Philips plans rival to TiVo personal video recorder

Philips is developing a personalized video recorder application to compete with similar video recording and playback systems already on the market such as TiVo.

Philips is developing a personalized video recorder application that learns users' viewing tastes, and that could compete with TiVo.

Philips demonstrated its prototype Personal TV Channel system, intended for PCs or set-top boxes, at the IFA international consumer electronics show in Berlin this week.

In a market that isn't exactly begging for another PVR (personalized video recorder) player, Philips believes its application fills some holes in current offerings.

One feature is the system's ability to quickly learn users' preferences and create personalized channels based on those tastes. The self-learning function is based on an algorithm developed by Philips.

"The set-up is really easy," said Jeroen Cappendijk, business development manager of Philips' Personal TV Channel product. "You just create a channel and select a program. The system monitors your zapping habits and automatically refines your channel."

TiVo offers a similar feature, TiVo Suggestions, but users must tell the system explicitly whether they like a program, and it learns and makes guesses about what else they could like based on that.

Philips' software is also able to monitor the preferences of multiple users within the same household. Each household member can create his or her own channel, or share common channels such as blockbuster movies.

The Personal TV Channel also features a premium EPG (Electronic Program Guide) service, which Philips is developing together with a number of undisclosed partners. In addition to basic TV program information, the program guide service will include additional background information on individual productions.

Also, a "unified content" function finds and records content not only from TV channels but also crawls the Internet for video services, such as YouTube, as well as podcasts.

Philips plans to target its new software application at hard-drive systems such as PCs and set-top boxes, according to Cappendijk.

The PC version will be available early next year as a free download for users of computers running Windows Vista or, depending on the computer maker, can come already installed on machines, according to Cappendijk. The product will ship to makers of set-top boxes within a year, he said.

Philips hopes to make money from the product through its personalized advertising capability.

For advertisers, the system can tailor commercials to the tastes of consumers, according to Edwin Spijkers, senior manager IP licensing at Philips. "Some consumers want to see commercials for certain products or services, like cars or vacation trips," he said. "The system can select commercials that meet their personal profile."

Cappendijk sees a market opportunity for the new Philips product despite competition from establish players like TiVo Inc. "The big issue with PVRs today is that there are so many TV channels and so much Internet content that consumers have problems finding what they really want to record," he said. "Our system is really fast at learning what they want to view and is really easy for them to use."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Blau

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?