Active Video, Funai Bring Cloud Computing to TV Sets

Cloud computing is coming to TV sets as Funai Electric Co., Ltd. and Active Video Networks inked an agreement in principle that will make Funai the first consumer electronics manufacturer to bring interactive television solutions based entirely in the network cloud to connected televisions.
Funai Electric manufactures Philips, Emerson, Magnavox and Sylvania brand televisions and Blu-ray players.  Funai and Active Video anticipate that an announcement regarding availability of CloudTV-enabled products will be issued in the near future.
Under the agreement, Funai will integrate Active Video’s CloudTV platform into selected television and Blu-ray player makes and models, 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,” says Kazuhiko Yamamoto, executive officer of Funai Electric. “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 five 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. Viewers navigate Active Video content using standard 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,” adds Jeff Miller, president and CEO of Active Video Networks. “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 rich, Web-based user experiences. Content is delivered as a single, adaptable MPEG stream to the CE device, which passes keyclicks from standard remote controls through the CE device to the cloud.
Active Video’s CloudTV platform is available to all members of the connected TV ecosystem: CE manufacturers, cable operators, Web developers, content producers and advertisers.