Videotron taps Cisco for HD-DVRs

There has been some recent buzz about the possibility that Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) may want to sell off its set-top box business, but the vendor just snared a major deal with Canadian cable TV giant Videotron, which announced plans to deploy Cisco HD-DVR set-top boxes as part of its illico TV new Generation service (probably sounds a lot smoother in the French of Videotron's Quebec).

Cisco will be supplying Videotron with its Explorer 7642 HD-DVR and 4642 HD boxes, and is working on the project along with Alticast, which is bringing its tru2way software to the table. As a result, Videotron should be able to roll out new interactive TV features.

Cable TV competition has been amping up in recent years, as Bell Canada (NYSE: BCE), Telus (Toronto: T.TO) and some smaller IPTV operators have tried to leverage the advanced features typical to IPTV against the strongholds of Canada's regional cable TV incumbents-Videotron, Rogers Communications (NYSE: RCI) and Shaw Communications (NYSE: SJR).

The capabilities of the new set-top boxes should allow Videotron, which has at least 1.8 million cable TV customers at stake, to level the playing field against these upstarts.

For more:
- read the article in The Globe and Mail

On the Hot Seat: Kip Compton: Cisco's NDS deal will boost MSOs' connected TV plans

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