Earlier this week, ActiveVideo announced its CloudTV H5 platform for cable / satellite services or smart TVs that uses voice-control to easily find and watch content on your TV. It wasn't clear exactly how it works, so we grabbed the first opportunity to take a look at it.
The demo we saw included an iPhone running an HTML5 app that has a remote control for navigating the interface. The app also has a text-based search function that recognizes keywords as commands like "watch Fast Five," or "go to theverge.com." On a smartphone, you can use the built-in speech-to-text feature (iOS or Android) to enter those commands. Whether spoken or typed, instructions are sent to the CloudTV H5 server, which interprets them, finds what you're looking for, and streams movies and web back to your TV or set-top box. Everything runs in the cloud, including apps like Facebook or GoogleTV — the audio and video are streamed to the end user, like OnLive for TV.
ActiveVideo is trying to spin this as "Siri-based voice control," but it's actually much better than that because it isn't locked down on a specific platform. We weren't able to get any information on when the latest features would be available through service providers, but you can see it in action now in the video below.