Cisco touts cloud-based video power at CES amid new deal with Charter

Regardless whether they are in the home or the office, Cisco's priority for the International CES and beyond is to serve as the backbone for any products interested in linking up to wireless networks.

LAS VEGAS---Thousands upon thousands of tech companies from around the world are feverishly flaunting each and every possible connected tech idea tapping into the Internet-of-Things movement at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show this week.

Regardless whether they are in the home or the office, Cisco's priority for the International CES and beyond is to serve as the backbone for any products interested in linking up to wireless networks.

"Every person, your home, your car, the way you do healthcare, your sporting activities will become connected," said Cisco CEO John Chambers at a press conference on Tuesday. "It's disrupt or be disrupted."

On Monday, Cisco announced a partnership Vodafone-owned Kabel Deutschland (KD), Germany's largest cable operator, to serve as the foundation for KD's on-demand video service. Under the deal, KD's future video service will use Cisco-branded connected devices to establish a "video-hub for the home."

Stateside, Cisco has inked a deal with broadband provider Charter Communications.

Under the agreement, Cisco will supply the technology for Charter's upcoming next-generation video platform. Many of the resources that will be at Charter's disposal will derive from Cisco's cloud-based security suite, including a downloadable security solution for set-top boxes along with seamless digital rights management (DRM) for video services on a range of IP devices.

Charter will also be shoring up its existing systems through an open downloadable security suite that will be deployed to current systems this year.

Worldbox, Charter's new flagship set-top box in the pipeline, will be at the heart of the partnership as Charter plans to roll out a new cloud-based user interface, Spectrum Guide on Worldboxes, this year as well.

These devices can work in any cable system regardless of what the previous cable footprint was, insisted Charter Communications CEO Thomas Rutledge. It allow us to build a box with an integrated form factor, which is less expensive but more capable than anything Charter has deployed in the past, supporting 4K and the option to serve as a home network hub.

Rutledge explained that the cloud-based model allows Charter "to ubiquitously deploy this guide on every set-top box" using a video on-demand infrastructure that the oldest model looks at, then rendering the guide in a streamed capacity.

"I often believe when you talk about a series of announcements, it's important to paint the big picture first," professed Chambers, pointing toward "the rapid change over the last few years" from video capabilities to the Internet-of-Things taking the show by storm this year.

"Smart networks make dumb screens smart," Rutledge quipped. "We can take any kind of device and turn it into a sophisticated device."

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