Funai To Integrate CloudTV Services Into Its Product Line

Funai To Integrate CloudTV Services Into Its Product Line

Microsoft has been talking about "three screens and a cloud" for some time now, and "cloud" is definitely the big new buzzword in the consumer electronics space. Lots of content we consume each day lives in the cloud, or faraway servers that host our content and can be accessed remotely at any time. Lots of Internet TV content also lives in the cloud, with millions of hours of Netflix content consumed each week. So, the cloud and TV can get along after all, right? That's right.

Today, Funai Electric (the company that manufactures Philips, Emerson, Magnavox and Sylvania brand televisions and Blu-ray players) has announced 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. Under the deal, Funai will integrate ActiveVideo's CloudTV platform into select TVs and BD decks, giving those players a way to access web video, apps, games, etc. Many televisions do this already (LG's NetCast is a good example), but it's clear that Funai needs a way to integrate a similar experience into the products that it is responsible for making.


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 ActiveVideo content using standard remote controls. 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 key clicks from standard remote controls through the CE device to the cloud. 

Now, how long will we have to wait to see this rolled into shipping consumer goods?

Funai Electric Becomes First Consumer Electronics Manufacturer to Launch Cloud-Based Interactive Television Solution
 
Agreement to use ActiveVideo Networks' CloudTV to bring Web-based content to TV and Blu-ray players

OSAKA, Japan and SAN JOSE, Calif.,  Jan. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Funai Electric Co., Ltd. and ActiveVideo Networks™ today announced 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 ActiveVideo anticipate that an announcement regarding availability of CloudTV-enabled products will be issued in the near future.

Under the agreement, Funai will integrate ActiveVideo'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," said 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 ActiveVideo 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," said Jeff Miller, president and CEO of ActiveVideo 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.  

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 content 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 lifespans 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.

ActiveVideo will demonstrate CloudTV solutions on Funai devices to selected prospects, customers and media at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel, adjacent to the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
0
+ -

Here's the lowdown on timing: Funai will begin manufacturing Philips brand TVs in Q1. Shipments will begin Q2 2011.

Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment
Username:   Password: