TiVo unveils the predictive powers of its new Hydra interface

The new interface is built on top of technology provided by TiVo-owned metadata subsidiary Digitalsmiths.

LAS VEGAS — While it was atypically bereft of any major hardware introductions at the Consumer Electronics Show, TiVo Corp. did conduct one of the event’s more anticipated presentations in terms of video entertainment technology.

TiVo further unveiled its new, radically reconfigured user interface (aka “user experience,” or “UX”), which has been operating under the code name “Project Hydra.” TiVo first announced the UX overhaul in September.

Speaking to FierceOnlineVideo shortly before delivering the presentation, TiVo VP of Strategy Paul Stathacopoulos said the new interface took two years to develop, with TiVo engineers redesigning the company’s interface from the “core up.”

Paul Stathacopoulos

“A lot of what TiVo has done over the years has become iterative,” noted Stathacopoulos, a longtime Rovi executive. “They had a core platform, and they put a lot of features on top of that.”

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The new UX changes everything, right down to the TiVo’s traditional blue backdrop, which is now opaque with translucent images of whatever programming is relevant at the time.

Stathacopoulos used words like “experience” in lieu of “platform” for the interface, which is built on top of technology provided by TiVo-owned metadata subsidiary Digitalsmiths. 

The "Hydra" name comes from the UX’s ability to take programming from many different “heads”—linear, SVOD, cable VOD, live-streaming, transactional, etc.—and distill it into a dynamic program guide that that, theoretically, shows you only what you might want to watch first. 

“We’re trying to answer the question, how do we get the viewer from the on button to the show they want to watch in 10 to 20 seconds,” Stathacopoulos said. 

The new UX will be deployed across all of TiVo’s product lines—both commercially and for its MSO partnerships. The company hasn’t specified when the first deployment will occur.