DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:56:22 PM
re: Cisco Keeping Set-Top Fire Stoked

I'm still confused. I saw two Videoscape demos at CES in January that didn't include a set-top box at all. One of the demos did include the Flip camera, which is no longer a Cisco product. Some I'm still finding it tough to understand what Videoscape is, what it includes and why it even matters.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:56:19 PM
re: Cisco Keeping Set-Top Fire Stoked

Great point about gateways. I know Pace (formerly 2Wire) had gateways that could store a hard drive (for DVR and data backup) and thus (in my mind) the set-top was well on its way to being obsolete.

I'd rather have a largish gateway in one room and no set-tops than a gateway in one room and set-tops under every telly. Doesn't make sense to have all that power and all that waste when the technology is so far beyond that.

Anyway, as a consumer, I wish nothing but failure to set-tops and all who keep littering our homes with these useless hotplates.


ycurrent 12/5/2012 | 4:56:19 PM
re: Cisco Keeping Set-Top Fire Stoked

The STB is becoming a "functionality" similar to the TV becoming an "experience" which can then be located/delivered in multiple places: alongside the TV, in the TV, in some other IP connected device as a soft client... Although defining the "functionality" and "experience" will take time to transition from marketing speak/gibberish to reality.

As for Cisco, the STB challenge is two-fold (at least).  First,we're seeing the big growth in shipments in emerging markets.  Great.  So orders go up, but margins? Second, what's the latest guess on the mix between STBs and gateways? Will gateways replace 10% of the STB market, or 90%?

Depends who you ask at Cisco... The Scientific Atlanta folks are still there with one opinion, while the ex-MSFT head with a different opinion is, well, elsewhere.

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:56:18 PM
re: Cisco Keeping Set-Top Fire Stoked

I thought you might be referring to the much-maligned Moto DCT-5000 from yesteryear... it never got deployed, but legend has it that it doubled as a handy grill... helpful when you want to fry up some snacks during the commericals. JB

ycurrent 12/5/2012 | 4:56:18 PM
re: Cisco Keeping Set-Top Fire Stoked

But if you could cook dinner on them? Apparently you should be able to plug your fridge into the DVR and still have excess capacity to warm your poptart.

Or maybe that's the secret behind Jon Kaplan's (Flip) The Melt business venture?

rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 4:56:15 PM
re: Cisco Keeping Set-Top Fire Stoked

This seems like a semantic discussion, i.e. in the long term what's the difference between a gateway and a STB?  Technically speaking, not much. The real reason cable cos "own" the STB is to maintain control of distribution of content where a consumer purchased GW has an expectation of unfettered access to any content.  (From a cost perspective it sure is a lot better for the consumer to pay for the CPE.)  I suspect we'll see this separation blur as we shift to consumer purchased content and as the cable cos move to be primarily bit distributors.  (Though by that time, much of mass media and bit distribution may merge into one a la Comcast/NBC.)

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