San Jose, Calif. -
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 connected televisions.
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 controls.
"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 evolve.
ActiveVideo's CloudTV platform is available to all members of the connected TV ecosystem: CE manufacturers, cable operators, web developers, content producers and advertisers.