Unedited press release follows:
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 — 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.
About Funai Electric Co., Ltd.
Founded by Mr. Tetsuro Funai, the company was established in 1961 in Osaka, Japan. Funai Electric Co., Ltd. in Japan is engaged in development/design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of audio/visual products such as LCD TVs, DVD Recorders and Blu-Ray Disc Players. Funai now also produces ink-jet/laser printers, digital still cameras, and IP/Wi-Fi phones. Funai has sites in Japan, Poland, Republic of China, and Thailand. For more information on Funai Group, please visit: http://www.funaiworld.com.
Funai Corporation in the United States was established in 1970, as wholly-owned subsidiary of Funai Electric Co., Ltd. Funai Corporation, Inc. was reorganized in May 1991, and is engaged in the import, export, servicing, marketing and distribution of Funai products in order to serve customers across United States. For more information, please visit http://funai.us.
About ActiveVideo Networks
ActiveVideo Networks™ is the world leader in cloud-based interactive services that are redefining television (iTV 2.0). The company’s network-centric approach simply and inexpensively enables expanded programming, navigation and advertising possibilities, allowing viewers to define and share their TV experiences. ActiveVideo combines Web-based media and targeted, clickable advertisements with the high-quality video, immediate responsiveness and remote control navigation of television for uniform interactivity across all digital and IPTV set-tops, CI+ enabled televisions, and broadband-connected CE devices. ActiveVideo Networks is based in the heart of Silicon Valley, with offices in Los Angeles and Hilversum, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.activevideo.com; find us at www.facebook.com/ActiveVideoNetworks; follow us at www.twitter.com/activevideo; view our videos at www.youtube.com/AVCloudTV.