Cisco Targets Digital TV With 1 Mainstream Acquisition

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Connected devices ahoy! Cisco tackles digital TV portability with purchase of cloud video platform

Cisco is to capitalise on the growing consumption of HD TV content on different devices including smartphones, tablets and PCs.

The networking giant announced the acquisition of 1 Mainstream which delivers a cloud-based video platform that provides live and on-demand streaming video services to a variety of connected devices.

Digital Content

Terms of which were not disclosed, but Cisco says the acquisition comes as “the lines continue to blur between PayTV, such as premium subscription content, and over-the-top (OTT) streaming video service offerings.”

This, it says, has resulted in service providers, content providers, media companies and broadcasters are all launching services of their own. Indeed, it says that OTT allows these companies to offer these services at a much faster rate compared to traditional TV technologies.

Terminator HD TV competition prizeThe cloud-based video platform from 1 Mainstream therefore is aimed at these companies and allows them to quickly launch live and on-demand OTT video services to a variety of connected devices.

It allows content to be moved seamlessly across connected devices, and the platform is currently “widely used by major content providers and traditional service providers.” Sky for example is an investor in its technology.

Cisco also says that the technology from 1 Mainstream complements its ‘Infinite’ suite of cloud-powered video entertainment solutions.

Serial Buyer

There is little doubt that Cisco is a company in the middle of a transformation. Its aggressive use of acquisitions is part of its ‘build, buy, partner, invest and co-develop’ strategy.

Indeed, 1 Mainstream is the third Cisco acquisition this week alone. It has also acquired analytics provider ParStream and security specialist Lancope in recent days.

But Cisco is a serial buyer and has acquired many companies over the years. One of the less successful acquisitions was that of Pure Digital Technologies in 2009, a company that used to make the Flip Video device (a compact digital camcorder).

That move into the consumer field puzzled many at the time, and two years Cisco closed its Flip video camera business and scaled back its consumer business.

But Cisco is changing (again) and expanding beyond its traditional networking roots. In July this year CEO John Chambers ended his two-decade tenure in charge of the networking giant and handed the CEO reins to Chuck Robbins, who used to be head of global sales and partners.

The change in leadership was somewhat awkward, as Robbins was viewed by some as surprise choice. Two leading candidates to replace John Chambers was Rob Lloyd (President of Development and Sales) and Gary Moore (President and Chief Operating Officer).

Both men were however bypassed and subsequently resigned, along with a number of senior management figures at the firm.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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