Photo: Associated Press
Cisco wants you to know that it loves its television set top business and isn’t thinking of selling it off.The New York post reported yesterday that the company was trying to shed that unit. Cisco paid close to $7 billion in 2006 to enter the set top business when it acquired Scientific-Atlanta.
The Post pointed out that as part of Cisco’s $1 billion cost cutting last year, the company sold Scientific-Atlanta manufacturing facilities in Juarez, Mexico, to one of Cisco’s contract manufacturers.
But Cisco’s head PR honcho today blogged that the Post had it wrong. “Let me be as clear as I can: we love set top boxes,” he wrote.
When Cisco CEO John Chambers was asked about the future of the set top business during the company’s earnings webcast, he explained that Cisco was riding a changing wave in this business:
“[Service Provider] video had another very strong quarter with 23% revenue growth year over year. In terms of set top boxes, we are very much committed to this marketplace. Our SP customers asked us to partner with them as they move from traditional set top boxes to IP [Internet Protocol] set top boxes to the cloud.”
Traditional set top boxes could soon go the way of dinosaurs as more capabilities get baked into TVs themselves. But other forms of set top boxes aren’t dead yet. People are also opting to buy their own boxes that deliver video entertainment over the Web, like Roku or Boxee.
Meanwhile Cisco is pushing its Internet TV Videoscape product. It lets service providers blend television and Internet, such as letting people use Facebook via the TV while watching the game, or letting people buy advertised products immediately and charge it to their bill.