Rovi rolls out Apple iPad universal TV viewing guide

Rovi Corporation, which in December bought Sonic Solutions for $720 million, has rolled out a free TV viewing guide, "What's on TV," for the Apple iPad. A quick tour on an Apple iPad this morning showed the interface to be slick, easy to use and Rovi's What's on TV appfunctional.

Users enter their ZIP code and service provider--in this case Charter Communications--and immediately are brought to a screen that shows them a channel lineup and tells them what's on currently. Users can browse by time or channel, and can search for TV shows or actors.

Navigation is by touch and flick.

Touch a show, and a new screen comes up with a brief excerpt about the show, a listing and photos of the cast and crew (which you can select for a deeper dive), as well as a selection of similar shows to browse.

A separate area gives you the opportunity to check in and tweet your viewing plans with friends, look at recent tweets and includes a window that gives you information on where to watch the show. You also can send emails to your friends directly from the app.

The app provides a list of shows for a 24-hour period but, as of this morning, it didn't appear to be fully populated. The flick feature, which allows you to quickly go through the day's listings generally works well, but with nearly 1,000 channels to choose from, it can take awhile to get where you want to go. A nice touch would be a channel search option... maybe in the next iteration.

"With an enhanced visual experience and ability to engage with friends and family, the Rovi What's On TV app is intended to further connect people through a shared love of entertainment," said Corey Ferengul, executive vice president product management and marketing, Rovi Corporation.

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