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CES: Talk To Your TV: ActiveVideo To Demo Voice-Controlled Navigation

Ready to chat up your set-top box? Interactive TV vendor ActiveVideo Networks will demonstrate voice-controlled television navigation using Apple's Siri voice-recognition application for the iPhone 4S at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show next week.

The demo will show ActiveVideo's new CloudTV H5 platform, which supports applications written in HTML5 to interact with any set-top, even legacy boxes. The voice-activated demo uses the CloudTV H5 platform in tandem with devices that support the Siri personal assistant application from Apple. For example, viewers could say, "Show all ‘Harry Potter' movies" -- and the CloudTV H5 system will pull up titles available on VOD or linear TV.

Voice commands are transmitted through the mobile network and over the Internet to ActiveVideo's CloudTV servers, which then deliver video and applications as an adaptable unicast video stream to the set-top box or connected device. The company claims the time needed to execute a voice search is "consistent with that of standard remote controls."

In a similar vein, Microsoft's update to the Xbox 360 user interface last month supports the game console's Kinect attachment for search and navigation, letting users find games, movies, TV shows and music the on Xbox Live service by saying what they're searching for. Initially, however, the voice search doesn't work with Verizon's 26-channel FiOS TV lineup available through the Xbox to subscribers.

"[W]hile voice control itself is innovative, what's most important is how the interoperability of cloud-based processing can dramatically transform the way viewers control and engage with their televisions, and can lead to a new generation of television services that is limited only by our imaginations," ActiveVideo president and CEO Jeff Miller said in a statement.

San Jose, Calif.-based ActiveVideo says its interactive TV platform has been deployed on nearly 10 million screens with Cablevision Systems, Oceanic Time Warner Cable and other operators, as well as on Philips-branded TVs with MediaConnect technology.