Video services

ActiveVideo's Blockbuster

11:15 AM -- ActiveVideo 's foray into the realm of consumer electronics got a big boost from Blockbuster Inc. today. The big video honcho will use ActiveVideo's cloud-based platform to pipe in a user interface that will display its VoD service offering for broadband-connected TVs and set-tops. (See Blockbuster's in the Cloud.)

Financial terms weren't disclosed, but ActiveVideo is also the developer of the user interface, which will offer access to Blockbuster's VoD title vault and a search and recommendation system that helps viewers find stuff they're looking for.

Although the Blockbuster On Demand service is an "over-the-top" offering tailored for retail, the company is eager to work with cable MSOs as well. In the early going, Suddenlink Communications and Mediacom Communications Corp. have already signed on to use the Blockbuster brand to help juice up their respective VoD offerings. (See Blockbuster Busts Out Cable Deals .)

Those alliances initially are focused on branding and marketing, but they all leave the door open to the possible integration of Blockbuster's by-mail and broadband-based movie distribution products.

For ActiveVideo, Blockbuster marks the first big win for its still-nascent CE strategy. (See ActiveVideo Goes Over-the-Top With CE Play.)

ActiveVideo expects to have its technology in 10 million homes through a combo of cable distribution and CE devices by the end of 2010, up from about 5 million today. For now, the bulk of its presence comes from direct deals with MSOs, including Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC)’s Oceanic system in Hawaii, Grande Communications , and Hong Kong operator PCCW Ltd. (NYSE: PCW; Hong Kong: 0008).

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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