One critical factor to stay ahead in today’s dynamic and competitive video market is the agility to deploy new services and hardware fast.

But what do service providers really need in order to be agile?

An open client software is a great start. It provides a core software base so service providers can focus on innovating rather than handling fundamental software components. It is continually enhanced by the developer community and easy to integrate with hardware and software components from third-parties or the open software community.

A fine example of open software for video CPE is the RDK (Reference Design Kit). Originally begun by Comcast two years ago, RDK is evolving into a standardized open software base for the industry. It is enjoying growing support from a broad community of Service Providers, SoC, OEMs, software vendors, and system integrators. It provides a shared set of software components for QAM, IP, and hybrid devices. And it has a modular, layered architecture for easy hardware and software updates.

As an open software that enables agility, RDK ticks all the right boxes.

But to realize that agility—that is, to actually bring new services and platforms to market at a rapid pace with success—service providers need a partner with the right expertise, resources, and software components

What does this entail?

Software optimization and extensions

Software needs to be adapted to the service provider’s specific needs and environment. It takes a partner with the necessary expertise and experience in client software development to achieve this in the tight timelines set by today’s competitive market.

A broad range of available video software products

To enable advanced video experiences, service providers need a full software stack for video client devices. It requires adding a number of components to complement RDK.

For example:

  • An HTML5 user experience – one with a powerful and open web-engine that provides an engaging way to find and view video content.
  • Robust CAS & DRM that provide a solid foundation for generating revenue and enhancing stickiness
  • Residential gateway software for adding home networking services across the CPE installed base
  • Cloud DVR so subscribers can enjoy unlimited storage capabilities on any device, anywhere

Working with a vendor that has all these components, and more, readily available makes it easier for service providers to build a complete solution faster.

Professional services

Turning your software components into a ready for market solution requires a partner that has extensive experience in providing:

  • Customization and integration per customer requirements
  • Testing and validation from hardware-specific code to launched product
  • Interoperability with service provider environment
  • Ongoing support

An end-to-end video offering

At the end of the day, a gateway or STB is just one element of a video delivery platform. A vendor that can offer service providers a full end-to-end solution that spans client, network, and cloud, while granting the freedom to choose how their platform will look, is a true partner for success.

Cisco—Empowering service providers

With over 70 client software customers and the industry’s largest video software development team, Cisco is the #1 video software provider. We have the expertise, resources and software components to realize agility.


As an early RDK licensee, Cisco is an active contributing member of the RDK community with multiple R&D centers of excellence worldwide dedicated to development on RDK. Cisco has multiple customer engagements with RDK POCs and integrations with multiple hardware platforms—both Cisco and non-Cisco.

At this year’s IBC event, Cisco is presenting its software solution on RDK in a variety of use cases, including utilizing HEVC to enable a 4K experience with the minimum bandwidth requirement.

Visit the Cisco booth at #1.A71 to see our RDK demo in action.