CES: ActiveVideo Inks Pact With Funai For Over-The-Top TV

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ActiveVideo Networks struck an agreement with Funai Electric Co., under which the consumer electronics maker will embed the vendor's network-based CloudTV software in various Internet-connected HDTVs and Blu-ray Disc players.

The companies expect that products CloudTV-enabled products will be available at retail in the second quarter of 2011, with Funai's Philips Net-connected TVs to be the first brand to incorporate the CloudTV platform. However, Funai did not specify what services it will deliver through the ActiveVideo software.

Cablevision Systems is currently ActiveVideo's largest single customer.
The MSO uses the interactive TV system to deliver different services and
features to subscribers, like games and video mosaics.

The deal is the first consumer-electronics deal for ActiveVideo. Funai Electric manufactures Philips, Emerson, Magnavox and Sylvania brand televisions and Blu-ray Disc players.

Under the agreement, Funai will integrate ActiveVideo's CloudTV platform into select models of HDTVs and Blu-ray players, enabling viewers to enter a revolutionary environment in which Web-based video, rich graphics and compelling applications are 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," Funai Electric CEO Kazuhiko Yamamoto said in a statement. "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."

ActiveVideo's CloudTV architecture uses content stored and processed in the network and delivered as a single MPEG stream to a set-top box or CE device; key clicks from standard remote controls are passed back through the CE device to the network or headend.

ActiveVideo said it will demonstrate its software running on Funai devices in private demos at CES this week in Las Vegas.

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