Charter and Arris will be working together to develop Charter’s WorldBox 2.0, the next generation of Charter’s hybrid IP/QAM video platform.
Initially announced in early 2015, WorldBox was built to enable traditional and cloud-based user interfaces, content, and new video features for Charter subscribers. With the new version, Charter says it will expand on its current downloadable conditional access (DCAS) capabilities, allowing it to work on legacy CAS systems across Charter's newly widened footprint following its acquisitions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. This is made possible through the built-in security processing capabilities now available in generic chipsets, Charter said, adding that Worldbox 2.0 will also offer better graphics capabilities and more processing power.
"While Charter is focused on providing a secure video product on all devices, WorldBox 2.0 provides the same advanced video experience consumers are demanding on traditional television sets, and gives Charter the flexibility to deploy a single platform across our entire expanded network," said Jim Blackley, Charter EVP of engineering and IT, in a statement. "Our ongoing work with Arris – in developing this platform, including the downloadable security component – and the establishment of the warrant program, speaks to the strength of our long-standing relationship and the value of ARRIS's expertise in large-scale, next-generation deployments."
Last week, Charter and Arris announced a new warrant agreement that will allow Charter to buy up to six million shares of Arris over the next two years, based up how much network and cloud business Charter buys from the vendor.
"We share Charter's vision for a new era of entertainment technology that leverages the power of the network and cloud to adapt to its subscribers' evolving needs," said Arris CEO Bruce McClelland in a statement. "With WorldBox 2.0, we're bringing to bear our expertise and scale to help Charter deliver next-gen entertainment experiences that will transform the way that its millions of subscribers will watch TV and access their favorite content on traditional television sets."
The WorldBox 2.0 news comes more than a year after Charter debuted its cloud-based WorldBox at CES in 2015. At the launch, Cisco had partnered with Charter to help provide new set-tops and security software.
Of course, since that time, Cisco sold its set-top business to Technicolor for $600 million while Arris beefed up its CPE business by acquiring Pace for $2.1 billion.
- see this press release