With Cox Communications preparing to expand its use of Gemstar-TV Guide’s Passport interactive program guide (IPG) from its Motorola systems to its Scientific Atlanta systems next year, the MSO has negotiated a new multi-year deal with the IPG vendor.
The deal includes product agreements covering Gemstar-TV Guide’s native and OCAP versions of Passport. The contract also covers various features and services of My TV Guide, including remote record. Cox also negotiated for an IPG patent license.
Part of the promise of OCAP (now “OpenCable,” and soon to be “Tru2way”) is the ability to support any software on any box. One of the most prominent examples envisioned by MSOs has been propagating a single IPG across their entire footprints to provide a consistent look-and-feel and brand identity, and a consistent interface for common features and applications.
Cox said it selected Passport as the common IPG largely because of its performance as a gateway for on-demand services.
“We chose Gemstar’s Passport and Echo IPG because it provides an excellent user interface for our customers’ use, especially with video-on-demand,” said Steve Necessary, Cox’s VP of video strategy and product management. “This is critically important today and will be even more so in the future as our video services become increasingly interactive. This will enable all of our customers to benefit from the same user interface and take advantage of similar applications across disparate set-top box hardware environments.”
Tom Carson, president of the North American IPG Group at Gemstar-TV Guide, said: “We are happy to extend our long relationship with Cox through this new agreement. The Passport IPG solution makes sense for Cox, as it will allow them a seamless transition to a single-source IPG solution throughout their systems. We’re also happy that our new agreement includes select My TV Guide features and services, like remote record, which Cox may begin to deploy in the months ahead.”