Funai Electric Co., Ltd. and ActiveVideo Networks have 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. Under the agreement, Funai will integrate ActiveVideo's CloudTVTM platform into select models of its television and Blu-ray player line, enabling viewers to stream, not download, Web-based video, rich graphics and applications 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, in a statement. "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 available in about five million cable and IPTV homes, CloudTV enables advanced television capabilities without significantly increasing costs. The solution provides tools that make it easier for Web content creators, television networks, advertisers and other media entities to develop applications 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, in a statement. "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."
ActiveVideo will demonstrate CloudTV solutions on Funai devices later this week at CES.