Cisco buys Inlet Technologies for $95M to support Videoscape push

Adaptive bit rate technologies specialist Inlet Technologies has been acquired by Cisco in a deal that will pay approximately $95 million in cash and retention-based incentives in exchange for all shares of Inlet. 

Cisco says Inlet's expertise in digital media processing platforms will strengthen the capabilities of Cisco's Videoscape TV platform, allowing service and content providers to deliver compelling video experiences to any device over any Internet Protocol network.

"Service and content providers have a tremendous opportunity to deliver exciting video experiences as media consumption increases across mobile, desktop, and smart devices," said Enrique Rodriguez, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group. "Cisco's Videoscape platform will play a key role in reinventing the TV experience, and the acquisition of Inlet will enable our customers to leverage the network as a platform to deliver innovative video experiences to consumers on any device." 

Inlet brings to Cisco a strong team that understands the complexities of delivering ABR video over IP networks to any device. Upon the close of the acquisition, Inlet employees will be integrated into Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group. The acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to be complete in the first half of calendar year 2011.

Inlet has seen steady growing

Inlet has worked on major projects with Major League Baseball, Microsoft, NBC Universal/Vancouver Winter Games, Yahoo!, France Télévisions and Home Shopping Network. Earlier this month, Inlet was named one of Red Herring's 2010 Global 100 winners. The annual award recognizes the 100 most innovative and promising private technology companies across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Inlet in January said 2010 marked the company’s seventh successive year of growth, with 2010 revenue twice the record revenue achieved in 2009, and Inlet’s R&D organization more than doubling in size. Inlet said some of the growth resulted from its expansion into the service provider market, including cable, telco, satellite, and wireless providers, accelerated growth of its international business, as well as continued first-to-market innovations across all product lines.

Inlet reported it increased its global customer base over 70 percent in 2010, including trials and deployments with a number of top broadcasters and cable, telco and wireless providers, who are collaborating with Inlet to support 24/7 live streaming of multiple channels to multiple devices. Inlet added several major broadcasters to its roster, including the BBC, ABC (Australia) and Wealth TV, and began working with media services companies including AEG Digital Media, Twofour Digital, deltatre, Rum Bum and Zeitbyte. Inlet said its international business grew 200 percent, with a major focus on partner expansion in both EMEA and APAC regions across 35 countries.

Cisco sharpens focus on Videoscape

Cisco, meanwhile, has aggressively been developing Videoscape, a comprehensive TV platform for service providers that brings together digital TV and online content with social media and communications applications to create a truly immersive home and mobile video entertainment experience. Inlet's advanced ABR technology, which is used in streaming multimedia over managed and unmanaged networks, adapts the quality of the video stream based on real-time network conditions. 

At CES this year, Cisco CEO John Chambers rolled out Videoscape, which the company considers the future of television. The platform brings together digital TV and online content with social media and communications applications to create an immersive home and mobile video entertainment experience.

Videoscape is an open platform that utilizes the cloud, the network, and client devices. In the home, its media gateway integrates voice, linear and online video, high-speed data, Wi-Fi and network traffic routing. An IP STB is engineered to support all video forms delivered to a TV, including pay TV, broadcast channels, premium channels, VoD and the Web.

For more:
- see this release

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