Cisco's $95 million acquisition of Inlet Technologies will expand Videoscape's capability to deliver video adjusted to the viewer's available bandwidth and device.
Cisco said on
Feb. 4 it will acquire digital-media company Inlet Technologies to strengthen
its online video-delivery capabilities.
Cisco will pay
approximately $95 million in cash and retention bonuses in exchange for all
shares of the privately held company. The deal is expected to close in the
first half of the year, after which all Inlet employees will be integrated into
Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group, the company said.
acquisition, Cisco will add Inlet's ABR (Adaptive Bit Rate) digital-media-processing
platform to its new "Videoscape" service, which is aimed at helping service and
content providers deliver video online, the company said. Unveiled at CES 2011, the service offers video broadcast,
streaming video and on-demand content for any mobile device, computers and TVs.
acquisition of Inlet will enable our customers to leverage the network as a
platform to deliver innovative video experiences to consumers on any
device," said Enrique Rodriguez, senior vice president and general manager
of Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group.
NC-based Inlet was founded in 2003 and makes video-encoding and transcoding
products used by companies such as Yahoo, Microsoft's Xbox Live, NBC's Sunday
Night Football, BBC and Major League Baseball, according to the company Website.
The company was also behind NBC's online video stream during the 2010 Winter
Olympics in Vancouver.
Spinnaker trans-coding appliances for live streaming use ABR to dynamically
adjust the video stream to the viewer's bandwidth and device capabilities in
real time. As demand for online video continues to grow, ABR will increasingly
be used to adapt the video stream to network conditions and eliminate delays in
video delivery. ABR is used in Major League Baseball's MLB.tv online service,
which understands what kind of device the viewer is using, such as a desktop on
broadband or a laptop on a wireless hotspot, and provides the feed adjusted to
the available bandwidth, Inlet said.
products, content providers can take one video feed and turn it into several
outputs simultaneously for different devices such as mobile, high-definition
and the Internet. Inlet supports over 1,000 consumer devices, according to its
developed technology to insert ads into live video streams, which it offers
broadcasters and service providers to monetize their video offerings, according
to the company's Website.
appliance is also optimized for handling Apple's version of ABR. Inlet was one
of the first companies to offer streaming video for iPhones and iPads,
according to the company. Inlet also supports Microsoft's Smooth Streaming ABR.
acquisition confirms Cisco's focus on its video strategy. In a mobile-data
forecast released at the end of January, the company projected a big surge of
demand for video across smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices. The
company also has made a number of video acquisitions in the past year,
including the consumer-oriented Flip digital cameras and Norwegian video-conferencing
company Tandberg. The software-based content-management
system from Cisco's Extendmedia acquisition powers Videoscape's
content-management system, the company said.
Cisco aims its
Videoscape service at service providers interested in combining digital TV and
online content with social media elements, the company said. "Cisco's
Videoscape platform will play a key role in reinventing the TV experience,"
does not disclose financial information, Raleigh-based
TV station WRAL estimated Inlet generated more than $15 million in
revenue in 2010.