Cox Communications has announced its new Trio program guide for its new Plus Package customers. The advanced interactive programming guide offers whole home DVR service, additional DVR storage space and additional high-definition (HD) channels.

Plus Package will debut in select Cox markets in the second quarter and will be deployed to Cox’s entire footprint by year-end.

The Plus Package subscription gives access to Cox’s Trio program guide, designed by Cox in partnership with Frog Design and implemented by NDS.

The Trio guide features three panels on a single screen to make content browsing easier and more intuitive. Panel one (left) lists channels vertically in numerical order. Panel two (middle) shows programs on the selected channel, and panel three (right) gives a detailed description of the program selected in the middle pane.

The Trio guide also endows customers with the ability to search and browse related content across three platforms – linear airings, on demand titles and DVR recordings.

"After extensive research and thorough review of available guide options, we determined that the best way to meet customers’ needs was to design our own guide from scratch," said Lisa Pickelsimer, executive director of video product development, Cox, in a statement. "We involved our customers all along the way in our development process.  Customers are frustrated with the limited capabilities of simple grid guides and many have resorted to channel surfing only a small number of favorite channels."

Cox is using tru2way-based Cisco 8642 HD/DVR and 1642 HD receivers to deploy Plus Package and these will be used in all Cox markets, including Cox’s Motorola environments. This marks the first time that a cable company broadly implements a cross platform set-top solution.

The new Cisco set-tops also have the capability to tune above 860 Mhz, where Cox will transmit the additional HD channels included with Plus Package in markets so enabled. Cox is among the first cable operators to begin delivering video in 860 Mhz spectrum. (For more, click here).

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