on a satellite or Internet-enabled Personal Video Recorder (PVR). Using the mobileIPG, both mobile phone operators and Pay TV operators can empower users to carry the entire IPG in their pocket, scheduling their TV recording while on the move via a simple one-touch interface. The application is cross-platform, with Opera running on Linux-powered set-top boxes and Symbian OS-powered mobile phones.
Just like the browser for Internet content, Program Guides are becoming a necessary user interface in people's homes. With the advent of digital TV and home networking, consumers' homes are turning into digital hubs with tremendous choice of services. IPGs will empower users to utilize these services from an attractive, dynamic, and intuitive user interface, scheduling viewing on Internet connected devices. The PVR devices, which use a hard-disk drive instead of optical discs or magnetic tapes, are replacing VHS and DVD technology in the home. According to In-Stat/MDR, a market-research consultancy, over 11 million homes are predicted to have PVRs in 2005.*
"The mobileIPG means full freedom to see what you want when you want it. It takes just a few seconds to look up the program on the mobileIPG on your handset, and then activate your recorder at home with just a click," says Christen Krogh, VP Engineering, Opera Software ASA. "The mobileIPG confirms that the future should belong to open, standards-based technologies that can interoperate with other technology that are available today, and future-ready for tomorrow."
DiscVision have been the set-top box reference design and system integrator for the project
Today's announcement also opens up new business models. With consumers getting 200+ channels into their homes, TV networks are experiencing a rapid erosion of market share. The need to get content noticed is a consequence of digitization and increased channel choice for television viewers. With the mobileIPG in place, networks can promote shows by sending targeted MMSes to viewer's handsets. Opera's other partner in the project, TVinfo Internet, is an IPG data provider,
"Today's announcement opens up new markets for IPG data," says Michael Schanz, CEO, TVinfo Internet. "We look forward to a bright future where devices can talk to each other using open Web standards"
The mobileIPG will be demonstrated at the Mediacast 2004 fair in London on May 25-27. Interested parties wanting a demonstration at the show may set up an appointment with Opera's iTV product line via email: firstname.lastname@example.org