Rovi Brings Smarts To DTAs

Las Vegas – International CES -- Rovi said it’s offering some key, new functionality to digital transport adapters (DTAs) with the launch of video guides that can run on standard- and high-definition versions of the simple, one-way digital-to-analog channel zappers.

DTAs have become an important tool for MSOs as they trim down or eliminate their analog video tiers and reclaim that spectrum for use towards more linear digital TV, video-on-demand and channels that can be applied to their DOCSIS 3.0-powered broadband platforms. Comcast, for example, has leaned heavily on DTAs for Project Cavalry, it’s all-digital initiative.

The vendor said the Rovi DTA Guide allows tuning directly from the program grid, supports parental controls, and allows users to set language options.  Rovi, which is providing private demos of its new DTA wares here this week, expects to launch the product broadly in North America in “early 2014.”

Rovi said it’s working with many major DTA providers, including Cisco Systems, Evolution Digital and Pace, to test and pre-port the new DTA guides.

“For many cable TV subscribers, the guide has been designated as ‘only for the advanced DVR.’ Now that it is available on lower-end devices in addition to the premium set top box, cable TV subscribers including Basic and Expanded Basic households, can enjoy a better experience on every TV in their home,” said Michael Buchheim, senior vice president of product management for Rovi, in a statement. The guide experience no longer limited to the premium digital subscribers, and cable operators will be able to use it to show the added value that they bring to their customers.”

Also this week, Rovi launched Rovi Remote Access Services, an addition to its Rovi Cloud Services that enables service providers and authorized third-party developers to create apps for smart TVs, smartphones and tablets that can control legacy, non-IP-speaking set-tops. The first apps to come out of the project allow for the remote tuning of the set-top and remote management of the box’s DVR.

Rovi is demonstrating the features this week in collaboration with Dijit, maker of the NextGuide, a video discovery app that has already been integrated with DVRs distributed by Comcast and DirecTV.