ActiveVideo transforms Charter STBs

Tom Rutledge, President and CEO of Charter Communications, has confirmed that cloud TV specialist ActiveVideo is supporting the operator’s network and device upgrades.

Speaking at an International CES briefing announcing a technology partnership with Cisco, Rutledge said that Charter expected to launch its new fully-featured cloud based user interface, Spectrum Guide on its new Worldboxes, as well as on legacy boxes currently deployed within the Charter footprint.

“Our new user interface, using technology provided by ActiveVideo, allows us to implement this guide on every set-top box. It uses the VoD infrastructure…which is a state-of-the-art, IP-based guide, in a streamed capacity using MPEG,” he explained.

“So while the old box doesn’t have a DOCSIS modem in it, it’s a highly capable box; it can look at streamed MPEG signals, which is what VoD is, and ActiveVideo’s technology changes the guide from an IP format to streamed MPEG and renders it as though it were an IP guide,” he continued.

“So what this technology platform allows us to do is take advantage of every box deployed. If you look at the United States, there are 300 million televisions in the United States, none of which are really Smart TVs and the reason and the reason we put set-top boxes on them is that they don’t work with our two-way interactive platform unless there is a set-top box,” he advised.

“So this makes every box and every television that’s connected within the Charter footprint state of the art. So we’re taking the intelligence out of the box and putting it into the network and making the box a thin client box so that the processing power of the box is no longer a relevant issue; the processing power moves to the network. That’s a breakthrough,” he declared.

“And it gives us two things: It gives you instantaneous capability of deploying a state-of-the-art product on every TV outlet that we start with, and there are two and a half TV outlets in every household. And it allows you to do that without purchase. When you switch out all the hardware in a service footprint like ours, today that’s 10 million boxes that have to be exchanged so removing our focus to the network, putting the intelligence in the network, and making the display device simple,” he suggested.

“The capability of this guide platform is that every user essentially has their own stream, their own unicast stream, so it’s completely customisable. We can take any kind of device and turn it into a sophisticated device,” he concluded.

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