Cloud enablement

The Cisco-ActiveVideo Mating Dance

12:10 PM -- ActiveVideo and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) have been dating for a while now, so it may finally be time for them to get serious about their intentions for the future. Following up joint demos at other recent tradeshows, including The Cable Show in Los Angeles, the companies will be at it again this week in Amsterdam at IBC.

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

inttv 12/5/2012 | 4:23:35 PM
re: The Cisco-ActiveVideo Mating Dance

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