ActiveVideo Pushes for More Cable Cloud Coverage

For Edgar Villalpando, the business horizon would be sunnier, if there were more cloud cover.

Villalpando, senior vice president of marketing and content relations at ActiveVideo Networks, which trades on a cloud-based enterprise software platform for the cable, satellite, IPTV and connected TV businesses, averred that industry innovation is being restrained by proprietary delivery mechanisms and platforms, moored in the mixed ecosystems of different set-top boxes.

Speaking during Multichannel News' "Breaking Through: Innovating Cable TV" event here Thursday, Villalpando said that such fragmentation across content and distribution platforms is not only increasing capital expenditures to support varied deployments, but makes "TV innovation hard."

Noting that cable operators have engaged in some cloud diving, relevant to the storage of metadata, Villapando said a push toward total cloud coverage and unicasting would yield a number of benefits, including rescuing STB spending, reduced cap ex and lower investments in customer service on the one hand, while increasing the speed of application development, advertising revenue and deployments on the other.

Multichannel News technology editor Todd Spangler pointed out that MSOs may not be fully incentivized toward this technology because their business is working now, with "nobody losing their jobs, or having boxes crash." Villalpando acknowledged that MSOs, once they invest in STB continue to "make money down the stream," even if the equipment doesn't have "the horsepower to deliver the cool apps."

He also mentioned that innovation tied to boxes has largely emanated most middleware, without "enough testing done to catch all the errors. With the cloud, one test can be conducted, thereby minimizing that risk."

Spangler also pointed that cord-cutting has not yet materialized in a meaningful way, with its threat not yet setting fire to the feet of MSOs. But Villalpando said it's not about programming packaging and that as millennials and Generation Y members become older, more affluent and more influential, they will be "trained not to have subscription TV service." As such, there will be an increased push toward the delivery of product, where the "technology becomes the promise."

Villalpando also stated that advertisers want a better way to deliver ads that the cloud can provide, which in turn is leading toward its advocacy among programmers.