Are Media Servers’ Days Numbered?


As content storage moves to the cloud, at-home storage may become an antiquated technology.

Jan. 05, 2011 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

As content storage moves to the cloud, at-home storage may become an antiquated technology. Today if there’s a movie or a album we like, we will download it into the hard drive of some type of storage device (media server, cable box, iPhone, etc). The content is there forever to play again and again. In the not so distance future, though, consumers will begin storing their entertainment content elsewhere … far, far away from the living room and even the house. Companies like ActiveVideo Networks have developed technology that will allow consumers to keep their movies, music and other entertainment goodies on a network that resides in “the cloud,” then stream—not download—the content directly to their TV or some other device.

“As consumers demand more from their television experience, there is a growing need for the limitless resources that can expand interactivity beyond the device-based widgets found in many of today’s connected TVs and other devices,” says Jeff Miller, president and CEO of ActiveVideo Networks. Funai Electric likes the idea, and will integrate ActiveVideo’s CloudTV platform into selected televisions and Blu-ray players.  Funai Electric manufactures Philips, Emerson, Magnavox and Sylvania brand televisions and Blu-ray players.

According to Miller, the CloudTV architecture offers a variety of benefits for the CE and developer communities, including the elimination of the need for more expensive processing and storage capabilities in the CE device; a “One Platform” approach in which a limitless array of content and applications can be written once and delivered to any device; and the minimization of software bugs by streaming, rather than downloading, content to the TV.  For consumers, placing the intelligence in the network, and not in the home, ensures maximum functionality throughout the lengthy lifespans that are typical of CE devices, even as web standards evolve.
No word on when the Funai products will be available.


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