DENVER—Despite a published report last week that his company’s WorldBox 2.0 is still a few months away, Gary Schanman, senior VP of video products for Charter Communications, said the second-generation set-top is already being deployed in the market.
“We’ve been rolling it out over the last few months,” Schanman said, speaking Tuesday at a morning panel at The Pay TV Show in Denver, an event produced by Fierce parent company Questex.
“It’s going great,” he said in an aside to Fierce, walking off stage after the event.
A Charter representative didn’t respond to Fierce’s inquiry on Friday for conformation and comment regarding the DSLReports story. “We saw the report that said it was months away and we said, ‘Wait, it’s here,’” Schanman said.
He described WorldBox 2.0 as an “IP hybrid set-top that’s multivendor sourced and very efficient.”
According to DSLReports’ source, the WorldBox 2.0 will have four tuners and a 1-terabyte hard drive—a seemingly anachronistic configuration, given that Charter’s Spectrum Guide user interface is cloud-based, and we’re living in the era of the cloud DVR. (DSLReports said Charter “ultimately” wants to integrated a cloud DVR, with availability listed as “sometime in 2019.”)
The box will offer integrated access to Netflix, “potentially” as a tunable channel. Voice control will ultimately be built into the device, as well.
“We’re focused on building great voice control, but that product hasn’t launched yet,” Schanman said.
WorldBox 2.0, which mainly taps the resources of Arris, has been in the works for several years. The device is said to be a more cost-effective version of the original IP/QAM hybrid WorldBox, developed by Cisco and Humax, and deployed into more than 2 million Spectrum homes, according to figures released by Charter during its fourth-quarter earnings call.