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Cisco allies with ActiveVideo

Thu, 01/12/2012 - 2:19pm
Brian Santo

Cisco's ability to add cloud-based services to its Videoscape TV platform, announced earlier this week at CES, is predicated in part on technology from ActiveVideo Networks, according to the latter.

ActiveVideo is the company behind Cablevision's interactive TV features.

ActiveVideo spent much of the last couple of years fighting with Verizon about the validity of its patents. It has won several consecutive court decisions and is now collecting royalties, though Verizon vows yet another appeal.

Cisco has been working with ActiveVideo for some time, with intermittent news of how the two have been working on interfaces between their respective products.

Though neither company has formally said much about their relationship this week, ActiveVideo released a comment from its president and CEO, Jeff Miller, essentially confirming the two are working together.

"ActiveVideo's CloudTV solution cuts through the device chaos created by diverse set-top box models and helps Videoscape become widely and quickly deployed," Miller said. "We are delighted to have the world's largest networking infrastructure provider expanding ActiveVideo's value proposition globally and helping our customers deliver a uniform viewing experience to their subscribers."

Separately, ActiveVideo launched an updated version of its CloudTV platform that supports applications written in HTML5.

While the cable industry has been establishing EBIF and tru2way as a common environment for writing and hosting applications, the Web-based HTML5 environment has the potential to be as useful, if not more so, based on expectations that it will eventually become almost ubiquitous.

ActiveVideo is clearly open to that possibility. It explains that HTML5 will "enable the fastest and most flexible delivery of unsurpassed user experiences to any set-top box."

Using the platform, multichannel providers can offer rich, animated "iVOD" experiences that enhance VOD with intelligent search, discovery and personalization, creating engagement and driving revenues in a multi-screen environment, ActiveVideo explained.

"Navigation is the 'killer app' for service providers," said Miller. "Cloud TV H5 is – without question – the fastest route to the next-generation VOD navigation experiences that can help viewers find and watch their favorite content within vast on-demand libraries. In fact, CloudTV H5 significantly improves the service velocity of all apps."

"Until now, television apps have been limited by set-top box diversity and the need for complicated development tools – and programmers who know how to use them," Miller continued. "CloudTV H5 solves both by bringing the power of an HTML5 browser to any digital set-top box. It enables service providers to create navigation interfaces – or any apps – and to deploy them through any network or device, within a fraction of the time that historically has been needed for new apps."

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