Cox Communications is working with NDS Group on a new set-top box interface that will allow Cox’s digital customers to access all of their digital TV services through a single, interactive user interface.

Cox, the nation’s third-largest cable operator, has designed an interactive user interface (UI) for existing and new set-top boxes that it said will be deployed widely sometime next year. Cox said the new UI, which replaces the Aptiv guide developed by Gemstar-TV Guide, is compatible with most of its existing set-top boxes and was designed to be compatible with tru2way enabled services.

The next generation UI integrates Cox's digital video services, which include video on VOD electronic program guide (EPG), DVRs and interactive applications, into a centralized, user-friendly UI.

Cox is helping with the overall design of the new UI while NDS will implement Cox’s vision.

Cox and NDS also have partnered to further enhance the user experience by enabling personalization by viewers to match their viewing preferences. Network-based community sharing, which enables friends and family members to recommend programs to one another, will also be added at some point.

"Cox is committed to giving our customers the best in simple, consistent and intuitive navigation," said Steve Necessary, vice president of video strategy and product management. "NDS has extensive knowledge in the development of advanced applications and user interfaces for multiple platforms. We are looking forward to working with them to deliver world class services to our customers, on a platform capable of supporting tomorrow's new technologies."

In January, Cox picked NDS’s IEX automated set-top box testing platform. NDS’s IEX combines hardware and software to automatically test all interactive applications on set-to boxes operating in cable and telecommunications environments, a job which was previously handled manually.

NDS lists both DirecTV and Cablevision among its customers wins on its Website.

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