Cisco products aim at connected home
Multi-room DVR and distributing content around the home are obviously key themes at this week’s CES. As Microsoft was enabling those capabilities in its Mediaroom software, Cisco extended its DVR line with three models in its new 8500HDC DVR family that all incorporate those capabilities. Cisco also introduced a new gateway, and a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem.
Cisco said the 8500HDC DVR Series is engineered to support features that include sharing DVR or user-generated Internet-based video content across multiple set-tops or personal computers (PCs) in the home; advanced program guides, video navigation options, and integrated search functions across multiple devices; and making content – including high-def programming – on the TV or mobile phone;
The new Cisco DVRs also support device docking and storage, so that media stored on a user’s PC can be distributed to TV, home entertainment systems and mobile devices; and instant messaging across multiple devices, home monitoring services and caller identification (ID) services across the TV or PC.
The 8500HDC integrate dual 400MHz processors for MPEG-4 decoding; 1 GHz tuning; and optional OpenCable features. The 8552HDC model is among the first in the industry to offer Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) whole-home connection as an option (another set-top with MoCA will be the Panasonic model that Comcast will be using).
Cisco said the new DVRs are now commercially available for its service provider customers.
Cisco’s new IP Services Gateway (Model DRG2800) will allow consumers to connect their set-top and large-screen, flat-panel TVs to their PCs via an Ethernet connection, so they can watch videos, listen to downloaded music in surround sound, and view photos accessed from their PC.
The gateway, which incorporates a 160-gigabyte hard drive and voice/telephone service, can distribute content throughout the rest of the home as well.
Evaluation/test units are scheduled to be available to service provider customers by the end of first quarter in 2008.
The Cisco Channel-Bonded Cable Modem (Model DPC3000) is DOCSIS 3.0-compliant (it is not yet officially certified), and uses channel-bonding to deliver data at speeds up to 100 Mbps. It is expected to be commercially available to Cisco’s service provider customers in spring 2008.
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