San Jose, Calif. - Funai
Electric and ActiveVideo
Networks announced during International CES an agreement in principle that
they said will make Funai the first consumer electronics manufacturer to bring
interactive television solutions based entirely in the network cloud to
Funai Electric, which manufactures Philips-, Emerson-, Magnavox-
and Sylvania-brand televisions and Blu-ray players, said they "anticipate that
an announcement regarding availability of CloudTV-enabled products will be
issued in the near future."
The deal will enable the first cloud-based connected TV and
Blu-ray players in a wide range of models under the Philips brand in the United
States, without the need for a set-top box.
Under the agreement, Funai will integrate ActiveVideo's CloudTV
platform into selected television and Blu-ray models, enabling viewers to
access web-based video, rich graphics and applications streamed, not
downloaded, from servers in the network to Funai-made connected devices.
"At Funai, we believe that there is tremendous potential for
connected devices within every segment of the CE market," stated Kazuhiko
Yamamoto, Funai Electric executive officer. "By leveraging the power of
CloudTV, we can cost-effectively enable the availability of the new content and
functionality that can increase consumer satisfaction and drive sales for our
retail partners and ourselves."
Already in approximately 5 million homes with major cable and
IPTV operators in the United States and abroad, CloudTV enables differentiated
product and service offerings and advanced television capabilities without
significantly increasing BOM costs.
Content and applications from Web content creators, television
networks, advertisers and other media entities can be developed quickly for
CloudTV using standard Web tools, ActiveVideo said.
Viewers navigate ActiveVideo content using simple remote
"As consumers demand more from their television experience, there
is a growing need for the limitless resources that can expand interactivity
beyond the device-based widgets found in many of today's connected TVs and
other devices," said Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo Networks president and CEO.
"Funai's embrace of CloudTV places it squarely at the leading edge of a new
generation of television technology and opens the door wide to content
developers who are interested in reaching television audiences."
CloudTV leverages content stored and processed in the network
cloud to significantly expand the reach and availability of web-based user
experiences. Content is delivered as a single, adaptable MPEG stream to the CE
device, which passes key clicks from standard remote controls through the CE
device to the cloud.
The CloudTV architecture offers a variety of benefits for the CE
and developer communities, including the elimination of the need for more
expensive processing and storage capabilities in the CE device; a "One
Platform" approach in which a limitless array of content and applications can
be written once and delivered to any device; and the minimization of software
bugs by streaming, rather than downloading, content to the TV. For consumers, placing the intelligence in
the network, and not in the home, ensures maximum functionality throughout the
lengthy life spans that are typical of CE devices, even as web standards
ActiveVideo's CloudTV platform is available to all members of the
connected TV ecosystem: CE manufacturers, cable operators, web developers,
content producers and advertisers.