ActiveVideo is adding its name to the RDK roster. And, as the latest company to license the Reference Design Kit -- a pre-integrated software stack that provides a common framework for powering IP video set-tops and gateways -- it's bringing something new to the software community.
As part of joining the RDK group, ActiveVideo is providing a cloud-based browser that allows cable operators and other pay-TV providers to deliver TV guides, video content and applications based on HTML5 to subscriber set-tops. Most companies in the RDK community rely on local, device-based processing for content rendering. However, as Sachin Sathaye, vice president of strategy and product management for ActiveVideo explained it, his firm is now "going to bring that browser in the cloud to all RDK devices."
ActiveVideo believes its strategy for moving set-top functions into the cloud can significantly reduce costs and increase efficiency levels for cable providers. Through a new partnership with Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), for instance, the company says it can even bring data center costs for set-top virtualization down to as low as $1 per subscriber. (See ActiveVideo Advances Low-Cost Virtual Set-Top.)
On the customer deployment front, ActiveVideo has already won over several pay-TV fans, including Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) and Charter Communications Inc. Charter hopes to extend its rollout of ActiveVideo's technology across its entire subscriber footprint in 2015. (See Charter Revenues Up, Video Subs Down.)
With the RDK news, ActiveVideo says there are three major advantages to consider. First, ActiveVideo's technology will help mitigate device obsolescence in RDK-based hardware. Second, the company's platform will help service providers create a consistent experience across both RDK and non-RDK devices. And third, the technology will help application developers create standardized apps across the different RDK platforms.
Currently, there are more than 160 licensees in the RDK community, including hardware and software companies, chip manufacturers, service providers and system integrators. RDK Management LLC President and General Manager Steve Heeb said, "ActiveVideo's expertise and leadership in advancing cloud rendering of applications fills an important need within the RDK community, as operators seek to capitalize on cloud technologies to create their own user experiences on top of the RDK software stack."
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading