chowj-300x400By Joe Chow, VP & GM, Connected Devices Business Unit, Cisco

Headsup: Worldwide, Cisco’s TV technologies are present in nearly 300 million homes. Three. Hundred. Million. Homes! As my kids would say: Get. Out! That means that nearly a quarter of the homes on planet Earth are watching TV powered by Cisco – pretty amazing, right?

For us, it’s a very big deal, because it makes us the market share leader in set-top boxes. It took a long time to get here. We’re very happy, and grateful, to the 150 service providers and media companies who chose us for the television services they deliver.

One of the reasons for the introduction of the set-top box, dating back to the analog boxes of yore, is to secure television programming from theft. On the condition that you’re a subscriber, you get access to multichannel video. That, and channel expansion beyond channel three (which was as high as early television sets could go) gave cause for the thing we know now as the set-top box.

Those conditional access technologies, inside the over 100 million fielded Cisco set-tops, in those 300 million homes? Here’s another milestone: They’re securing more than $80 billion in payTV revenue, worldwide.

I say to anyone who has declared the death of the set-top box, that kind of thinking is a trap. Because service providers are so focused on building out cloud-based television services, the automatic inclination is to sucker punch anything on the “ground” side of “cloud to ground.” Set-tops – which are growing a cable modem and morphing into gateways — are not going away. We are working with our customers on RDK to deliver open application platforms that power IP or hybrid set-top boxes and gateway devices. At IBC this week in Amsterdam, we are even debuting an implementation of a set-top box running 4K Ultra HD content on RDK. So I can say (with gusto!) that what we’re hearing from our service provider customers doesn’t sound anything like a death knell.

There is also industry momentum with evolving the home to support “Connected Life” services, which help consumers keep track of, and connect to everything in their in-home environment with a digital pulse. You will hear a lot more from us on that in the coming months!

We have plenty of video milestones to share in this infographic – click here and enjoy — I just wanted to shine the light on those 300 million Cisco-powered TV households. And to thank the hundreds (if not thousands) of Cisco employees who got us here. Well done!



David Yates

as Director of Service Provider Video Marketing at Cisco