Rentrak says it has been granted a patent for the way it measures the status of set-top boxes.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent 8,863,166 identifies when TV sets are off, but the set-top box is on. Rentrak says that process is crucial to measuring viewing via set-top boxes and that its approach includes more than 10,000 statistical models to identify specific viewing situations.
Rentrak uses set-top box data to get audience information from millions of TV, compared to the sampling system employed by its larger rival Nielsen.
“This is great news for Rentrak and the video industry,” Rentrak’s CEO Bill Livek said in a statement. “This patent recognizes 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.”