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telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15

1 edit

[Comcast Equip] Cisco thinking of getting out of the set-top box business?

Don't know how much to trust the NY Post, but here is their article on Cisco thinking of getting out of the set-top box business:

Cisco thinking out of the set-top box biz
NY Post - February 20, 2012
»www.nypost.com/p/news/business/c···mxCWOYew

"After six years, Cisco is looking to switch off its Scientific-Atlanta cable set-top box business, The Post has learned.

The Internet equipment maker, which in 2006 paid close to $7 billion for the tech firm, has put the company on the block as margins in that business have come under pressure, according to a source following the situation.

“I know Cisco is out looking to sell Scientific-Atlanta,” the source said.

A Cisco spokeswoman declined to comment.

Much has changed in the set-top box business since Cisco acquired S-A, most of all the streaming of Internet content and the race to introduce video on multiple platforms.

Arguably, the set-top box is becoming outdated.

The most likely buyers are private equity firms, who often look to pay reasonably-low purchase multiples for mature businesses which they can use as cash cows, another source said.

Microsoft had an interest in 2006, a source said, but much has changed in five years.

Cisco has said it’s moving from set-top boxes to Videoscape, a product built on technology gained from Scientific-Atlanta that allows media companies to deliver content through the cloud to smart phones and tablets.

In a public filing, Cisco said its key manufacturing facilities for Scientific-Atlanta’s products are located in Juarez, Mexico, and in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, it entered into an agreement to sell them to one of its contract manufacturers.

Cisco closed trading Friday at $20.29 a share, up more than 12 percent this year after a rough 2011 that saw its shares lose roughly 8 percent of their value."


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15

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

There is also this article on the FierceIPTV site today about the NY Post report, which also provides some more background:

Report: Cisco's Scientific-Atlanta up for sale
FierceIPTV - February 20, 2012
»www.fierceiptv.com/story/report-···12-02-20


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
This article on the Light Reading Cable site this morning seems to cast some doubt [big surprise! ] on the NY Post's story:

Cisco: 'We Love Set-Top Boxes'
Light Reading Cable - February 21, 2012
»www.lightreading.com/document.as···r_cable&

Quote from John Earnhardt, Director of Corporate Communications at Cisco: "Every few months there seems to be a rumor or speculative comment about our commitment to our set top box business. Let me be as clear as I can: we love set top boxes."


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
A follow-up article on the FierceCable site on this now:

Cisco: 'We love set-top boxes'; dismisses speculation that it will sell Scientific-Atlanta unit
FierceCable - February 21, 2012
»www.fiercecable.com/story/cisco-···12-02-21


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
An article on the FierceIPTV site that continues the speculation about a sale:

Cisco 'loves STBs,' but is the business for sale anyway?
FierceIPTV - February 21, 2012
»www.fierceiptv.com/story/cisco-l···12-02-21


bohratom
Jersey Shore is back again.

join:2011-07-07
Red Bank NJ
reply to telcodad
Cisco selling their STB business does not concern me. However if Motorola or another large STB provider were to purchase it then it would.

MrHappy316
Wish I had my tank
Premium
join:2003-01-02
Monterey, CA
reply to telcodad
Maybe they see the writing on the wall as there is more talk about cutting the cord and folks complaining about constant rate hikes and having a box for every TV. Cisco may be getting smart and think that STB are on their way out in the future as economic times and other events/technologies come out have the public looking at alternatives.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
Latest update on this story from Light Reading Cable:

Why Cisco Wants Out of Set-Tops (Or Not)
Light Reading Cable - February 23, 2012
»www.lightreading.com/document.as···r_cable&

ajwees41
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Omaha, NE
reply to bohratom
why Cisco/SA are not very good boxes compared to motorola

miscDude

join:2005-03-24
Kissimmee, FL
said by ajwees41:

why Cisco/SA are not very good boxes compared to motorola

Traditionally, SA boxes have actually been much better hardware then the motorola boxes. The weekness has always been in the guide/interface loaded onto them.

