has secured a new patent for a software application that offers a solution to the challenge of presenting television viewers with the content they want to watch. U.S. Patent 7,155,674 is embodied in SeaChange's Channel Overlay application, which organizes a subscriber's experience according to programs currently being watched.
Triggered by a remote control command, the application overlays video with a menu of hotlinks to relevant on-demand content options and linear broadcast channels.
Television operators can then create intuitive navigation that aggregates on-demand content and live channels within the context of programming genres (sports, game shows, children's, etc.), studio and network brands, niche markets and other factors.
"Whether deployed on its own or in conjunction with an electronic program guide, Channel Overlay lets subscribers navigate within the context of their interests, getting them right to the content they want in spite of having access to hundreds of channels and thousands of hours of on-demand programs," said George Breen, president, SeaChange Interactive division of SeaChange International. "Operators can also give a strategic lift to their content partners with overlays that can keep subscribers navigating within their brands. The kind of highly organized and predictive presentation that Channel Overlay achieves is critical as operators continue to serve the 'long tail' of content."
Channel Overlay was invented by Breen and Stephen Kraiman, vice president of technology for SeaChange Interactive, a software development organization with a 15-year heritage in advanced television applications.
Channel Overlay is available as a standalone application or as an integrated component of SeaChange's TV Navigator Four and Multiverse middleware and VODlink EPG and complementary applications. These solutions are deployed on more than seven million two-way digital set-top boxes worldwide, more than any other middleware.