ActiveVideo offers Android apps without the Android TV

ActiveVideo AppCloud will be commercially available in mid-2020. (islandjoe/CC BY 2.0)

AMSTERDAM – ActiveVideo is rolling out its new ActiveVideo AppCloud, a virtualized app platform that provides personalized access to Android apps on TVs.

The new product, which will be commercially available in mid-2020, integrates OTT into the television experience by running Android applications in the cloud, enabling service providers to serve entertainment from Android APKs to any connected TV or set-top device. By removing the need for apps to be ported directly onto the device, the company said it can mitigate storage and processor limitations for current, legacy and future platforms.

“Service providers can stay ahead of the competition with powerful viewing experiences, maintain direct relationships with their subscribers, expand the services they offer, and drive new digital advertising approaches with the ActiveVideo AppCloud framework,” said ActiveVideo CEO Jeff Miller in a statement.

RELATED: Charter updates on rollout of Spectrum Guide

Miller said that Android TV is a great way for operators to quickly offer third-party streaming applications to their pay TV subscribers, but it comes at a cost.

“The cost is the operator basically has to release control of the user experience to Google,” said Miller. “Google curates the app store and decides what apps are in there. You have to take them all.”

He said that some operators won’t mind letting Google handle the app store curation process. Another way that operators can add third-party apps is by doing it themselves by building through frameworks like RDK or the Android Open Source Project and then getting the apps themselves

“The problem with that is there are lots of apps,” said Miller. “An operator now, to create an over-the-top solution for its subscribers, need to go get hundreds of apps, not two or three. Those come at the cost of constant maintenance cycles, certification and reporting. The apps don’t stand still.”

ActiveVideo AppCloud works around this by letting operators deploy a cloud-based experience and handling all the maintenance. Miller said his company can certify apps once across all devices since it’s undergoing the process in the cloud, and that app developers don’t have to worry about doing anything different.