Meet Ronald Brockmann, ActiveVideo’s new CTO: Leading the charge for enabling TV UIs from the Cloud

Jeff Miller — CEO & President

Suddenly it’s looking like a whole new world for TV UIs.  After decades of grids that were hobbled by device limitations, there’s increasing buzz about moving the experience out of the box entirely. In recent weeks, we’ve heard Liberty Global, Charter and others weigh in on how the cloud can bring compelling and consistent user experiences to any device.

Cloud-based content?  That’s so last season.  But cloud-based user interfaces are as hot as the return of “Mad Men.”  In a ‘TV Everywhere’ world, everybody in this industry wants rich, consistent UIs that break free of device dependencies to engage viewers on any screen in the home.

Here’s the plain truth:  By 2017, there will be 10 billion connected devices.  Service providers, aggregators and developers have seen all too clearly how writing applications, VOD navigation and full guides for each make and model is a slow, expensive process that produces an unsatisfactory result for consumers.  The alternative —implementing a cloud-based “write-once, deploy-everywhere”– reduces costs, time-to-market and customer confusion.  Could it be that the time has really come for Cloud UIs?

As the industry expands the push to cloud-based UIs, it’s become more and more important that we have a CTO who can fill two critical roles:  driving our technology and product direction and instilling in our customers an absolute and unwavering confidence in the ability of our CloudTV platform to meet their needs.

For us, it was an easy call:  Ronald Brockmann’s been our go-to guy for innovation since we acquired his company, Avinity Systems, three years ago.  His work in marrying cloud rendering of UIs and HTML5—when nobody else was putting that combination together—resulted in the CloudTV H5 platform that’s been the subject of a flurry of recent customer or partner deals.

Ronald is the kind of guy you want in the technology driver’s seat. His seminal work in WiFi as co-founder and CTO of No Wires Needed in the 1990s included contributions to several IEEE 802.11 standards and laid the foundation for networking that has driven adoption of wireless broadband.  With Avinity, he pioneered cloud technologies that paralleled our own, so he made a convincing case that our two companies should work together.  As I recall, what REALLY sold us was that we’d get Ronald in the deal.

What Ronald does well—as he has from the day we met—is to show all of us the bigger picture:  how CloudTV liberates the industry from the fragmentation of device restraints and requirements, eliminates the need for overlay network silos and ultimately enables true operational scale for ‘TV Everywhere’ so consumers can enjoy cloud-based UIs across any connected device.

That’s a future I can’t wait to get to.  With Ronald Brockmann as our new CTO, I know we’ll be arriving there soon.