There is general industry-wide consensus that something must be done about the TV electronic program guide (EPG). Just like the printed TV Guide booklet that used to arrive at my house every week as a kid, the standard EPG format is now outdated thanks to huge linear content additions, new VOD libraries, and masses of interactive Internet applications that have set consumer expectations for video viewing. Unfortunately, fixing the EPG isn’t as easy as updating a web page. At least not yet.
At the Set-Top Box 2010 conference running today and tomorrow (somewhat overshadowed by a certain other Cali event this morning…), TV technologists have gathered to discuss the challenges and opportunities for television hardware going forward, including what to do about the program guide experience. David Grubb, CTO for Motorola’s Home business, keynoted the event today with a presentation on moving into the Internet Era of Television. In it, he addressed the EPG dilemma first by laying out the goals of a program guide, and then suggesting strategies for evolving the EPG to meet those objectives. Here’s an excerpt from his slide deck. In a word, the answer to the EPG dilemma is personalization.