ActiveVideo Networks acquires Avinity

By Robert Briel | May 26, 2009

ANGA CABLE 2009 - COLOGNE. ActiveVideo Networks has reached an agreement to acquire Dutch based Avinity Systems BV.

The deal brings together the two leading providers of cloud-based interactive TV platforms and applications, and expanding the reach and availability of the Web-based user experiences that are redefining interactive television (iTV 2.0).

It also combines two companies that will have deployed interactive services to more than five million homes worldwide by the end of 2009.

Post-acquisition, ActiveVideo Networks will have publicly-disclosed deployments with a wide variety of service providers, including Oceanic Time Warner Cable and Grande Communications in the US; Tele2 and Reggefiber in Europe; and PCCW in Hong Kong.

“The two companies were pursuing the same vision on different continents,” said Gary Lauder, chairman of ActiveVideo Networks, in a statement. “Fortunately, their strengths and technological assets are very complementary. Due to that, and the Avinity team’s high caliber, we expect everyone to be retained and to be a vital part of our global expansion.”

ActiveVideo Networks and Avinity have consistently advocated that the future of content delivery, including VoD navigation, Web-based video, interactive advertising and other services, will be driven by server-based technologies. Both platforms use an ultra-thin client in the set-top box to pass user keystrokes to servers in the network.

The servers create compressed video streams in response to user interaction and unicast them over IP or cable back to the home to be decoded and displayed by the set-top box. When combined, the ActiveVideo and Avinity RenderCast platforms will be capable of delivering Web-like personalization and interactivity to a worldwide television audience through both legacy and next generation digital set-top boxes and broadband-connected devices.

In conjunction with the acquisition, ActiveVideo’s European operations will be relocated to Avinity’s headquarters in Hilversum, The Netherlands, near Amsterdam. Ronald Brockmann, director of Avinity, will serve as MD for ActiveVideo Europe.

“ActiveVideo has been a leader in anticipating the media industry’s adoption of cloud-based interactive services,” said Brockmann. “Ultimately, both of our companies recognized that we could do more for service and content providers, advertisers and consumers by bringing our very complementary capabilities under a single roof.”