Cisco is finally getting its Linksys and Scientific Atlanta armies in lockstep, and is devising a home-theater assault that could actually gain ground, according to BusinessWeek. At the vanguard is a mystery "souped-up" set-top box that combines DVR functionality and wireless networking for one-box, whole-house distributed video. The boxes would also likely include software from another acquisition, KiSS Technology, to retrieve media files from PCs and also the Internet. (Might even have a browser....a slight feeling of déjå vu is coming over me.)
Word is that there may be some editions distributed by cable companies, which makes sense. What's weirder is that Cisco may also sell one in stores under the Linksys brand. Would the Linksys boxes require Cable Cards? If so, wouldn't that put them at an unfair disadvantage (hobbled technology and presumably higher price) to their cable-co cousins?
One final question: Why should I believe in this initiative, when I myself have experienced not once but twice the way decent Scientific Atlanta technology gets adulterated by Big Cable? I like the sound of a Cisco Super-DVR, but when I close my eyes to think of it, all I can picture is the Cablevision Cripple-DVR sitting next to my TV. Good luck, Cisco—we'll be watching.
Cisco Steps Up Consumer Push [BusinessWeek]