Cisco Systems has announced that they are building a suite of Linux-based products under the “Videoscape” brand to rival the likes of Google and Apple in their STB offerings. Very much like the Google TV or Apple TV, the Videoscape devices will have capabilities of accessing cable TV as well web video content.
The device will consist of a media gateway, an IP set top box and other Linux-based components which will enable consumers to not only access web content, but also search and manage cable TV, Internet video and video-conferencing . Furthermore, the consumer will able to watch their subscribed content from any of their devices like smartphones and tablet PCs.
Cisco plans to unveil two versions of their set-top-box. The first one, a Cisco TES301 IP Managed Services Gateway, will be an application-centric gateway that would integrate voice, high speed data, online video and routing. Other services like home monitoring and security will also be available as additional offerings.
The second and more advanced device , Cisco DRG 7000 Series IP Video Gateway, will be able to stream high-definition video to multiple devices through conversion of MPEG4 video from multicast to unicast. It will support industry standards like MoCA and DLNA.
Integration to social media websites will also be included enabling the user to share the content he’s watching with his friends.
Withholding the price of the device, Cisco has decided not to make these devices available off-the-shelf, for direct consumer consumption. Instead, Cisco plans to tie-up with service providers and make them available through cable operators. Currently only Australia’s Telstra has decided to offer these high-end STBs to their customers.