The aim is to enhance the TV browsing and content discovery experience for Telenet’s 1.8 million cable TV subscribers.
Belgium’s largest cable operator Telenet has deployed Media Distillery’s Image Distillery solution.
Telenet customers now benefit from 3,000 attractive and engaging images generated daily which represent programmes in their User Interface (UI) thanks to a fully automated, AI-driven system.
This new deployment, enhancing UX across 20 full-time channels, is part of a new multi-year agreement which demonstrates Telenet’s ongoing trust in Media Distillery’s ability to help improve user experience (UX) and encourage subscriber engagement.
For each show, the AI-enabled Image Distillery solution captures several candidate images, and automatically strips out blank spaces as well as subtitles and graphics which might interfere with onscreen channel logos. It then resizes and crops the stills to create images likely to appeal to the viewer, with eye-catching and informative representations which illustrate the programme, episode by episode.
The system evaluates and ranks the candidate images for each show based on pre-set quality criteria; it then automatically selects the best one and the operator can immediately utilise it in the UI, even during the show’s transmission. The solution ensures the image chosen to be displayed in the UI is crisp and blur-free, that the actors’/presenters’ eyes are open, and the characters’ positioning in-frame is aesthetically pleasing.
“We have such a depth of linear channels, there is great disparity among them as regards the variety of images we have at our disposal to use in our EPG,” explains Ivor Micallef, Director of Entertainment Products at Telenet. “While some of the bigger broadcasters dedicate a lot of editorial effort into curating their visuals and programme information, not all do, and this can be especially hard for some of the smaller broadcasters.”
“We know both anecdotally and intuitively that subscribers can get annoyed when presented with an image of a programme which lacks any information or representation of a particular episode,” he said. “Users today are accustomed to the world of apps and streaming, where content is attractively visualized. We wanted to find a way to populate our browsing experience with more visual content, and to do so in an attractive, smart and efficient way.”
This is not the first Media Distillery deployment for Telenet. In 2018, Telenet deployed EPG Correction from Media Distillery. EPG Correction makes automatic replay start-time adjustments to exactly align with actual start and end times of TV programmes as they are broadcast. As a result, users can navigate programmes more accurately, and enjoy a harmonious viewing experience, without having to watch pre-show ads or suffering their desired content being cut off.
“We are extremely proud that Telenet continues to rely on Media Distillery technology with its deployment of Image Distillery,” says Roland Sars, CEO of Media Distillery. “Since we began working with the company back in 2018, Telenet has demonstrated an abiding forward-thinking philosophy, and a willingness to embrace new technology in order to continuously deliver a better user experience to its subscribers.”
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