Macrovision, best known for its digital rights management software, officially changed its name today to Rovi. To celebrate, the company announced a new media guide, code named "Liquid." According to the press release, Liquid will merge television, Internet, and personal multimedia content into a single, sleek graphical interface. Rovi plans on releasing the guide to consumer electronics manufacturers in early 2010.
The media guide is broken up into three basic areas. First off is a FiOS-like interactive guide to broadcast TV, which appears to offer extensive information and playback options. The second major component will offer broadband services like Slacker Radio,, and YouTube XL, the large-screen-friendly version of the popular video streaming site. Rovi also announced that it is working with Blockbuster to integrate its OnDemand service for access to full-length movie rentals. Finally, the guide will be able to access and share personal media, such as a digital photo collection (although it's not clear how exactly you'll incorporate or share your own media). Liquid will also personalize your experience with recommendations from social networks like Flixster and by learning your preferences and tastes and incorporating them into user profiles.
In terms of design, the guide looks very impressive, but there is a visible error in the TV guide, as one Engadget commenter points out. In the featured image, 48 Hours Mystery, a CBS program, is also mistakenly listed under ABC. (Crave is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.) If this isn't a mock-up image, then Liquid is probably using preset data instead of pulling real guide data. It remains to be seen what the guide will actually look like in action.
Rovi is also rather vague about what exactly Liquid will be able to offer beyond the few announced features. For example, the press release says that the guide will provide access to "full length television and movie content for both free and paid services, as well as additional content including Internet video, popular music, social networking, and other Internet destinations." While the announced content certainly fits under that description, so does an extensive list of other destinations on the Internet, so we'll have to wait and see what else Liquid will support.
As of now, Rovi hasn't announced which companies or models will support Liquid, so we don't really know yet when (or even if) the guide will actually see the light of your TV.