Armstrong Lights Up Rovi’s DTA Guide

Armstrong is the first U.S.-based cable operator to deploy an on-screen guide from Rovi that’s tailored for Digital Transport Adapters (DTAs), simple digital-to-analog channel-zappers that operators are using to accelerate their analog spectrum reclamation projects.

Armstrong, a mid-sized operator serving parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Maryland, has begun to deploy the Rovi guide on both standard- and high-definition DTAs, and has an agreement in place to offer the UI in all its systems.

Cablevision Argentina is the only other announced MSO that is using Rovi’s DTA guide.

The UI brings some baseline guide functionality to DTAs, which are one-way, downstream-only devices that inherently can’t support interactive services such as video-on-demand. In Rovi’s case, the DTA guide presents a basic program grid, parental control features, language options, and a “On Now/On Next” banner that lets viewers quickly browse listings while watching the live TV feed.

“The Rovi DTA Guide is intended to help Armstrong increase its customer satisfaction as it upgrades its system,” Bob Shallow, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Rovi, said, in a statement.

“The benefits of going to an all-digital environment are abundant,” said David Wittmann, vice president of cable marketing at Armstrong. “We wanted to make it easier for our subscribers to enjoy their entertainment choices. This includes bringing a guide to the DTA. The program data, TV listings and user experience provided by Rovi are an important complement to our service offerings,” added Dave Wittmann, VP of cable marketing at Armstrong.

Comcast has been testing a DTA guide on standard-def models in select markets, including Bristol, Conn.; Springfield, Mass.; and Portland, Ore. Comcast has deployed tens of millions of DTAs as part of its all-digital “Project Cavalry” initiative.

The DTA UI Comcast is testing was developed and built by Comcast. The test guide was developed in close cooperation with Rovi, which built the user agent for the guide, but Comcast led the guide design implementation, an MSO spokeswoman said.