Five years after Charter Communications first used its cloud virtualization technology to power the Spectrum Guide video system, ActiveVideo reappeared at the IBC tech gathering with a new spin on its technology.
AppCloud will allow operators to deploy advanced video systems offering Android OTT apps found in the Google Play Store. Since all set-top processing is done in the cloud, operator clients will be able to hoist the system without upgrading set-tops.
B&C caught up with ActiveVideo CEO Jeff Miller for an email Q&A as he was flying back from IBC to his company’s home base in San Jose, California.
B&C: What’s the status of ActiveVideo?
Jeff Miller: ActiveVideo is still owned by a joint venture between Charter and CommScope (who recently acquired Arris). We have about 100 employees worldwide, split between our offices in San Jose, Hilversum in the Netherlands and around the world. We operate fully independently.
B&C: What is AppCloud?
JM: ActiveVideo’s CloudTV platform has been deployed increasingly for several years, serving billions of user sessions per year. At IBC this year, we announced the ActiveVideo AppCloud platform that adds Android application virtualization to our product line. Using very efficient remote GPU technology, the ActiveVideo AppCloud product offers a powerful option for operators looking for a scalable, cloud-based solution for delivering Android applications as part of their user experience.
B&C:How big is the market for AppCloud?
JM: The market for OTT applications in the pay TV market is big. Every operator recognizes the need to offer OTT services as a part of the pay TV user experience. Their customers demand it. Most major content providers are looking to create their own branded OTT apps to deliver content direct to consumers (see for example Disney+, Peacock, CBS All Access, etc.) and we expect this trend will continue. Operators can choose to use a managed platform, like Android TV, and effectively deliver the Google service to their customers. Alternatively, they can build their own service around Android AOSP or other technologies which involves porting and maintaining applications themselves. At ActiveVideo, our goal is to bring the diversity and richness of the Android application ecosystem to operators, while giving them control over their service and reducing the complexity and cost of delivering and maintaining OTT apps as part of their video offering.
B&C: How many people are using ActiveVideo technology at this point?
JM: ActiveVideo technology is used by many operators in over 10 countries. Today, we support operators in delivering next-gen services to over 18 million subscribers including those served by J-Com in Japan, VTR in Chile, Ziggo in The Netherlands, Altice in the U.S. and many others. Charter has deployed our technology extensively across its footprint, as many others have.
B&C: Is ActiveVideo in every Charter video home?
JM: Charter uses ActiveVideo technology to deliver their Spectrum Guide to millions of set-tops across their nationwide footprint. The number continues to grow as the rollout continues.