ActiveVideo Snaps Up Dutch ITV Firm

ActiveVideo Networks is eyeing European expansion with the acquisition of Avinity Systems, a Netherlands-based provider of tools for TV service providers to deliver Web content.

The deal, completed over the U.S.'s Memorial Day weekend, brings the number of ActiveVideo employees to more than 100.

“We'll be accelerating our deployment in Europe” through the Avinity deal, ActiveVideo president and CEO Jeff Miller said.

Financial terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed. Miller said Avinity had fewer than 20 employees.

The two companies have complementary approaches for delivering “cloud-based services” to pay-TV providers, Miller said, using thin-client technologies on the set-top side.

ActiveVideo, based in San Jose, Calif., sells a content-delivery system that delivers content as a compressed video streams in response to user interaction. The company provides its own set-top client software and also works with CableLabs' Enhanced TV Binary Interchange (EBIF) and Tru2way specs.

Avinity's RenderCast platform, meanwhile, focused on European formats and standards such as the Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) middleware specification for interactive TV.

“We were pursuing very similar visions from 6,000 miles apart,” Miller said.

With the acquisition, Active-Video's European operations will be relocated to Avinity's headquarters in Hilversum, The Netherlands, near Amsterdam. ActiveVideo has operated a London office for several years.

Ronald Brockmann, director and co- founder of Avinity, will serve as managing director for ActiveVideo Europe.

ActiveVideo's system has been deployed to 1.4 million subscribers, including with Time Warner Cable's Oceanic division in Hawaii and Grande Communications in the U.S., and PCCW in Hong Kong. Miller said ActiveVideo is on track to deploy its system to 5 million homes with service providers worldwide in 2009.