Cisco to supply Charter with cloud-based security and 'Worldbox' STBs

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
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Charter and Cisco Enter Agreement in Support of Charter’s Breakthrough Next-Gen Video Solution

  • Cisco Will Serve as a Key ‘Worldbox’ Supplier Through 2015, Including Downloadable Conditional Access System (DCAS) and Digital Rights Management Solutions

LAS VEGAS, NV – CES 2015 — Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) announced today that the two companies have entered into a strategic agreement through which Cisco will supply key products in support of Charter’s breakthrough next-generation video solution. The products will include Cisco’s cloud-based security suite, including downloadable security solution (DCAS) for set-top boxes, and seamless digital rights management (DRM) solution to support video services on a range of IP devices. Cisco will supply a substantial share of Charter’s next-generation ‘Worldbox’ volume and will continue to supply CableCARD boxes until Charter migrates all current and acquired systems to the downloadable security solution.

The two companies will host a private press and analyst reception today at CES 2015 in Las Vegas to showcase Charter’s new solution and Cisco’s key contributions for the first time. The breakthrough Worldbox can act as a thin client that can be updated via cloud software and incorporates a cloud-driven user interface (UI) to deliver new features and experiences to Charter subscribers. Charter will also showcase the Spectrum Guide, a new, cloud-based, state-of-the-art user interface that will work on any deployed set-top box in Charter’s footprint.

“Cisco shares Charter’s vision of the future of network architecture, where our network’s intelligence is located in the cloud rather than in devices at the edge,” said Tom Rutledge, President and CEO of Charter Communications. “We are excited that Cisco will be a key supplier of the Charter Worldbox, and that their Downloadable Security Solution and Digital Rights Management solutions will be part of Charter’s next-generation, cloud-based video solution.”

“Cisco greatly values our enduring partnership with Charter,” said Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers. “We are proud to join Charter today to showcase the leading edge IP and cloud-based video solutions they are developing, and the Cisco products at their core. Charter’s new video solution, featuring cloud-driven video experiences offered across many devices will be a huge win for Charter subscribers.”

Charter expects to deploy downloadable security to its current systems this year and will then continue deployment to acquired systems. The downloadable security solution has been a multi-year effort involving multiple cable vendors. The downloadable security solution is an open solution, which has been ported to multiple vendors’ CPE. It interoperates with in-place proprietary conditional access system implementations, facilitating efficient footprint wide rollout across different cable video network architectures. Downloadable security allows current and future vendors worldwide to supply ‘Worldboxes’ to Charter. Charter is currently working with vendors towards manufacturing compatible boxes for the retail market as well, with the expectation that these devices will function in other cable systems using downloadable security solution.

Charter will offer both an HD only and an HD-DVR ‘Worldbox’ featuring dual IP/QAM capabilities, configurable up to 16 tuners, a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, 1 Gig of RAM, high-powered USB to enable future applications, and a terabyte of storage on the HD-DVR. Charter expects to launch its new fully featured cloud-based user interface, Spectrum Guide on Worldboxes, as well as on legacy boxes currently deployed within the Charter footprint. The Spectrum Guide features intuitive search and discovery capabilities with attractive graphics and TV and movie poster art that provides customers an enhanced state-of-the-art experience.