Content Discovery Platform
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A Content Discovery Platform is an implemented software platform for consumers to search for television content online using recommender system tools such as recommendations or TV search engine. It can be used to deploy new services or enhance existing systems whilst powering EPGs.
A content discovery platform utilizes television and video on demand meta-data in order to discover appropriate content, whilst reducing ongoing maintenance and development costs. A Content Discovery Platform delivers personalized content to websites, mobile devices and set-top boxes. It consists of key individual modules based on a Relevance Engine social search that suggests appropriate content according to individual preferences. As operators compete to be the gateway to home entertainment, personalized television is a key service differentiator.
In order to work with television related content, a search algorithm is used within a Content Discovery Platform to support traditional TV grid views, and also provide TV search results. Personalization and recommendation are tools that promote content effectively within a TV guide; these recommendations are either based on a single show, a set of shows, or a full user profile, and can be used to highlight scheduling, or video On demand, and pay television content within a TV guide. Bespoke analysis can also be undertaken to understand specific requirements relating to user behaviour and activity.
A variety of algorithms can be used:
- Collaborative filtering of different users’ behaviour, preferences, and ratings
- Automatic content analysis and extraction of common patterns
- Social recommendations based on personal choices from other people
On the television set a Content Discovery Platform can be integrated with the network infrastructure and middleware, but does not sit on the Set-top box. By integrating with the network, the platform acts as a cloud computing solution. This means that the solution requires minimal integration, and there are no additional set-top box costs.
Evolving landscape 
As the connected television landscape continues to evolve, search & recommendation are seen as having even more pivotal role in the discovery of content. With broadband connected devices, consumers are projected to have access to content from linear broadcast sources as well as internet television. Therefore there is a risk that the market could become fragmented, leaving it to the viewer to visit various locations and find what they want to watch in a way that is time-consuming and complicated for them. By using a search and recommendation engine, viewers are provided with a central ‘portal’ from which to discover content from a number of sources in just one location.
In 2006, Orca Interactive, a provider of IPTV and OTT middleware, launched COMPASS – a Content Discovery Platform that is personalized and provides recommendations to each individual member of the household rather than to the household as one entity. COMPASS utilizes the power of handheld devices such as tablets and smartphones to create a more personalized user experience of video consumption.
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