ActiveVideo Networks Unveils First Platform To Bring Web 2.0 Content and Interactivity to Television Through Any Internet-Connected Device

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

New Platform Expands Delivery of User-Generated Content, Social Media, Programming Channels, Games Beyond Cable and IPTV

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — ActiveVideo Networks™, which provides solutions that infuse TV with Web content and interactivity to more than 1 million cable and IPTV viewers, today announced expanded capabilities designed to simplify and accelerate the availability of Web-based programming and advertising on the television.

At the CONNECTIONS™ Conference in Santa Clara, ActiveVideo Networks is unveiling the first platform that enables consumers to experience Web-infused television — including user-generated content, social media, Web-based channels, games and other programming and applications — through virtually any network connected device. The enhanced version of ActiveVideo Networks’ proven ActiveVideo Distribution Network makes it easier than ever for consumers to include and share Web-based media in their television viewing experiences while remaining connected to their online social networks.

ActiveVideo allows viewers using standard remote controls to engage with Web content in a high-quality, highly-responsive television environment via existing and next-generation CE equipment, without the cost or complexity of integrating new devices into their home entertainment systems. ActiveVideo uniformly delivers programming as a single MPEG stream to Web-connected TVs, Blu-Ray players, video game consoles and other devices, as well as cable and IPTV set-top boxes.

“While consumers today have a clear desire to experience Web media on the television, they are often paralyzed by the need to choose among a number of conflicting technological options,” said Jeff Miller, president and CEO of ActiveVideo Networks. “Our platform simply utilizes the strength of the network and the MPEG-2, DivX® or H.264 decoders on every Web-connected device and set-top box, enabling even the simplest CE products to deliver Web media in an extraordinary, compelling viewing environment.”

ActiveVideo television channels seamlessly combine broadband video, graphics, viewer interaction and targeted, interactive advertising to provide an engaging customer experience. Broadband-driven channels are personalized in the network and delivered to the television via the ActiveVideo Distribution Network, dramatically reducing the cost of program production and keeping the features of high video quality, immediacy and remote control navigation that viewers expect from television.

ActiveVideo allows television viewing to be shaped by a wide range of entities, including traditional and Web-based programmers, local cable affiliates, consumer electronics companies, advertisers, social networks and even the audience itself. ActiveVideo immerses viewers in an engaging experience that combines Web video, casual gaming, Web 2.0 functionality and traditional television — including today’s widescreen, 16:9, Dolby-surround HD home entertainment environment.

“The enormous market fragmentation in Web-to-TV solutions makes it difficult for us to author interactive and timely content for many diverse platforms,” said Ed Skolarus, vice president, business and operations, for Fox Reality Channel. “This process is costly and requires many resources. What’s been needed to drive cost-effective distribution and viewer adoption is a solution based on existing Web technologies and video standards like MPEG that enables us to create content once for any connected device.”

With ActiveVideo, viewers can navigate a completely interactive environment of both linear and broadband programming including rich interfaces and graphics optimized for TV and remote control navigation. Its dozens of applications, which are all accessed using standard TV remote controls, include:

  • Social networking functionality that allows viewers to link online communities with television viewing, and to share recommendations of TV shows, movies or other media;
  • Video-on-Demand menuing that can drive usage by enabling viewers to sample VOD content and easily search for titles, actors and genres of interest;
  • Advertising showcases that can immerse viewers in a brand, create customized and personalized experiences, enable them to learn more about a particular product, and even allow them to make a purchase; and
  • Casual gaming from TAG Networks with a multitude of genres, including puzzle, arcade, card games, word, trivia, sports, and kids games that appeal to everyone in the family.

“More than anything else, consumers crave simplicity in their television viewing,” said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst with Parks Associates. “We believe that the ability of platforms like ActiveVideo to bring Web media directly to existing CE devices — with no investment in or integration of new hardware — will help to drive a new wave of consumer adoption and product innovation, as well as increased value for programmers and advertisers.”