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Active-TV Connects Online Video to Your TV

While there's plenty of buzz about proprietary solutions -- such as the recently launched Apple TV -- that extend the broadband video experience from the PC screen to the TV screen, open approaches have remained in the background.

One example of an emerging open standards-based solution is the Active-TV model which is being championed by AMD, and a growing team of industry collaborators.

Active-TV technology enables TV-web channels to be formatted and distributed to a TV. It allows Internet-based or personal-use videos, music and photos to be displayed on active-TV enabled televisions anywhere within the home.

A PC browser plug-in sends the TV-web image to a networked set-top box (STB) for display on the TV. The TV-web content is accessed without a keyboard or mouse, only the TV IR remote control is required.

Active-TV expands television viewing choices for both independent content producers and consumers. Content producers can now reach viewers directly without first going through one of the major studios, and consumers can now reach beyond the typical selection of television programs from their cable or satellite company by accessing Internet-based video content.

Active-TV technology makes it relatively easy to build and distribute TV-web channels. You can access favorites from popular video sharing web sites as a TV-web channel and stream it to your TV set.

Using tools and formats long familiar to creators of PC-web content, such as Flash video and HTML, it is now possible for anyone to create and distribute a TV-web channel. And, a PC can be used to format and deliver these TV-web channels, thereby expanding options for the TV viewer and providing access to greater choice and interactivity on the traditional TV set.

Active-TV requires a PC using either Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Vista, that serves as an extended-PC when equipped with active-TV technology, to distribute TV-web channels to active-TV enabled TVs and/or set-top boxes.

A wired or wireless 802.11 home network is required to connect each TV and/or STB to the extended-PC. Broadband service to the home is also needed to deliver PC-web content to the PC, which is streamed as TV-web channels to the active-TV STBs and TVs. Active-TV enabled STBs and TVs will be available in retail stores in Europe and the U.S. in 2007.

To learn more about current related news and emerging market developments visit Daniel Mann's "Active-TV Technology" blog.

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