The Cisco-ActiveVideo Mating Dance
There, the companies will be tying ActiveVideo's CloudTV Platform with Cisco's multi-screen Content Delivery System (CDS) so users can navigate an interactive program guide app via WiFi and an iPad and serve up live, DVR-stored, and video-on-demand (VoD) content on the TV.
The companies see this cloudy tech combo as a way to help MSOs and IPTV providers to rapidly develop interactive apps for set-tops boxes (using Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) and tru2way), CI+-based digital TVs (which are growing popular in Europe), and other IP-connected devices.
But why stop at demos? Is it time for Cisco to pounce on ActiveVideo, either through a more formal partnership or an outright acquisition that would pair up nicely with its recent purchase of ExtendMedia Inc. ? (See Cisco Buys Into TV Everywhere (Again).)
If it's M&A, at least there's something of value for Cisco to buy that goes beyond the technology. Following many tough years trying to get traction, ActiveVideo has finally arrived thanks to a key deal with Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) (which happens to use Cisco boxes), along with expectations that its technology will be in 10 million homes (via its operator and direct-to-CE strategies) by year's end. (See ActiveVideo's Year of Reckoning .)
Besides, I'm not the first person to suggest that Cisco and ActiveVideo would make a good match.
Strategy Analytics Inc. analyst David Mercer posed the idea in a blog last year, observing that Cisco has the obvious financial wherewithal to buy ActiveVideo, a company that is headquartered just 10 minutes away from Cisco's campus. Plus, he adds, ActiveVideo "has around 100 people -- John Chambers' ideal acquisition profile."
After grinding it out for more than 20 years, could it be that ActiveVideo is finally closing in on its exit?
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable