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The Electronic Program Guide
The listener experience
How might this look to listeners? The examples in Figure 2 (next page) are actual displays from a Unique Interactive commercial deployment of an EPG service in the United Kingdom. In this example of a live service, a listener can drill down for EPG information on a favorite station. Starting from the top left, the listener first selects a station (Talksport), then selects a day (25 June - 26 June), then selects a time period (16:00-18:59), then finally selects the program. The receiver displays show some program-related information. The user can then directly tune to the station, or set up a reminder to listen or a recorder to capture the program.
Notice also that the EPG display can be used for a call to action. The example here shows a call to action inviting the listener to call the show (on a telephone number that costs the listener 10 pence (15 cents) per minute) or send a text message to the show (with a 50-pence (74 cents) charge plus any other applicable text fees for that listener's mobile phone service plan). Hot links to websites or social networking services can be selected to connect the listener to information about the program or its sponsors.
Unique Interactive's experience is that about 10 percent of the DAB receivers in the U.K. market are currently equipped with EPG capability, and the results are encouraging. The BBC uses an EPG service both via the Internet and over the air that makes possible a type of multicast programming and scheduling promotion that would not otherwise be possible.
The benefits of an HD Radio EPG service from a listener's perspective makes the radio more convenient to use. EPGs will enable a recording solution that will introduce time-shifting to radio, something television viewers have long enjoyed. For receiver manufacturers, EPG receivers offer an opportunity to increase profit margin on unit sales by providing value-added features and functionality. EPGs can help broadcasters by supporting forward promotion and helping listeners discover their stations and programming more effectively.
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