Linksys Buys Kiss Technologies

The home-networking specialist buys the Danish company with an eye on IPTV and other networked entertainment.

Cisco-Linksys, best known for its home-networking hardware, will be expanding its reach into home entertainment by acquiring the Denmark-based Kiss Technologies, the forward-thinking creator of networked DVD recorders and related products.

"As more and more entertainment content is delivered over the Internet and as consumers demand access to digital entertainment inside and outside of their home networks, networked entertainment devices will become an integral part of Consumer Electronics," Cisco Systems Inc. president Charles Giancarlo said in a statement.

The $61 million acquisition will give Linksys access to Kisss experienced research and design team in order to develop new networked entertainment products.

The alignment will enable Linksys to release more of these products in the U.S. market, and gives the company an insiders view of how to develop products that appeal to non-U.S. markets as well.

"Kiss has emerged as a leader in networked video and audio products in Europe, and we hope to use that expertise to expand worldwide," Giancarlo said.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read about an IPTV deal between SBC and Microsoft.

Linksys Vice President of Engineering and Product Marketing Malachy Moynihan said the company will be announcing specific projects it plans to work on with the Kiss staff at a later date.

Though no specifics were mentioned, Moynihan intimated that the company is specifically interested in Kiss IP Set Top Box development, which suggests that Linksys wants to be prepared when the IPTV (receiving TV signals through a broadband Internet connection) revolution occurs.

This was not a surprise, however, since Linksys parent company Cisco already creates its own IPTV software and video servers, which are currently marketed to schools and businesses more than to home users.

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