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CES Report: ActiveVideo Finds its Moment with CloudTV Platform

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ActiveVideo has been ahead of the curve for much of its seven years. Now, with connected TV usage going mainstream and streaming video commonplace, it's looking for its moment.

The company is at International CES giving demos of CloudTV H5, the version of its cloud-based streaming service it introduced in May, 2012. CloudTV is a platform for delivering cutting-edge visual interfaces, apps, games, and more. Coded in HTML5, the platform renders video in the cloud and sends an H.264 stream to the receiving device. The only thing that device needs is a 200k thin client.

The result is that even simple hardware can show complex navigations, and the look of the service can be updated without any hardware changes. At CES, ActiveVideo is showing off a variety of attractive examples, including an eight-screen visual channel guide (no tuners required, since the whole stream is rendered in the cloud) and a multi-screen Olympics interface it made for a Comcast trial that let viewers see one large screen of an event with multiple smaller screens below; viewers could switch the large image freely to get a better look at any event. ActiveVideo is even showing off voice navigation from mobile phones: just speak a command and watch the correct content appear on the screen.

The CloudTV platform is meant to be versatile, so that clients can hang their own apps on it. The team pitch at CES is that this is a far less expensive option than a hardware solution, and the interface can be modified or upgraded at a fraction of the cost.

CloudTV is already used by Cablevision, as well as a handful of other providers, such as Ziggo in the Netherlands. The team at ActiveVideo are hoping to boost that client roster in a hurry. The ahead-of-the-curve company has found its moment, and it had better hurry before the rest of the industry catches up.

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