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Cable Technology Feature Article

January 14, 2013

Time Warner Cable & i.TV Add Digitalsmiths' Seamless Discovery

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Trying to figure out just what's on television at any given time isn't always easy. There are guides, sure—most cable providers offer some kind of guide, and many televisions come with some kind of on-screen guide built in—but they're not always easy to use, and they seldom address the concept of discovery, or finding new shows to watch based on shows the user already enjoys. Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable and i.TV are looking to change that with the introduction of Digitalsmiths’ Seamless Discovery solution to their roster.

Digitalsmiths’ Seamless Discovery comes into its fullest value over time and with use, according to reports, as it searches television shows and movies across a variety of different platforms—video on demand, DVR recordings and live television—to generate a set of personalized recommendations for each user. Seamless Discovery is also said to use a wide variety of third-party information sources as well, like that offered by Tribune Media Services, to help narrow down its recommendations.

This development is made somewhat easier by information found from a recent survey conducted by Digitalsmiths, which revealed that the average pay-TV subscriber tends to stick to only a handful of channels, seldom straying from the shows and topics they find most engaging. Yet at the same time, these subscribers—70 percent of them from the survey's reckoning—have reported trouble finding something they actually want to watch.

Digitalsmiths’ Seamless Discovery is set to improve over time, as users provide more input based on what they're watching to give the system more fodder to work with and from which to make matches. It won't just be Time Warner using it, as i.TV will also be using the Digitalsmiths Seamless Discovery system as part of Nintendo Tvii, as well as its TV guide apps on iPhone (News - Alert) and iPad alike.

This comes along at a very good time for cable in general. With the cable cutting movement gaining ground on some fronts, and more users looking at their cable bills with distaste and considering what's on Netflix and Hulu (News - Alert) Plus—as well as on other sources online—the idea of sticking with the cable company and paying those bills is becoming progressively unpleasant, especially given the ongoing weakness in the economy. Given that many subscribers are spending $85 a month or more for television, that's putting some pressure on cable providers to make some changes and help people find more to watch.

It's certainly good to see that cable providers aren't taking the growth of online alternatives lightly, and are seeking to improve their own services to keep customers in their fold as well as draw new customers in. Hopefully the use of Digitalsmiths’ Seamless Discovery will help keep its users entertained.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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