Video services

Rogers Fires Up Cisco's Videoscape

Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI), Canada's largest cable MSO, has tapped Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s multi-screen Videoscape framework to power NextBox 2.0, a cloud-based video platform that combines a new navigation system, a whole-home DVR/gateway and a streaming system that will let customers watch a limited number of live TV channels on Wi-Fi-connected tablets.

Central to the new service are Cisco's IP-connected Explorer 8642 HD-DVR and 4642 HD boxes, which make up the whole home DVR setup, and Voyager Vantage, Cisco's browser-based guide that supports HTML 4/5 authoring environments.

Rogers's new product can also feed live TV channels to tablets such as the Samsung Corp. Galaxy Tab and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad, but it's limiting access to devices that are within reach of the customer's home Wi-Fi signal. Early on, Rogers is also limiting the devices' streaming-channel options to 22, including ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox.

The Diamond package, tops among NextBox 2.0's four service tiers, sells for C$181.20 (US$181.41) per month and includes Rogers's HD video tier, a Galaxy Tab and the MSO's 75Mbit/s (downstream) Docsis 3.0 service, which comes with a monthly consumption limit of 250 gigabytes before overage fees kick in.

At the low end is Silver, which includes the digital basic tier and the 18Mbit/s (downstream) Express Internet package for C$86.13 (US$86.25) per month. All tiers come with a 1-Terabyte DVR extender. Rogers is lifting HD-DVR rental fees for six months to customers who agree to a two-year contract.

Why this matters
In addition to going cloud-heavy with a next-generation video platform, Rogers is demonstrating the kind of hybrid QAM/IP approach that other major MSOs in North America will be pursuing in 2012 as they try to stop the erosion of their video subscriber bases.

Cisco, meanwhile, gets a North American cable showcase for Videoscape, an architecture that's central to Cisco's new video strategy as more of its service-provider customers start to adopt IP and look to pipe services to devices other than the TV. Other Videoscape customers include Telus Corp. (NYSE: TU; Toronto: T) (a Rogers competitor) and Numericable-SFR .

It's also an early look at Cisco's Videoscape-powered set-top boxes -- even as some industry sources say Cisco is trying to unload set-top boxes in general.

For more
More about Videoscape and the recent Cisco set-top rumors.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

AESerm 12/5/2012 | 5:41:26 PM
re: Rogers Fires Up Cisco's Videoscape

Boy, that's a stretch! But a fun (and funny) NFL video. I lost track of Schottenheimer after Danny Snyder fired him from the Redskins ten years ago. But if the class would like to return to the topic at hand... several brains at Rogers have been thinking about a common video control plane even before Videoscape was a "gleam" in John Chambers' eye, and of course before Cisco bought BNI. 

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:41:26 PM
re: Rogers Fires Up Cisco's Videoscape

Caption with the photo reminded me of Marty Schottenheimer trying to fire up his Browns before the 1986  AFC Championship Game that started the legend of John Elway.   For you nostalgic Broncos fans out there, check the 2:01 mark of this video clip.  JB

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