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May 28, 2009

ActiveVideo to Redefine iTV 2.0 with Avinity Systems Acquisition
By Nathesh
TMCnet Contributor

ActiveVideo Networks has expanded its portfolio, acquiring Avinity (News - Alert) Systems to offer a new Web-based user experience to customers. The company says it hopes to build an interactive platform that has the capacity to redefine interactive television, or “iTV 2.0.”

Officials at ActiveVideo say their company provides programming and technology that infuse television with Web content and interactivity. Avinity Systems is a vendor of interactive TV platforms and tools enabling rich media services on existing infrastructures, without the need for new high-end set-top boxes.
ActiveVideo said the addition of Avinity Systems has strengthened its service offerings and it now has a potential to be a market leader in offering cloud-based services to televisions around the world.
According to the company, the acquisition combines two companies that will have deployed interactive services to more than five million homes worldwide by the end of 2009. After the transaction ActiveVideo Networks will have publicly-disclosed deployments with a wide variety of service providers, including Oceanic Time Warner Cable and Grande Communications (News - Alert) in the United States; Tele2 and Reggefiber in Europe; and PCCW in Hong Kong.
Gary Lauder, chairman of ActiveVideo Networks, said that both companies shared the same vision and their technology and strength are complementary and because of that and also of high caliber Avinity’s team will be retained and be made a part of ActiveVideo’s global expansion.
The similarities between both these companies are that both of them had plans to deliver the future of content delivery like VoD navigation, Web-based video, interactive advertising and other services and emphasized that these services will be driven by server based technologies. They both deliver interactive services and applications to set-tops, or even thin-client boxes, by placing most of the processing in the MSO’s head-end.
After the merger is complete ActiveVideo says its European operations will be shifted to Avinity’s headquarters in Hilversum, The Netherlands, near Amsterdam and the current director of Avinity Ronald Brockmann will be the new Managing Director for ActiveVideo Europe.
“We have always been impressed with Avinity’s technological progress, philosophical approach and marketplace traction in Europe,” said Jeff Miller, president and CEO of ActiveVideo Networks. “Combining their people and technology portfolio with our own enables us to significantly increase our deployment momentum to European markets. The combination creates a team with global reach and local experience that is unparalleled in the delivery of stream-based interactivity”
Meanwhile Interactive Television technology and media company Zodiac Interactive (News - Alert) has signed a partnership agreement with ActiveVideo and the company has been delivering Web Infused TV’ by making use of Internap (News - Alert) Network Services’ Performance IP network and data center collocation.

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

Edited by Michael Dinan


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