ActiveVideo Networks has scored a big win, announcing that Liberty Global, the largest international cable operator with over 24 million subscribers, has chosen ActiveVideo's CloudTV software to enhance Liberty's rollout of Horizon TV, its next-gen video platform. Sachin Sathaye, ActiveVideo's VP of Strategy and Marketing, told me that Liberty will use CloudTV as a complement to Horizon for existing set-top boxes and connected TV devices (i.e. where new Horizon STBs aren't deployed). Services will include cloud DVR, VOD navigation and advanced apps. Timing for rollout hasn't been disclosed yet.
As I wrote in June, the big advantage of CloudTV is that rich HTML5 applications can be run on a gamut of devices, including older pay-TV STBs and newer connected TV devices. CloudTV accomplishes this by moving processing to the cloud and then delivering the data via an MPEG stream to a small client running in the device.
As a result, pay-TV operators can provide richer VOD and other experiences, which can be updated far more frequently than the 12-18 month STB development cycles that Sachin said are typical in the closed STB world. This is critical for pay-TV operators' services to be competitive with new OTT and mobile experiences (see Yahoo Screen for a great example of how high the bar is now getting on mobile in particular).
ActiveVideo also announced progress with 3 other European pay-TV operators, Deutsche Telecom's research arm, T-Labs, Ziggo, a Netherlands pay-TV operator, and Glashart Media, part of KPN, the big Dutch telecom/IPTV operator.
T-Labs successfully completed lab and field trials of CloudTV, and will now begin a market trial in 6 countries starting with Croatia in Q4. Ziggo will expand the use of its HDMI dongle to deliver VOD services to connected TV devices using CloudTV. And Glashart has upgraded all of its interactive services to run on CloudTV.
Together with ActiveVideo's recently announced U.S. wins with Charter and Cablevision, the company is gaining broad acceptance for its cloud-based approach to VOD UIs and other services.