Cisco aggressive in India, launches two STBs

MUMBAI: With digitisation growing and the sunset date looming, technology companies that enable delivery of content are lining up to leverage the opportunity in India. Cisco, which recently announced acquisition of NDS, is no exception.

Cisco hosted a cable summit in Mumbai where chairman, CEO John Chamber was present. He highlighted how video is a compelling way to engage consumers and content.

Cisco also announced the launch of two set top boxes (STB), an entry level product to enable the transition from analogue to digital and a HD STB in order to make television viewing more social and immersive.

Cisco VP service provider segment Asia Pacific, Japan and China Jeff White said the STBs were designed taking inputs from Indian cable operators. "In the first phase, our focus will be to enable cable operators go digital. The next phase will be to take cable operators to the Videoscape arena over the next three years."

The entry level DTA STB has a basic digital to analogue converter, a user interface with a channel list, favourites and parental control. The advanced STB, which is the HD Zapper STB, is 3D TV ready. It supports video on demand and over-the-top content.

Cisco Videoscape combines the TV, Internet and web applications so that consumers can watch videos and interact with friends on any screen. The Videoscape architecture enables local content monetisation and efficient management and publishing of content across multiple screens – TV, PC, mobile and tablets. Videoscape allows for formatting of content in real time from the television to the mobile, PC tablet, etc.

“We do organic research. 15 per cent of our topline revenue goes back to research and development. We have a R&D facility in Chennai.This facility allows for customisation of STBs," said White.

Cisco Capital, part of Cisco, will partner with multi-system operators (MSOs) and cable operators to help them with financing as big investments will be needed.

Video is a key priority for Cisco. “We have made six recent big acquisitions including NDS and Clear Access. This reaffirms our commitment to video. Our aim is to help operators move from legacy architecture to an integrated content strategy. Another priority is to drive business architecture that helps service providers deal with complex video streams. Service providers demand that we do joint innovations,” said White.

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