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Set-top boxes

VTR Taps ActiveVideo's Cloud Video Platform

Seeking to boost video-on-demand (VOD) usage, Chile's largest MSO has become the latest cable operator to deploy a cloud-based video platform designed to improve user search and navigation on all kinds of digital cable set-tops.

VTR Globalcom S.A. -- which is a unit of the big international MSO, Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) -- said it has tapped into a platform from ActiveVideo to deliver an upgraded user interface to its slightly over 1 million video subscribers across Chile. The ActiveVideo platform, known as CloudTV GuideCast, delivers a new user interface (UI) with richer graphics and better search and navigation capabilities on both new and old set-top boxes.

Since deploying the CloudTV GuideCast service in the fall, VTR officials say they have seen VOD usage soar without having to install any new set-tops in customers' homes. They say on-demand views have jumped 138% on a year-over-year basis, while the number of customers accessing VOD has climbed 11% and the number of views per subscriber has risen 83%.

"It shows a good UI really does get people engaged with VOD," said Jeff Miller, president and CEO of ActiveVideo. "We did the same thing with Ziggo in the Netherlands."


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This is the first cable deployment announcement in a while for ActiveVideo, which is now jointly owned by Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) and Charter Communications Inc. and has been under much tighter wraps since its $135 million acquisition closed in spring 2015. Besides VTR, ActiveVideo has now deployed some version of its cloud-based platform for three other Liberty Global units -- Ziggo, UPC Hungary and Liberty Puerto Rico. ActiveVideo also has its platform deployed on Altice 's New York systems through an earlier deal with the former Cablevision Systems, and is now launching service throughout Charter's enlarged footprint in the US. (See Charter Plots Post-Deal Future .)

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

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