Startup Dijit Promises To Get Extremely Personal With Tablet TV Guide

Silicon Valley startup Dijit Media is the latest contender vying to reinvent the stodgy grid-based TV guide, launching an iPad app that tells users what's available to watch on TV -- or online -- based on their personal interests or their buddies' favorites.

The company's NextGuide app combines listings from pay-TV services, supplied by Tribune Media Services, with movies and TV shows available on services including Netflix and iTunes. The guide can be organized to show a user what's available by show, channel, genre or any keywords.

"We decided it was time to literally reinvent the guide," Dijit CEO Jeremy Toeman said. "You have what we consider a 'content experience' -- not a channel experience."

NextGuide also gives DirecTV customers with a DVR the ability to initiate recordings. The startup added that feature in just a few days, according to Toeman. He said NextGuide will add similar support for cable companies' DVRs later in the fall.

Dijit (pronounced "digit") joins other app developers aiming to provide a definitive, personalized second-screen TV guide, including TV Guide Digital, GetGlue and Sony Electronics.

What makes Dijit's NextGuide different, according to Toeman, is that it presents a mosaic-like interface built out of TV shows and movies that are relevant to you. Each screen in the app represents a category, such as comedy or drama, and users simply slide from screen to screen to browse listings.

In addition to following individual shows, NextGuide users also can create their own personalized categories around their interests, such as "Football," "San Francisco" or "Lady Gaga." The app then automatically scans those keywords and delivers alerts whenever there are new episodes of matching content.