ARRIS and Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States, have established a joint venture that has agreed to acquire ActiveVideo for approximately $135 million. ARRIS will own 65% of the joint venture company and will be the sales channel for ActiveVideoâ€™s CloudTV platform, which virtualizes CPE (customer premise equipment) functions in the cloud.
CloudTV enables an advanced user interface to be rendered on cloud servers and fused with the television picture, then delivered to any STB as a video stream, meaning that even the oldest legacy set-top boxes can run a next generation UI. All the receive device needs is a tuner and decoder.
The technology also supports interactive advertising and can be used by Pay TV operators to integrate OTT services into their offering by ingesting partner online services into the traditional headend, transforming the online video into a â€˜broadcastâ€™ signal and rendering the online UI so that the complete online service and accompanying UEX can be viewed like any other unicast-over-broadcast-infrastructure channel. This approach means online services can be offered on legacy set-top boxes that do not have an IP connection or which lack the rendering and processing capabilities of modern devices â€“ and avoids the need for an app integration into the STB.
ARRIS says ActiveVideoâ€™s CloudTV platform and proven intellectual property (39 issued patents and 64 pending) will complement its cloud portfolio. â€œARRISâ€™s service provider relationships, global reach and installed base of CPE are expected to accelerate adoption of ActiveVideoâ€™s technology,â€ the vendor says.
ActiveVideoâ€™s platform powers Charterâ€™s new fully featured, cloud-based Spectrum Guide. Charter expects to launch Spectrum Guide on Worldbox, as well as on legacy set-top boxes currently deployed within the Charter footprint. Other ActiveVideo customers include Cablevision, Liberty Global, Deutsche Telekom, Time Warner Cable, J:COM, Philips, and Roku.
â€œThis joint venture signifies ARRISâ€™s continued investment in advanced software solutions that will create value across the entire video ecosystem,â€ says Bob Stanzione, ARRIS Chairman and CEO. â€œWe look forward to the untold opportunities our extended partnership with Charter will spawn. ARRIS and Charter are paving the way for an all-IP network migration and enabling the software-defined TV experience that will deliver unified, next-gen content experiences.â€
Tom Rutledge, President and CEO of Charter Communications, comments: â€œActiveVideoâ€™s CloudTV platform is one of the enabling technologies behind Spectrum Guide. We have worked very closely with ActiveVideo on the development of this technology and now, as a 35% shareholder, are uniquely positioned to support the continued innovation and marketplace adoption of ActiveVideoâ€™s solutions. Todayâ€™s announcement extends our long-standing relationship with ARRIS, who continues to be a key provider of both infrastructure and consumer premises equipment.â€
Jeff Miller will continue to lead ActiveVideo as CEO. â€œThis joint venture gives us the ability to take ActiveVideoâ€™s vision to the next level by partnering with two industry forces. This is a great opportunity to extend the promise of our solutions,â€ he says.