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Miniweb's Infinite Playlist

At their tiny pod in the IPTV Zone Ian Valentine and Andrew Carver, the management muscle of Miniweb, were demonstrating the Miniweb Interactive Services platform. Using an Intel CE3100 powered STB, the newly ported client looked slick and smooth sliding its translucent menus from screen left, right and bottom. Also, the blinkx integration is complete and has helped deliver some powerful new features.

The Liquid Media Guide will bring together broadcast TV, broadband media, and personal media into a single interface. With the pending integration of Tru2Way, the Liquid Media Guide will also incorporate on-demand and PVR content from PayTV operators. Leveraging the rich metadata that Rovi has acquired with the earlier purchases of TV Guide and AMG, searching and discovering entertainment (be it video, songs, games, or photos) will be much easier for consumers.

The client really does an outstanding job of leveraging the Internet to enhance the video that’s playing on the TV. For example, when you’re watching a BBC channel and you pop out the right hand menu it is customized for the BBC. You can get show information; find out what’s coming up on that channel and more. Watch an Internet video from blinkx and the right hand menu is customized for blinkx.

Another example of this integration is the search function. The search proceeds fairly normally providing a list of suggested videos from which you can select. Once you pick one and start watching it the system picks other videos like it and automatically creates a playlist of them. If you do nothing else, each of these videos will play sequentially. It’s like having a custom channel on everything that you search for!

This approach is leveraged again when you select “favorites” from the left-hand menu. The system has been quietly building a profile of your likes and dislikes. When you select “favorites” it does a custom search based on these preferences and suggests a bunch of videos for you to watch. Select one and once again it builds a playlist for you. It might be interesting to combine Miniweb’s “favorites” with the Orca “I’m Bored” social feature we talked about yesterday.

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