Search software company Autonomy has announced what it terms the world’s first automatic technology enabling real-time personalized television, aimed specifically at the emerging market for internet protocol TV services.

Autonomy’s new IDOL IPTV Suite allows the automatic processing and retrieval of television, video and audio content, from any source including over-the-air broadcasts and free internet content.

The software can automatically capture and index a video stream, enabling users to search for specific clips, or alert them to related media content as it appears.

“This product enables IPTV providers to offer today’s consumers with an easier way of finding video and audio content,” said Dr Mike Lynch, chief executive of Autonomy. “With Autonomy’s IDOL IPTV Suite we have entered the next logical step in innovation, applying Autonomy’s capabilities to Internet TV and video, offering broadcasters the platform to provide consumers with a revolutionary opportunity to reject their role as a merely passive audience and create their own interactive TV.”

IDOL apparently stands for Intelligent Data Operating Layer, which the company claims integrates unstructured, semi-structured and structured information, with the ability to process text, voice and video and identify and rank the main concepts within them.

The software has already been used by the internet television search engine Blinkx. Suranga Chandratillake founded blinkx after leaving Autonomy where he was chief technology officer.

Autonomy Corporation, based in Cambridge England, reported its twentieth consecutive quarter of profitability, with revenues for the last three months of 2004 of $18.6m, up 9.8% on the same period the previous year, with a gross profit of $17.9m.