Aptiv Digital, Inc.

October 03, 2005 14:57 ET

Aptiv Digital Pioneers Video Mosaic and iSubscribe™ for the Cable Industry

BURBANK, Calif.--(CCNMatthews - Oct 3, 2005) -

Aptiv Digital, Inc.:

-- Exciting New Features in Passport Echo™ and Passport DCT™ Give Cable Operators the Long Awaited Capability of Interactive Mosaic Video and Impulse Subscription, in Addition to a Variety of Other Integrated Applications and Enhancements

Aptiv Digital, Inc. (formerly Pioneer Digital Technologies Inc.) today announced new and more powerful versions of Passport Echo™ and Passport DCT™, the cable industry proven suites of interactive navigation software enjoyed by digital cable TV customers throughout North America, the Caribbean and Latin America. The company today unveiled a series of new features and applications representing significant product improvements and exciting user-friendly features.

The new Passport Echo DVR IPG version 2.7, and the new Passport DCT IPG version 2.7 boast two new primary applications: Interactive Video Mosaic and iSubscribe™. The Interactive Video Mosaic enables the cable operator to launch custom video venues that present multiple thumbnail video insets on one screen. Viewers will hear the audio for a channel simply by highlighting a video inset with their remote. They can also get more information about the channel and program, or in the case of Passport Echo, record the highlighted show.

iSubscribe is a very powerful new impulse subscription application enabling the cable operator to create a library of service offers such as VOD or premium channel packages. Customers will be able to use their remotes to view the subscription services, descriptions and pricing, and then purchase them with just a few button presses on the remote control.

In addition to Interactive Video Mosaic and iSubscribe, Passport Echo's enhancements continue with a variety of new integrated applications: Remote Wizard provides a unique step-by-step interactive tool enabling customers to program remote controls for multiple devices all by themselves, Passport Weather offers local and multi-city weather with on-going 5-day forecasts from Accuweather™, PassTime™ Games includes a package of three solitaire style card games in high resolution including traditional Klondike Solitaire, Twenty One or Bust, and 5 Card Stud Poker.

Passport Echo also provides customers with powerful new enhancements such as sorting features in the IPG and improved management of saved programs on the DVR. For example, with Passport Echo, customers can watch all of the recorded episodes of a series in one sitting by grouping a show's episodes together in one folder and then selecting the new Auto Play feature. All of the episodes will then be played back-to-back.

"Aptiv Digital is committed to giving cable operators the competitive advantage over alternative video service providers," remarked Neil Jones, President and COO of Aptiv Digital. "With over 10 years of experience in the cable video market, our clients have come to expect timely innovations and outstanding customer support. At the end of the day, our clients will provide their video customers with a richer television viewing experience, allowing them to quickly and easily navigate their digital offerings to get the most value out of their television experience."

Upgrades to the Passport Echo IPG include a redesigned settings menu now with high-resolution graphics, settings organized in expandable folders for improved navigation and a 1/4 screen video inset displaying the current channel. New sorting and filtering options along with a variety of new features ensures a more engaging TV experience.

Passport Echo 2.7 includes:

-- DVR Saved Shows List has expanded informational and usability features. One new option, "View Disk Info," displays a summary of DVR disk space usage (like a gas gauge) including the amount of hours of "Estimated Free Space," "Saved Until Manually Erased," and "Automatically Erased as Needed" content. Sorting and grouping options have also been added. The Saved Shows List allows viewers to arrange the DVR recorded programs alphabetically or by erasure date. Unseen shows are displayed with bolded titles while viewed shows are in standard font. Episodes of a series can be grouped into expandable and collapsible folders. When a grouped folder is selected, pressing the info button will display summary information such as the number of new recordings and play and erase options for episodes in the group, including: "Play All," "Play All New," "Erase All," and "Erase All Viewed."

-- Upcoming Episodes List option is a new option when selecting a future program in the IPG. Currently when selecting a future title in the Guide, users have the options of recording the show, setting up a series recording, tuning to that channel, or setting up a reminder timer. This new option, when selected, will open up the Title/Keyword search page automatically displaying all the episode titles of the selected program for the week.

-- New sorts and filter options in the Time View of the guide simplifies the user experience allowing the viewer to browse a more targeted set of listings. Passport Echo's IPG has been enhanced to include advanced sorting and filtering functions allowing the viewer to sort by channel number (standard view) or call letters. The Time View can also be filtered to display or hide any combination of Favorite Channels, Music Channels, On Demand Channels, PPV Channels, or HDTV Channels.

-- Parental Control lock by Content Advisory is the latest addition for discerning parents. Locking by the new Content Advisory system has been added to the ability to lock by rating, channel, time and title. Content advisories are broken down into categories and then more specific warnings within those categories. For example, parents can choose the "Violence" category and then block by "Intense Violence." Additionally, from the MSO's headend, certain channels can be automatically parental control locked as a default configuration on all set-tops. Users will have the ability to change these settings with a PIN.

-- Automatic Favorites will set a channel as a favorite based on how often a channel is viewed. The viewer can easily turn off this feature from the settings menu.

-- QuickTips Interface is automatically displayed to provide the viewer with information about, and instructions on the use of new features. QuickTips can also be accessed directly in the Guide or DVR list, and can be turned off by the viewer from the settings menu.

-- DAC Messaging Support, a feature present in Passport DCT since version 2.5, has been added to Passport Echo in this latest version to support messaging from the headend to all set-tops in the field.

About Aptiv Digital

Aptiv Digital, Inc. (formerly Pioneer Digital Technologies, Inc.) is a leading provider of interactive applications for digital cable TV. With millions of satisfied users, Passport™, Passport DCT™ and Passport Echo™ navigation and application suites are deployed internationally to cable systems on a variety of digital cable set-top platforms, from basic standard definition digital set-tops to advanced high-definition digital video recorder set-tops. Today it is the only company with interactive program guides (IPGs) on both of the major headend platforms, compatible with virtually every deployed digital cable set-top in the industry. Aptiv Digital is headquartered in Burbank, California. For more information, visit www.aptivdigital.com.

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