Advanced Television

Sky Q unveils voice search

March 22, 2017

By Colin Mann

UK pay-TV service Sky is adding voice search and new personalisation features to its Sky Q platform, which it says will make it quicker and easier for people to access to the movies, shows and sports they love to watch.

With voice search, viewers can find TV by pressing and holding the voice button on the side of the Sky Q touch remote, and simply saying what they’re looking for. Customers at home can ask Sky Q to take them to ‘Zootropolis’, ‘Billions’ or the ‘Liverpool game’ and access a great line-up of TV.

Movie buffs wanting to be a little more adventurous can even search using some of the most iconic quotes, including “Say hello to my little friend” and “I’ll have what she’s having.” To discover something new, users can search a genre with a specific time, age or star rating, such as ‘comedy movies,’ ‘live cricket on this weekend’ and ‘Tom Hanks’ movies rated five stars’. Or find a movie and filter by award-winning actors and directors, including ‘films with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone’ or ‘movies directed by Michael Bay.’

Alongside voice search, a collection of features will also roll out to Sky Q including:

  • My Q: The My Q section becomes the new Sky Q homepage. With customers wanting even more personalisation and advice on the best new shows, it will feature recommendations based on household viewing and top new series from all channels across Sky Q. And the Continue Watching section will allow customers to pick up where they left off from an episode in a series such as Game of Thrones and Fortitude. Plus navigation is simpler, with Recordings and TV Guide only a swipe away from the new My Q homepage
  • Facebook videos: Now watch Facebook videos with the current My Photos application, and bring friends and family together to share Facebook memories on the big screen at home. Customers can use the My Photos App on Sky Q to sign into their Facebook profile and see their latest photos and videos

“’May the force be with you’ with your new voice search,” commented Luke Bradley-Jones, Sky’s brand director of TV and content products. “Just ask Sky Q to ‘show me the money’ by pressing the side of the touch remote, making it even easier and faster to find, discover and watch the TV you love.”

Voice search joins a number of existing features on Sky Q changing the way people watch TV, from ‘find my remote’, to the ability to pause and carry on from TV to tablet around the house. And with the Sky Q app, customers have the flexibility to take their recordings with them to watch even when they’re out of the home.

Sky plans further enhancements for Sky Q later in 2017, including voice control and sports restart. In 2018, Sky will launch Sky TV without the need for a satellite dish, bringing Sky to millions more homes.

Entertainment technology and audience insights specialist TiVo has joined forces to deliver the voice search enhancement. TiVo is providing Sky Q with a natural language, voice-based search solution, making it quicker and easier for Sky Q customers to find the content they are looking for.

The solution lets consumers use their voice to search for digital entertainment across linear TV and video on demand (VoD). By implementing Conversation Services on Sky Q, Sky is making it easier for customers to discover entertainment, sport and movies by providing a conversational experience through language recognition and naturally spoken responses.

“With Sky Q, we continue to innovate and bring fantastic new features to our customers, who we know are watching more TV than ever before. We want to make it even faster and easier for them to search, discover and watch TV.” said Bradley-Jones. “That’s why we’ve introduced voice search. With the technology delivered by TiVo, we are enabling our customers to use natural, voice-based queries to find new and favourite TV to enjoy.”

The solution is built on TiVo’s knowledge graph engine, a dynamic knowledge base of entertainment metadata, capable of understanding trends and conversations. Updated continuously via data ingestion and news crawlers, the knowledge graph includes information produced and curated by hundreds of content editors, predictive search results, and behavioural indicators from social networks.

“With more and more content choices and a great range of entertainment available across TV, TiVo is helping partners like Sky provide the best user experience whilst driving content consumption,” said Matt Berry, senior vice president and general manager, advanced search and recommendations, TiVo. “We are pleased to extend our long-standing relationship with Sky. This implementation further reinforces the value of TiVo’s product portfolio in bringing the latest capabilities to pay-TV homes across Europe.”

Categories: Articles, Broadcast, In Home, Middleware, OTT, Pay TV, Search/Recommendation, STB