Buckeye Fights U-verse With IP-Fueled Gateways
Buckeye CableSystem , a Tier 2 MSO based in Toledo, Ohio, will try to win back some video customers who defected to AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) U-verse in recent years using hybrid QAM/IP video gateways from Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) that can support over-the-top content.
Buckeye has the Arris Moxi gateway, a device with six tuners and an integrated Docsis 3.0 modem, in beta testing in more than 150 employee homes, and hopes to roll it out commercially within the next 30 days, says Buckeye CableSystem CTO Joe Jensen. The MSO is rolling out a whole-home version of the system that networks the primary gateway with thin-client "Moxi Mate" devices.
Buckeye is also installing Arris's ConvergeMedia video-on-demand (VoD) software backoffice and servers, switching out a legacy SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC) platform.
Netflix on the horizon?
Arris's gateway and whole-home DVR set-up is Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) -enabled, meaning it can feed in content from Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) via PCs linked to the home network.
Buckeye may add a third-party Netflix app later as it looks to enhance the product on a quarterly basis and make the Moxi its flagship video product, supplanting its historic use of Motorola Mobility LLC and Pace plc boxes. For now, the MSO will support some apps that come pre-integrated with the Moxi UI, including games and TV-based Caller ID.
"We're hoping to incent some of our customers that left U-verse to return to us with a better product," Jensen says.
Why this matters
For Buckeye, the hybrid gateways give the MSO a new weapon to wield against U-verse and to put it on an IP video migration path.
For Arris, Buckeye marks the latest MSO to adopt new gateways spawned from its US$20 million acquisition of Paul Allen's Digeo Inc. in 2009. Arris expects to turn the Moxi into a $100 million business this year, confirms Stan Brovant, Arris's SVP of marketing and business development. WideOpenWest Holdings LLC (WOW) , BendBroadband and Canada-based Shaw Communications Inc. have also deployed the device. Arris has two more "small Tier 1" MSOs on the launch pad, Brovont says.
Read more about Arris's budding video gateway strategy.
- WOW! Boots Up Arris Multi-Room Gateways
- Arris's $100M Opportunity
- Arris Touts Whole Home Solution (video)
- Arris Starts to Make Hay on Digeo Deal
- Arris Crafting Its Own Video Sling
- Arris Digs Digeo
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable