announces the beta launch of Smart Guide, the first personalized Interactive Program Guide for discovering and viewing Web video content on Smart TVs using the same intuitive way people choose and watch TV programs. Smart Guide is organized in a 9x9 grid with 81 channels that users can populate with continuous feeds of video episodes based on their personal interests. Users can share their Smart Guides with their social community via Facebook.
According to research firm Display Search, 21 percent of all TVs shipped worldwide in 2010 were Internet-enabled, and the market is expected to grow to 144 million units sold in 2014. Watching Web videos on a larger screen will lead people to expect a more TV-like discovery and viewing experience, and offerings that combine the Web and TV such as Google TV. Searching for individual videos among the hundreds of thousands of Web videos uploaded daily to the Internet misplaces the burden of finding content on the user and does not provide the means to view videos in a continuous stream.
9x9 simplifies Web video discovery by providing a directory of online video episodes that are neatly organized into channels. Users personalize and fill their own Smart Guide with channels based on their personal interests and lifestyle. The channels can be deleted and exchanged with content from 9x9's directory, which is continually updated by users and content owners adding new RSS or YouTube channel links. With the Smart Guide, flipping between channels is nearly instantaneous, providing a user experience focused on enjoying rather than searching for the content.
Through the selected channels, a personal Smart Guide also acts as a profile of a user's interests and lifestyle and can be shared with their social community via Facebook. This adds an important social aspect to video discovery and viewing. People can follow the latest updates to their friends' Smart Guides, as well as create communities and fan pages around their shared programs, channels and preferred content creators.
'We have spent the last two years developing a technology that can truly revolutionize how Web video episodes are found and consumed,' said Sherman Tuan, CEO of 9x9. 'As online content migrates to Smart TVs, 9x9 will transform discovery and viewing of Web videos into a more TV-like experience, enabling users to watch them continuously. Our Smart Guide for Web video is our first milestone and we look forward to building upon this platform with enhanced capabilities.'
See a demo, sign up for and create your own Smart Guide for Web video for free at http://www.9x9.tv/