Charter, Arris to partner on next-gen ‘WorldBox2.0’

Charter has tapped Arris to develop a next-gen hybrid set-top box that allows users to access Internet content as well as content delivered by the pay-TV operator. Charter, the nation’s second-largest broadband provider and third-largest pay-TV operator, plans to deploy the new WorldBox 2.0 platform across its entire footprint, including on systems it acquired when it bought Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.

Charter and Arris recently entered a warrant agreement that allows Charter to acquire Arris shares based on targeted sales of Arris equipment to Charter over the next three years.

WorldBox is a hybrid IP/QAM video platform that enables traditional and cloud-based user interfaces, content, and new video features to Charter subscribers, expanding on Charter’s current downloadable conditional access (“DCAS”) capabilities, enhancing legacy hardware-based CAS systems and allows for faster, more cost-effective deployment.

The new STB also adds more advanced graphics capabilities and processing power, leveraging the ever-growing capabilities of today’s chipsets.

ARRIS and Charter earlier this year joined forces to acquire ActiveVideo, the cloud-based technology platform that enables Charter’s cloud-based Spectrum Guide on prior generation set-top boxes to Charter subscribers today.

“With WorldBox 2.0, we’re bringing to bear our expertise and scale to help Charter deliver next-gen entertainment experiences that will transform the way that its millions of subscribers will watch TV and access their favorite content on traditional television sets,” said Arris CEO Bruce McClelland.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn