tvtv Services

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tvtv Services
Traded as tvtv
Industry Media
Founded 1999
Headquarters Nürnberg, Germany
Owner rtv media group GmbH

tvtv Services, trading as tvtv, is a consumer oriented pan-European Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) service provider, owned by the arvato AG subsidiary rtv media group GmbH since January 2013. It was formerly broadcast on Freeview channel 304 (owned by YooMedia, timesharing with Absolute Radio) until 30th October 2008.


In 1999, the first tvtv website ( was launched by Munich-based company Fast TV Server AG to enable remote programming. In 2001 Fast TV Server announced the first personal video recorder (PVR) with remote programming,[1] and in 2002, the first TV set with EPG and PVR was launched.[2]

In November 2003, Sony acquired Fast TV Server AG's EPG services, and tvtv Services became a branch of Sony UK Ltd, but continued to be run from Munich, under the management of Philippe Boulanger.[3][better source needed] This was followed by the launch of first digital PVR in 2004 and the first customized web-EPG in 2005.

In September 2011, the ownership of tvtv was moved from Sony UK to the US Sony subsidiary Gracenote, under its German daughter company Gracenote GmbH. The purpose of the move was, according to the official press release, "to enable Gracenote to expand its portfolio of products and technology to Smart TV manufacturers, cable operators and broadcasters."[4]

In November 2012, tvtv suspended the offer for new subscriptions to their online services, and announced that existing subscriptions would not be extended.[5]

In January 2013, tvtv was moved from Gracenote GmbH to the arvato AG subsidiary rtv media group GmbH. With this transfer the rtv media group expands its portfolio to further digital products and is constantly on a growth course with positioning its products as leading platforms for program navigation and advertising media for online and crossmedia campaigns.


tvtv enables users to personalize their TV listings, receive personalized and collaborative recommendations, recommend programs to their friends and remotely control their recording lists via internet or mobile. Tvtv provides EPG technology and metadata to various set-top boxes and websites of large cable operators, digital TV sets, digital video recorders, TV tuner sticks, mobile devices[6] and web portals. In order to benefit from the premium services like remote recording, users need to have a compatible device and register to the service.[7] The delivery of metadata for set-top boxes, TV tuner sticks and hardware in general as well as the online recording function was ceased on February 28, 2013. Nevertheless, the tvtv websites for Germany, Austria and Switzerland are still operated by rtv media group.


tvtv collects television program data for more than 115 TV channels which have their origin in 38 countries, mainly in Europe.[8] tvtv works with editorial sources, local aggregators and TV companies directly to be able to deliver the pictures, and descriptions of the programs. The program data is then structured and put into one format and one categorization scheme and distributed mainly to consumer electronics devices and TV network operators. The transmission is hybrid; it can take place via broadcast play-out, and broadband through an application interface on the device or XML-file transfer, depending on the capabilities of the devices and the TV systems. The tvtv system is using open standards, like DVB, WST, DSM-CC, XML and JPEG for data provision and using a unified data format for digital broadcast, analog broadcast and Internet.

In addition, the EPG data is published on various websites, such as, or specially customized websites. In most of the cases, the content of the websites is available to the public. Owners of a tvtv enabled device can also remotely record programs to their devices through the tvtv websites.

A widget application is also available for German TV program information.[9] The widget gives you a quick access to program listings and allows you to search programs, define your own search filters, group your channels, set reminders, mark programs, or set recordings for your devices.

As one alternative to the EPG services such as tvtv, broadcasting device manufacturer could also use DVB-SI data which are a part of the DVB specification and are broadcast along with the TV content. The main difference between tvtv and DVB-SI is that information depth as well as preview period, varies a lot between channels and countries in the case of DVB-SI.

tvtv services has received various awards. In 2006, they received 5 stars from German Video magazine for being fast, intuitive, clearly arranged and having a valuable system of categories and subcategories, 21 days preview and a very precise search for keywords, genres and attributes such as 16:9-movies or Dolby.[10] In November 2009, tvtv was announced as the best EPG in Germany by Satvision, tested on the Humax iCord. The award was received for providing tips per genre, comfortable searches and high quality data with 14 days preview, descriptions and pictures.[11]

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