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Reading, PA
reply to miscDude

Re: [STB] Cisco thinking of getting out of the set-top box busin

Interesting, ok thanks for the reply miscDude.

What I like about DirecTV (and most guides on SA boxes that aren't i-Guide), is that the data stays intact on reboot. However on those devices there's a 5 to 10 minute boot time - unlike i-Guide (at least on Moto - I never used it on SA). I-Guide is ready for channel surfing right away and acquires data in the background.

On my DirecTV if I reboot it, it goes through its bootup phase (self check, os load, check dish, acquiring data, rebuilding scheduler, then live TV). You end up staring at progress bars for 5 minutes or more while you wait for it to complete. However I have a full guide when it's back up (not to mention cool features like Pandora, YouTube, TVApps and an HD UI). Now if there's an issue with guide data causing a corruption, they have it programmed if you reboot it twice within a 30-minute time frame that it will flush the guide data and download it from scratch.

A similar model could theoretically be applied to cable DVR's since they have a disk they could store data to. However I did hear that more advanced guides will use the internal DOCSIS modem for things like poster art, social media connections, TVApps, etc... Here's a post from last November from Mari Silbey on ZNF regarding (at least Rovi's total guide) the STB Modem in use: »www.zatznotfunny.com/2011-11/rov···set-top/

Lincroft, NJ
A new blog post on the Multichannel News site about this:

Duopoly Demise: A World without Motorola or Cisco
By Gary Arlen, Multichannel News - March 5, 2012

Lincroft, NJ
OK, well, here we go again. Now the New York Post has an article today on Google wanting to dump Motorola's STB business:

Google looking to unload Motorola's TV set-top box business
NY Post - March 7, 2012

"This just in: The TV set-top box is on its deathbed.

Google is looking to unload the set-top box business it will inherit from Motorola Mobility even before it closes on the $12.5 billion acquisition, The Post has learned.

The move appears to be an about-face from last August, when Google CEO Larry Page, in announcing the deal, suggested the business would play a role in his plans for revolutionizing the living room.

Google isn’t the only player looking to get out of the business. As The Post reported exclusively last month, Cisco is also seeking to sell Scientific Atlanta, which along with Motorola has had a near duopoly on the set-top box business.

And at least two other smaller cable-box players, Pace and Thomson’s Technicolor, are also expected to test the marketplace by putting their businesses on the block, sources said."

Lincroft, NJ
An article on the Light Reading Cable site today about this:

Is the Set-Top Duopoly on Its Deathbed?
Light Reading Cable - March 7, 2012

"Getting out of the set-top box business appears to be the thing to do these days.

Following word that Cisco Systems Inc. wants to unload its set-top box unit comes a rumor that Google is eager to sell off Motorola Mobility Inc.'s box business even before the deal is consummated.

If both possibilities end up ringing true, then, ding-dong, the duopoly is dead. But, it's hard to blame them if they do indeed decide to bug out. The set-top box business isn't what it once was as margins drop and the traditional functions of the set-top box, including security, give way to set-top-free IP-connected TVs and tablets and more elegant software-based security systems that loosen their stranglehold on conditional access.

The set-top box is a dying breed, but the business isn't dead yet, nor will it be for many years. So, in the theoretical absence of the duopoly, what's domestic cable to do? Don't fret too much is a good starting point. Panasonic Corp. may have picked the worst time to exit the U.S. set-top box business, but there is no shortage of folks that are hungry to help cable operators bridge the chasm. Here are some of the leading candidates, plus a few dark horses."

[Followed by the author's list and discussion of the leading candidates and dark horses.]