ActiveVideo lands former TWC’er Callahan

Mon, 08/04/2008 - 8:30am
Brian Santo

John Callahan, who made his name as one of Time Warner Cable’s interactive TV gurus, has joined ActiveVideo Networks as chief technology officer.

He said he joined ActiveVideo to pursue his vision for interactivity and usability of TV. “A user experience as elegant as Apple’s is what I’ve been after,” Callahan told CED. The aim is to make it easier to navigate through all the choices.

“I want to get away from the spreadsheet – the rows and columns. If I’m watching ‘Rome,’ maybe the interface gives you more historical stuff as options.

“The idea is for the interface to give viewers options they’ll want,” he continued. “I call it never-ending navigation. Trademark!”

ActiveVideo Networks (formerly ICTV) specializes in what it calls “intelligent video streaming,” essentially creating a unicast stream to a specific subscriber. The capability relies on Web technology to provide both content and interactive functionality to a variety of platforms, including TVs and handheld devices.

The company has a client that “plays well with EBIF and OCAP,” Callahan said. “We’ve already done integration with EBIF and tru2way,” he added.

The Web-based capabilities ActiveVideo provides extend to community and social networking, and ad tracking.

Callahan most recently served as senior vice president of software engineering for the Time Warner Cable Advanced Technology Group. He was a principal developer of Time Warner’s MystroTV project. He also led teams in the development of several Time Warner Cable services, including StartOver, caller ID on TV and cable’s first OCAP (tru2way) set-top navigator.

He was also involved in the creation of the Pegasus digital television system architecture, TWC’s Full Service Network and its implementation of the Interactive Services Architecture (ISA), video-on-demand (VOD), and CableLabs’ emerging EBIF ETV standard.

Prior to joining Time Warner Cable in 1993, Callahan had spent more than eight years in systems software engineering and development with AT&T Bell Labs and US West.

“John Callahan’s vision and product leadership have consistently and dramatically improved the way consumers experience and engage with video,” said Jeff Miller, president and CEO of ActiveVideo Networks.  “His passion for personalized services, his understanding of industry needs and his technical expertise all will help to drive the continued development of ActiveVideo to meet the needs of a new breed of television viewer and generate new revenues for programmers, service providers and CE manufacturers.”

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