One of the primary advantages of SA boxes? they speak IP natively instead of a proprietary system to address a specific box on the plant.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
A new product announcement today from Cisco and Rogers, a major Canadian cable TV company, that uses Cisco's Videoscape architecture that has been referred to in some of the set-top box articles:

Cisco and Rogers Reinvent the Cable TV Experience With Cisco Videoscape
Leading Canadian Cable TV Provider Selects Cisco for Path to Video Innovation
Marketwire - February 24, 2012
»www.marketwire.com/press-release···4140.htm

Also, on Roger's website:

Introducing NextBox 2.0
»www.rogers.com/web/content/next-···-nextbox

SPOOZ

join:2011-06-20
Lafayette, CO
reply to telcodad
It would be interesting if Google bought Scientific Atlanta.
That way they would own both the Motorola and the Scientific Atlanta set-top box business and could reshape the set-top box interfaces in new ways.

neufuse

join:2006-12-06
James Creek, PA
Did motorola mobility have their STB division? I thought that was just Motorola and the mobility division which google bought was just telecom not STB


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
From a press release from the Motorola Media Center:

Motorola Mobility Launches as Independent Company
Begins Trading as MMI on the NYSE
Jan. 04, 2011
»mediacenter.motorola.com/Press-R···52b.aspx

"Motorola Mobility is comprised of two industry-leading global technology businesses.

The Mobile Devices business is an innovative provider of smartphone devices designed to fit every lifestyle.
:
The Home business is one of the largest providers of digital set-top boxes and end-to-end video solutions.

Motorola Mobility will leverage the capabilities of both the Mobile Devices and Home businesses to deliver innovative smartphones, tablets, set-tops and other converged devices – as well as content delivery and management, and interactive cloud-based services to consumers in the home and on the go."


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
An article on the Light Reading Cable site on Rogers's use of Cisco's Videoscape architecture:

Rogers Fires Up Cisco's Videoscape
Light Reading Cable - February 24, 2012
»www.lightreading.com/document.as···r_cable&

miscDude

join:2005-03-24
Kissimmee, FL
reply to SPOOZ
said by SPOOZ:

It would be interesting if Google bought Scientific Atlanta.
That way they would own both the Motorola and the Scientific Atlanta set-top box business and could reshape the set-top box interfaces in new ways.

Wouldn't work. While Motorola Mobility hands their STB business, the interface and controller are handled by a group owned by both Motorola and Comcast, with Comcast having controlling interest in it. The existing deals will prevent Google from really doing much to shake up the existing setup.

Now.... That being said, I don't believe anything in those existing deals would prevent a resurrection of the Motorola DCP501 concept. The only issue would be that Google has not had the best track record in selling/supporting hardware directly to the public.

ajwees41
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Omaha, NE
reply to miscDude
what make the hardware in cisco better than the motorola boxes?

ajwees41
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Omaha, NE
reply to SPOOZ
said by SPOOZ:

It would be interesting if Google bought Scientific Atlanta.
That way they would own both the Motorola and the Scientific Atlanta set-top box business and could reshape the set-top box interfaces in new ways.

how can they when it's all Cisco now?

Russ6

join:2011-03-17
Houston, TX
kudos:1
said by ajwees41:

said by SPOOZ:

It would be interesting if Google bought Scientific Atlanta.
That way they would own both the Motorola and the Scientific Atlanta set-top box business and could reshape the set-top box interfaces in new ways.

how can they when it's all Cisco now?

Cisco would have to be willing to sell the set-top box portion of its business to Google.
--
SA 8300 HD DVRs with Patched S25 Guide
Links:
'S25 Guide Blog' 'Schedule' 'Info' 'Patch Thread'

ajwees41
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Omaha, NE
Russ how can they though since it's now Cisco cable boxes not SA

So Googlle would have to buy it from Cisco not SA?

Russ6

join:2011-03-17
Houston, TX
kudos:1
said by ajwees41:

Russ how can they though since it's now Cisco cable boxes not SA

So Googlle would have to buy it from Cisco not SA?

Yes, Google would have to buy it from Cisco not SA.

