Rovi Teams With FourthWall Media For EBIF Apps

Rovi struck an agreement with FourthWall Media to offer an interactive TV solution to Rovi's interactive program guide customers in North and South America.

Later this year, Rovi will begin offering an integrated Enhanced TV platform that includes FourthWall Media's Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) user agent, ETV Server, and TV Widgets as part of the Passport and i-Guide IPGs. The combined solution will be able to run on set-tops from Motorola, Cisco Systems and Pace, and will be sold as an additional service.

Separately Monday, CableLabs and Canoe Ventures announced they have approved a new version of the EBIF spec, dubbed IO6, which adds support for "unbound" apps, addressable ads and DVR applications. EBIF is designed to run on even low-powered digital set-top boxes.

Terms of the deal between Rovi and FourthWall were not disclosed. Under the agreement, Rovi will make available through its IPGs an initial set of pre-integrated TV Widgets from FourthWall, including eBay on TV, Yellow Pages on TV, news, weather and sports widgets. In addition, the integrated solution will enable service providers to launch new EBIF applications developed by third parties.

"Our collaboration with FourthWall enables service providers to deliver a more engaging and data-rich environment for the consumer that can be accessed through the program guide with the click of a remote control," Rovi executive vice president of product management and marketing Corey Ferengul said, in a statement.

Rovi was formerly known as Macrovision Solutions, the company that acquired Gemstar-TV Guide International, while FourthWall Media changed its name from BIAP last year.