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Cable Technology Feature Article

March 09, 2009

Zodiac Partners with ActiveVideo for Tru2way Technology Integration

By Jai C.S., TMCnet Contributor

Interactive Television technology and media company Zodiac Interactive has signed a partnership agreement with ActiveVideo Networks, a provider of programming and technology that brings a complete Web-media experience to TV. The partnership is aimed at accelerating the ability of cable operators deploying tru2way technology to bring Web-infused television experiences to their subscribers.
Under the terms of the deal, Zodiac's PowerUp framework software for tru2way and PowerTV will include an ActiveVideo client to enable any operator to deploy ActiveVideo services on their tru2way or PowerTV set-top boxes.
PowerUp is Zodiac's tru2way framework, a common platform of open APIs and libraries that enables rapid development of rich, data-driven applications on a broad range of set-top middleware platforms including authoring tools, stacks/middleware and set-tops.
Apart from this, both the companies have also planned to work together to develop other applications for the Zodiac ActiveVideo client to facilitate true interoperability and transparency across all TV services such as linear, VOD, EBIF and advanced advertising.
"ActiveVideo has been a leader in bringing the Web media experiences that consumers are seeking to the television screen where they enjoy them the most," said Alexander Libkind, chief operating officer at Zodiac.
"Now, with the ActiveVideo client as part of our PowerUp framework, ActiveVideo's Web environment can extend the capabilities of tru2way to allow cable system operators, traditional programmers and web media content providers to more easily include the powerful ActiveVideo Web development environment and personalized, interactive Web services within their tru2way PowerUp deployments," said Libkind.
The ActiveVideo client enables viewer navigation of onscreen MPEG content via remote-control keyclicks where each keyclick is sent upstream to server-based processors that modify the stream in real time.
The integration of the ActiveVideo with the Zodiac solution is aimed at allowing operators to quickly and easily deploy tru2way applications and advanced TV and advertising to their subscribers. To facilitate this, the PowerUp framework gives operators easy access to plug-and-play advanced Interactive Television 2.0 services, such as advanced guides, EBIF applications, and TV widgets including local restaurant searching, click-to-call, games, photo-sharing, weather, traffic, sports scores, local news, and so on.
The combined solution is believed to expand tru2way with the required tools and infrastructure and when this is combined with ActiveVideo gives operators the potential to rapidly deploy rich media applications including advertising microsites, customizable navigational mosaics and Web-like search functionality, says the company.
"Zodiac's PowerUp framework reflects their outstanding commitment to tru2way technology and is the 'glue' that will help the industry bind tru2way components and applications together,” said Jeff Miller, president and chief executive officer at ActiveVideo.
Miller stated that he and his company believe that Zodiac's incorporation of an ActiveVideo client in its PowerUp framework will accelerate the deployment of interactive television services which will consequently increase subscriber loyalty and generate new revenues for operators and programmers.

Jai C.S. is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jai's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tim Gray