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OpenTV, Jinni Team On Movie Recommendations

Interactive TV developer OpenTV announced a deal with Israel's Jinni, a developer of a personalized "discovery engine" for premium content, to incorporate the Jinni recommendation features into the next version of the OpenTV middleware.

Jinni CEO Mike Pohl was previously vice president and general manager of on-demand systems at Arris, which acquired C-COR in 2007.

"We're thrilled to be bringing this functionality to the television with OpenTV," Pohl said in a statement. "Finding a program you'll like has always involved a lot of guesswork... Choosing what to watch should be fun!"

The technology is expected to be part of the next release of OpenTV's Core2 middleware, set to be available in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Jinni's recommendation engine analyzes video content by moods and plots, taking into consideration the "emotional aspects" of choosing a movie, according to the company. For example, a viewers can search directly for moods such as "funny," "dark," "suspenseful," or "gripping" and can also add such moods to more common search strings such as "era," "actor" or "genre."

Other new features of OpenTV Core2's search solution include: ability to search all program information (not just title), including synopsis, ratings and actor/actress information; "extended" search allowing for searches beyond the set-top box by including online databases; and predictive text entry to speed up search strings using a standard TV remote.