Consumer viewership information provider Rentrak has been granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for the method and system behind measuring the status of return path TVs (also known as set-top boxes). This is an important component of Rentrak’s massive and passive ratings service, which will soon measure 60 million return path TVs for live and DVR viewing and more than 114 million TVs for Video on Demand viewing.
US Patent 8,863,166 is for a system to identify when TV sets are off, but the set-top-box is on. Because it often happens that a set-top box is left on when the television is turned off, this process is crucial to the measurement of viewing based on return-path TVs. Rentrak’s approach includes more than 10,000 statistical models to identify specific viewing situations.
“This is great news for Rentrak and the video industry,” said Rentrak’s Vice Chairman and CEO Bill Livek. “This patent recognises the fact that only Rentrak has the intellectual property and years of experience to precisely measure TV viewing everywhere. This technology is an integral part of providing massive and passive television measurement for our clients.”