& cplSiteName &

Stars Align for Zodiac & ActiveVideo

Alan Breznick

After years of reaching for the cloud separately, ActiveVideo and Zodiac Interactive are now working together to offer cloud-based video services and advanced user interfaces to a wide range of set-top boxes, both old and new.

ActiveVideo and Zodiac Interactive unveiled the partnership early Tuesday morning in advance of this week's IBC show in Amsterdam, which starts Thursday. They said the joint offering will combine the cloud virtualization capabilities of ActiveVideo’s CloudTV platform with Zodiac's PowerUp Stack software and AMS cloud platform, thus enabling pay-TV providers to deliver online video services and next-gen user experiences directly to their subscribers' set-tops, no matter how old and antiquated those boxes may be.

The two vendors also announced their first deployment of the joint solution, disclosing a deal with Cable Bahamas Ltd. in the storm-tossed Caribbean. Cable Bahamas, which delivers video service to about 250,000 set-tops in its area, aims to start rolling out the solution next spring. Its plans call for offering a video mosaic guide that displays live content from multiple channels, a unified experience across multiple devices and the ability to record and view content in any location.

The fresh collaboration between Zodiac and ActiveVideo is significant for several reasons. First, it pairs complementary cloud-based video services from two leading vendors, enabling cable operators and other service providers to deploy a pre-integrated solution rather than pick and choose different piecemeal elements and integrate them by themselves. In that sense, it represents a real reversal from the best-in-breed approach that the industry has been championing for several years.

"The industry is demanding these solutions, packages of solutions that use the cloud as a baseline," said Lakshmana Pamarthy, head of marketing and business development for ActiveVideo. With the pay-TV sector continuing to consolidate, he said, providers are once again looking for vendors that can offer more comprehensive, integrated services. As a result, ActiveVideo, which has been pretty quiet on the deployment front since its acquisition by Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) and Charter Communications Inc. two years ago, is now seeking other partners to bulk up its offerings. (See VTR Taps ActiveVideo's Cloud Video Platform .)

Second, the deal formalizes a partnership between two companies that have been eyeing some kind of working arrangement for years and already have several major customers in common. Both ActiveVideo and Zodiac provide cloud-based video technologies for Charter and Altice USA in the US and Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI) in Canada. But they have done that separately until now.

Want to know more about video and TV market trends? Check out our dedicated video services content channel here on Light Reading.

Third, the new video service package is expressly aimed at Tier 2 and Tier 3 pay-TV providers that don't have the resources of a Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) or Charter to develop and deploy the services on their own. In the US, for example, that means everyone from Mediacom Communications Corp. on down, which is a very sizable target market.

"You don't even need to deploy a truck," said Zodiac CEO Brandon Brown, terming it the "ultimate solution" for small and midsized pay-TV providers seeking to deploy cloud-based video services quickly and efficiently. "Now a real alternative exists." In North America alone, he estimates that the "massive" target market encompasses at least 200 million legacy digital set-tops that have already been deployed.

The two partners are looking to sign up two to four more new pay-TV customers by the end of the year, with more deals expected next year. "We're extremely optimistic going into 2018," Pamarthy said.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/12/2017 | 5:24:16 PM
Zodiac Clarification
In a followup phone call Tuesday afternoon, Brandon Brown of zodiac said he expects to conclude two to four more deals for the joint solution over the next year, not by the end of this year. It admittedly did seem like a pretty aggressive target. Sorry for the misudertanding. 
Featured Video
From The Founder
The 'gleaming city on a hill,' Steve Saunders calls it. But who is going to take us from today's NFV componentry to the grand future of a self-driving network? Here's a look at the vendors hoping to make it happen.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Could 5G Have Found Its Glass Ceiling?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/20/2017
1 Million Pirate Set-Top Boxes Sold in the UK
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 9/20/2017
Comcast Shuts Down OTT Again
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/19/2017
Photo Highlights: Operations Transformation Forum 2017
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 9/17/2017
WiCipedia: Endangered Species, 'the Pao Effect' & Bad Actors
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/22/2017
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed