ActiveVideo Rides the Roku Wave

ActiveVideo’s penetration of the consumer electronics world is set to expand in a big way as its CloudTV client is set to be deployed to about 5 million Roku players, company senior vice president and chief marketing officer Murali Nemani noted today in blog post.

ActiveVideo’s CloudTV system is playing a key technical role in the coming launch of Net2TV’s Portico TV service on the Roku device in late June. Portico TV debuted on Philips-made smart TVs in December that likewise use the ActiveVideo client.

As  Broadcasting & Cable reported Thursday, the latest deal gives Roku access to Portico TV’s long-form shows from Discovery’s Revision3 and CBS Interactive’s, as well as Bonnier’s “Popular Science.” 

Net2TV said Portico TV is poised to expand to 20 million screens by the end of 2013.  And ActiveVideo, which will have its client on 10 million devices once Portico hits the Roku next month, will apparently be along for the ride.

Net2TV designed its cloud-based user interface in HTML5. The ActiveVideo client, when housed in the likes of Philips TVs and Roku boxes, handles any tricky conversions at the device level, meaning that Net2TV should only have to write the app once, versus having to develop a new one every time it targets a new platform.

“With the integration of the CloudTV client on Roku platform, SPs [service providers] are able to port their TV Everywhere applications almost immediately, and with minimal effort,” Nemani wrote.

It’s hard to argue with the operational logic. After all, Netflix is the prime example of the operational challenges faced by over-the-top video providers as they look to get their apps deployed on an expanding universe of  IP-connected tablets, consoles, TVs, smartphones and operating systems, including the highly fragmented Android platform.

But technical merits aside, ActiveVideo and Net2TV also have another important connection. Gary Lauder, the managing partner of Lauder Partners and an ITV pioneer in his own right, is the chairman and founder of ActiveVideo and one of Net2TV’s key backers.