Arris CFO: ActiveVideo acquisition gives us a cloud DVR play

Arris' acquisition of 65 percent of ActiveVideo, which it announced last April as part of a partnership with Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) to buy the cloud TV provider, will give the company an early foothold in the cloud DVR world, according to a top Arris executive.

Speaking at the Needham Next-Gen Storage/Networking Conference, Arris CFO David Potts said that while Arris customers all have a different approach to the growing cloud DVR trend, the company believes it's well positioned to take advantage of this because of its partnership with Charter and its acquisition of ActiveVideo. Specifically, Potts said that as things move to an all IP environment, the company is putting cloud at the forefront of its strategy when it contemplates M&A activity, as was the case with its purchase of ActiveVideo.

The key to the ActiveVideo purchase was the company's product, CloudTV, which Charter has deployed as part of its Spectrum Guide. The technology enables Charter to perform advanced user-interface processing at the service level so that older QAM-based set-tops don't have to be replaced.

Charter has said it will expand its Spectrum Guide deployment into Bright House Networks' systems once Charter's purchase of that MSO closes.

Potts noted that Arris is moving more into software vs. hardware. He said beyond Arris' purchase of ActiveVideo, the company also has a cloud-based network surveillance product as well as a work assurance product that helps cable MSOs manage calls for installers.

Beyond the cloud, Potts also said that Arris is seeing DOCSIS 3.1 trials happening now with some of its customers. He said Arris expects that during the second half of 2016 there will be a growing demand for DOCSIS 3.1-capable modems.

He also said that the company believes the surge in over-the-top offerings from distributors as well as content companies is a good thing for Arris because it means that there will be more demand for broadband services.

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