Cisco bought SA and can sell SA and any other part of Cisco's business that Cisco wants to sell. Google would have to have Cisco's permission before the sale. Google couldn't do a hostile takeover since SA is currently part of Cisco.
--
SA 8300 HD DVRs with Patched S25 Guide
Links:
'S25 Guide Blog' 'Schedule' 'Info' 'Patch Thread'


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
Found this press release on ACG Research's Service Provider Video Infrastructure (SPVI) market report:

ACG Research: Video Infrastructure Market Reaches $13.2B Worldwide
The impact by OTT video and multiscreen viewing is still slight but threatening according to ACG Research's recent market report.
PRWEB - February 24, 2012
»www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/pr···1293.htm

"Cisco is the clear market leader in the Service Provider Video Infrastructure (SPVI) market. In the infrastructure segments (core routers, carrier Ethernet and CMTS), Cisco dominates these markets with approximately 60% market share in each. Cisco also has taken over as the leading STB vendor, based on its strength in IPTV STBs. Motorola is in second place, driven by its leading cable STB shares. Arris has a solid second place share in CMTS, and Alcatel Lucent takes second place in the routing segments.

While remaining in the low single digit in share of the market, Over the Top (OTT) and TV Everywhere (TVE, the viewing of videos on tablets, mobile devices, laptops and game consoles) continues to grow faster than the rest of the market. STBs are down slightly year to year, but much of this change is because of the increase in sales of lower cost devices such as DTAs and price pressures. CMTS sales remain strong, driven by increasing demand for data over the hybrid fiber coax systems of the multisystem operators.

“So far, the market and pay TV companies have not seen major impacts from OTT and TVE,” said David Dines, ACG’s principal analyst for video. “However, all the players in the ecosystem have launched or about to launch initiatives to compete with Netflix and Hulu,” he added. “Some examples include Streampix from Comcast, Verizon’s deal with Redbox, HBOgo, ESPN and Showtime.” Mr. Dines continues “This means that vendors will be pushed by the service providers to come up with solutions to deal with the additional complexity.”

miscDude

join:2005-03-24
Kissimmee, FL
reply to ajwees41
said by ajwees41:

what make the hardware in cisco better than the motorola boxes?

A couple easy things are the RISC chips in the boxes have "traditionally" been more powerful than the chips in the Moto boxes. The Cisco boxes have also been able to do PIP.

Architecture wise, There is the whole dedicated QAM In-Band data carrier that was used to send code to the boxes (in basically completely images), guide, and a few other system items, which has left the OOB QPSK carrier free to just handle 2-way box traffic (done via IP) and System information such as channel maps, time, etc. On a motorola system, all traffic to the box is sent via the small OOB QPSK carrier, including box code. It means that managing data rates becomes a much more delicate balancing act in order to get everything to every type of box you have on the plant, while not impacting 2way traffic or time to load. It is because of this you run into the whole code-object aspect of the Motorola code (so you can only push what needs to be pushed and common objects don't get duplicated)... as well as one reason for the proprietary OOB communication protocols which are designed to deal with the limited bandwidth better than TCP/IP would.

ajwees41
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Omaha, NE
»www.motorola.com/Video-Solutions···00_US-EN

the motorola's can do PIP per the above and most like need a firmware guide update.

Russ6

join:2011-03-17
Houston, TX
kudos:1
said by ajwees41:

»www.motorola.com/Video-Solutions···00_US-EN

the motorola's can do PIP per the above and most like need a firmware guide update.

In Ted Hodgins' "New Guide for Scientific Atlanta Cable Boxes" blog (»blog.comcast.com/2010/05/new-gui···nt-37924), he states PIP is not on the current feature roadmap and probably won't be in the future.

Also, the SA/Cisco DVRs support an external hard drive but the Motorola DVRs currently don't.
--
SA 8300 HD DVRs with Patched S25 Guide
Links:
'S25 Guide Blog' 'Schedule' 'Info' 'Patch Thread'

Russ6

join:2011-03-17
Houston, TX
kudos:1
reply to miscDude
said by miscDude:

said by ajwees41:

what make the hardware in cisco better than the motorola boxes?

A couple easy things are the RISC chips in the boxes have "traditionally" been more powerful than the chips in the Moto boxes. The Cisco boxes have also been able to do PIP.

