Netflix Prize Runner-Up Unveils Programming Recommendations Technology

--Gravity R&D's "Gravity Impress" Demo'd Running on Mediaroom in Microsoft's NAB Booth

A Hungarian company called Gravity R&D contacted [itvt] Monday to alert our readers to the international unveiling of its new Gravity Impress recommendations technology, running on the Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV platform, at the NAB show in Las Vegas this week. The technology, which the company says has been fully integrated with Mediaroom 2.0, is being demo'd in Microsoft's booth (SL220).

Gravity R&D was the leader of The Ensemble Team, which achieved the highest overall score in the Netflix Prize, the recommendations engine competition organized by the eponymous movie rental company (note: The Ensemble Team did not, however, actually win the prize--an explanation of why it did not can be found here).

According to Gravity R&D, Impress offers high-quality, personalized recommendations to each and every user by instantly learning the user's TV watching habits. Its recommendations include live shows, VOD content and soon-to-be-aired programs, the company says, and it can also automatically schedule recordings. In order to make its recommendations, it employs collaborative filtering and content-based and behavior-based recommendation techniques. "It is a pleasure for us that we can leverage the expertise gained at the Netflix Prize to show Impress integrated with Mediaroom 2.0," Gravity R&D CEO, Peter Csikos, said in a prepared statement. "In today's world of digital television and IPTV, consumers faced with a dizzying array of programming choice are looking for user-friendly, custom-tailored solutions offering personalized and relevant content recommendation. We created Impress to comply with these end-user requirements and to help our customers--IPTV and cable TV service providers--to better monetize these requirements." Added Ted Malone, senior director of marketing for Microsoft's Media Platform's Business: "Microsoft Mediaroom has become the world's most deployed IPTV platform because we focus on responding to the needs of our customers to deliver more content and more differentiated experiences while still maintaining a focus on operational efficiency. We're pleased to see developers like Gravity incorporating their recommendations engine into the Mediaroom platform. As the content choices for consumers expand, meaningful and relevant recommendations are important in delivering rich entertainment experiences that connect subscribers with the content they care about most."