Cisco Leads Video Infrastructure Segment


Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk Senior Editor

On December 23 - while most folks were finishing off their Christmas shopping and heading out in trains, planes and automobiles - Synergy Research Group released some interesting information about the worldwide state of the video equipment segment.

Synergy_VideoChart The top line findings of the research are that Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) leads in four of five categories (content acquisition and preparation; content distribution, media data center; and content management) and trails ARRIS (NASDAQ:ARRS) - aimed by the Motorola acquisition - Pace (LSE:PIC) and Echostar (NASDAQ: SATS) in the video client subgroup. That isn't an insignificant fact, however: video client hardware and software accounts for about 42% of the entire video equipment category.

There is a good deal to be learned from the study from a couple of different angles. John Dinsdale, a chief analyst and the research director for SRG, told BTR that though the numbers are worldwide, the basic assessments hold true for North America as well. He also indicated that cable operators represent about half of the service providers in the study (48%), with telcos at one-third, satellite/direct-to-home firms at 17% and others with a couple of percentage points each.

The trend over time is away from cable and toward the telephone companies. That makes sense - in a study that looks at video. The trend line likely would be opposite if the subject matter dealt with telephony.

The study research suggests how segmented the overall market is. Cisco's highest percentage is in content distribution, where it owns 35% of the market. That is not, however, overwhelming market share. In the media data center category, the leading percentage only is 17%.

SRG said the total worldwide sales for last year's third quarter was $9.4 billion and that annualized growth was down about 2.5%.

Within those overall numbers, there are great variations between subgroups, Dinsdale said, noting that the video client side is mostly flat. Content acquisition and preparation (elements like encoders and transcoders) are down a bit. The content management system segment is slightly up. The growth in the overall video distribution sector, he said, is in data centers. And that growth, he said, is being driven by the telcos.

The ebb and flow of the subsidiary categories has a lot to do with the nature of the industries. Clearly, cable companies and telcos form the lion's share of the overall segment. When it comes to video, the two industries - despite the fact that they have been getting into each other's businesses for a decade or more - still have very different networks to feed.

Dinsdale pointed out that the reality is that cable operators want to squeeze as much life as they can out of the legacy QAM networks that they run. The transition to IP is a necessity and one that they are undergoing - but one in which the timing will, to some extent, be determined by the ability to recoup their old investment. "They want to sweat the investment as much as possible," he said.

The telcos have no such countervailing force to their investment approach to IP video. While the train has slowed down somewhat since the height of Verizon's (NYSE:VZ) FiOS build, telcos are more apt to spend on IP-based video infrastructure both because they have more greenfield territory (from a video perspective) and less legacy to protect.

Carl Weinschenk is BTR's Senior Editor. Reach him at

Get the Broadband Technology Report Newsletters Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to email newsletters today at no cost and receive the latest information on:

  • Video Technology
  • Network Technology
  • Technology Alerts
  • BTR LATAM (Latin America)

SCTE-Cable Tec Expo 2016 Video Show Dailies

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 3

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 3

In our Video Show Daily for Day 3 of exhibits at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Philadelphia, BTR Editorial Director Stephen Hardy covers trends in distrib...

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 2

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 2

In our Video Show Daily for the second day of exhibits at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Philadelphia, BTR Editorial Director Stephen Hardy highlights furt...

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 1

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 1

BTR Editorial Director Stephen Hardy reviews the hot technologies and announcements from the first day of exhibits at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016 in P...

Diamond Technology Reviews - 2016 High Scores

2016 Diamond Technology Reviews Slideshow

2016 Diamond Technology Reviews Slideshow

Diamond Technology Reviews 2016

Diamond Technology Reviews 2016

BTR's Diamond Technology Reviews, now in its twelfth year, is a technology recognition program wherein vendors serving the broadband cable ...

Related Articles

Cable ONE

2 More AZ Towns Get Cable ONE Gigabit

October 7, 2016

Cable ONE (NYSE:CABO) is expanding its GigaONE gigabit Internet footprin...


Comcast Launches Enterprise IoT Trial

October 6, 2016

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) announced machineQ, a business trial venture focu...


2016 SCTE Cable-Tec Expo Wrap Up

Whether you couldn't make it to Cable-Tec this year or want to see if you missed anything while you were there, you'll want to join BTR editors Stephen Hardy and Ron Hendrickson as they reveal their picks for the...

October 12, 2016
Sponsored by

Counting the cost: Efficiently transitioning from HFC to FTTH

HFC networks are uniquely positioned to provide compelling and competitive services, and are also uniquely positioned to transition to symmetrical FTTH as commercial requirements demand.  This webinar will d...

Date:September 22, 2016
Sponsored by

Maintaining High Quality of Experience in an Adaptive Bitrate System

This webinar will look at the many points in an ABR system where the video is touched.  From ingest (satellite, file, and IP), to egress, each point should be qualified for compliance to help maintain a high...

Date:August 25, 2016
Sponsored by

White Papers & Special Reports

Cable VoIP 2.0: Voice Moves to the Cloud

October 2016

Cable providers led the charge on the VoIP evolution and won customers and market share. Now voice networks are evolving again. The cloud voice platform has ...

Understanding Ultra High Definition Television

October 2016

Over the last 10 years, high definition television (HDTV) has been replacing standard definition television as the expected viewing format for television pro...

Are You Ready for DOCSIS 3.1? The Future of Cable Technology and How to Prepare Your Network

October 2016

DOCSIS 3.1 promises 10x capacity throughput and a range of technical benefits for cable providers and users alike. Are you ready? Discover the technical adva...

BTR Blogs

BTR Managing Editor Ron Hendrickson

FCC Rethinks Set-Top Plan

September 10, 2016

By Ron Hendrickson - The FCC has reworked the "unlock the set-top b...


In Memoriam: Richard Covell

August 18, 2016

By Rob Stuehrk, Publisher - We at Broadband Technology Report were sadde...

BTR Managing Editor Ron Hendrickson

Court Overturns FCC Municipal Broadband Order

August 11, 2016

By Ron Hendrickson - You win some, and you lose some, and the FCC just l...

Featured Hangouts

4K 4 U: How to Prepare for UltraHD Video

4K 4 U: How to Prepare for UltraHD Video

4K/UltraHD video is coming - consumers are buying the TV sets, and more content is becoming available. Watch this inf...

DOCSIS 3.1: A Look Ahead

DOCSIS 3.1: A Look Ahead

Watch a 30-minute video chat of experts from a variety of related disciplines discuss how close deployments really ar...

Featured Hangout

4K 4 U: How to Prepare for UltraHD Video

4K/UltraHD video is coming - consumers are buying the TV sets, and more content is becoming available. Watch this informative Hangout on demand by clicking the link above.

Sponsored by Verimatrix.