CloudTV’s “write-once deploy-everywhere” content environment eliminates the dependency on consumer device resources that has fragmented user experiences and limited the reach of “TV Everywhere”-type services. Using CloudTV to render the user interface in the cloud, service providers, content providers and content aggregators can offer rich, consistent user experiences and applications across existing and new STBs, as well as consumers’ existing CE hardware.
Where it potentially gets interesting for TiVo followers are a few comments from FierceCable’s Charter coverage:
Charter said it plans to conduct a market trial of CloudTV in an unidentified cable system. […] Charter CEO Tom Rutledge has told analysts in recent months that the MSO is working with TiVo on new user interfaces. ActiveVideo SVP and Chief Marketing Officer Murali Nemani said he couldn’t comment on Charter’s talks with TiVo. But he told FierceCable that ActiveVideo can support the TiVo program guide running on operators’ existing set-tops.
Last year, Charter dropped TiVo Premiere hardware for an unidentified “next-generation platform” that might still leverage the TiVo experience and we wonder who’s helping power TiVo’s upcoming Com Hem IPTV initiative. Surely these upcoming services are bound to be a vast improvement over the discontinued Best Buy TiVo TV and ActiveVideo has indicated that we’ll “be able to see how [they] are supporting TiVo” at the Cable Show next week. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: From the Cable Show, we did indeed catch ActiveVideo’s Cloud TV in action. Their approach appears quite impressive, serving up HTML5 versions of cableco guides like Xfinity and Bay Area neighbor TiVo (!) on a Roku via “the cloud” — although, in this case, the cloud was comprised of Dell servers behind the wall. While neither ActiveVideo nor TiVo have anything to announce at this time, in terms of potential partners or customers, the “proof of concept” looked great and conceivably opens up new avenues of deployment. And that’s ActiveVideo’s key pitch – enabling operators to deliver their experience to just about any hardware… including implementing new tricks like voice control that perhaps an old clunky set-top doesn’t natively provide.