Device puts TV guide onscreen

TeleCruz Technology Inc., developers of cost-effective, single-chip solutions for interactive television, has entered into a licensing agreement with Gemstar International Group Ltd., the leading provider of electronic programming guides.

The agreement authorizes TeleCruz to incorporate Gemstar’s electronic programming guide (EPG) technology into its proprietary chip. Under the agreement’s terms, Gemstar will be the only EPG that TeleCruz will use in its chip, giving television manufacturers that are current Gemstar licensees a solution without incurring substantial development costs or effort.

The two companies intend to develop additional features and functions, including digital broadcasting, advanced information services, URL-linking capabilities, e-commerce and two-way interactivity.

“As the next generation of televisions become increasingly interactive, a cornerstone of this evolution will be the electronic programming guide,” said Sean Kaldor, VP of consumer device research and worldwide PC tracking for IDC Research. “Efforts to provide better integrated and lower-cost EPG solutions can accelerate and leverage this trend.”

Gemstar’s electronic program-guide services allow a user to view a television program guide onscreen, obtain details about a show, sort shows by themes or categories and select shows for tuning or recording, all through the remote control.

In the United States, data for Gemstar’s electronic program-guide services are carried on the ABC, Fox, CBS, NBC, UPN and PBS networks, by hundreds of over-the-air broadcast stations, and on a number of cable systems.

Gemstar’s interactive program guide has been built into a number of models of new televisions, VCRs and TV/VCR combination units. The electronic program guide is also licensed to cable, telco and MMDS service providers, and has been integrated into direct-broadcast-satellite receivers, digital and advanced analog cable set-top boxes, PCTV and other Internet devices.

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