Architecture wise, There is the whole dedicated QAM In-Band data carrier that was used to send code to the boxes (in basically completely images), guide, and a few other system items, which has left the OOB QPSK carrier free to just handle 2-way box traffic (done via IP) and System information such as channel maps, time, etc. On a motorola system, all traffic to the box is sent via the small OOB QPSK carrier, including box code. It means that managing data rates becomes a much more delicate balancing act in order to get everything to every type of box you have on the plant, while not impacting 2way traffic or time to load. It is because of this you run into the whole code-object aspect of the Motorola code (so you can only push what needs to be pushed and common objects don't get duplicated)... as well as one reason for the proprietary OOB communication protocols which are designed to deal with the limited bandwidth better than TCP/IP would.

Is this the reason why the new S25 guide takes a couple days to load the complete guide data when it is rebooted and the previous SARA guide loaded the guide data quickly when it was rebooted?
--
SA 8300 HD DVRs with Patched S25 Guide
Links:
'S25 Guide Blog' 'Schedule' 'Info' 'Patch Thread'

miscDude

join:2005-03-24
Kissimmee, FL
said by Russ6:

Is this the reason why the new S25 guide takes a couple days to load the complete guide data when it is rebooted and the previous SARA guide loaded the guide data quickly when it was rebooted?

Yes. SARA only sent about a days worth of guide in the OOB carrier, but sent the rest of the 7 days through the in-band data. when you turned off the box it tuned to the in-band and just pulled the full data there. Your data throughput for the guide information would be the equivalent of a dial-up connection vs. DSL.

S25 along with the Moto feel, goes with the Moto guide method of sending EVERYTHING thru the OOB. This means that they are sending the full 2 weeks of guide thru that dial up connection. In theory, it could handle it fine since it's ultimately just text, but because of the way it's constantly streaming they send the first day or so on a pretty regular basis, then day 2-7 less often, and finally days 7-14 maybe once a day. The idea is that no matter when a box gets connected to the plant, the overall guide load time would be about the same vs sending everything all at once which would result in a box maybe getting day 5 pretty quickly once powered, but then having to wait 8-10hrs for the beginning of the data with what's currently airing to come back around.

IMHO, while S25 definitely looks nicer than SARA did, they managed to import all of MOTO's shortcomings while not taking advantage of any of the SA/Cisco advantages. For the average customer however, it's still overall an improvement..... if nothing more, because if you live in a SA/Cisco plant you don't have to worry about customer service not having a clue how to tell you to get to someplace in the guide because the call center is located on a Moto plant.

Russ6

join:2011-03-17
Houston, TX
kudos:1
The main problem that I had with the S25 guide was that it would truncate recordings under certain conditions. See the Patch link in my signature for more information. Comcast had to stop development on adding features to the guide and instead send out a patch to fix this major issue and 2 minor issues. The patch fixed the truncated recordings issue and improved the other 2 minor issues. This has delayed future guide releases by at least a half a year and it could end up being even longer.
--
SA 8300 HD DVRs with Patched S25 Guide
Links:
'S25 Guide Blog' 'Schedule' 'Info' 'Patch Thread'

miscDude

join:2005-03-24
Kissimmee, FL
I've got my own feelings about S25. I'm going to try and keep my mouth shut regarding my opinions on it's readiness and/or the way it was/is being handled.


cypherstream
Premium,MVM
join:2004-12-02
Reading, PA
kudos:3
reply to miscDude
hey miscDude, long time no talk.

Do you know if Passport is handled the same way? With the SA Broadband Information Gateway (sometimes called the BIG QAM)?

Good thought from SA when they designed it years ago and sending BFS data over a full 6 MHz channel that the box tunes to when it's idle, but I think the future solution really would be DOCSIS. All the Advanced set top boxes have internal DOCSIS modems. Cablevision already orders their SA/Cisco with the DOCSIS version instead of the BIG QAM/DAVIC OOB version. IE) the SA4250 vs the SA3250.

But think of it this way... There's already 8 channels of DOCSIS in some areas because of DOCSIS 3.0 channel bonding. Back in the day when you only had 1 DOCSIS channel maybe it wasn't smart to mix STB data with HSI data and rob customers of their service level agreements. These days I don't see any issue with using DSG (Docsis Set Top Gateway) with all the extra channels assigned to the CMTS. That's at least how Xfinity Spectrum works. I believe the Tivo on Moto experement that has come to an end also delivered the data via DOCSIS.