Cisco is Looking to Combine Internet Video and Conventional TVs, Sources Say

The battle for the living room is just getting started, it seems, if "sources close to the matter" are to be believed. It seems that Cisco Systems Inc. isn't just happy having recently released their Umi HD video conferencing — they're ready to take their first combative steps into the world of combining Internet video and conventional TVs. While there are plenty of set-top boxes out there who do it already, with Google TV the latest edition to the market, Cisco must believe they've got a trick or two up their sleeve.

According to the sources close to the matter, Cisco's idea is to focus on the cable operators, and help them to combat upcoming rivals, which is primarily focused on Apple and their Apple TV, along with Google's Google TV. Not surprisingly, the company is said to be getting ready to unveil the service on Wednesday in Las Vegas, at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. Cisco will be showcasing a set-top box that will focus on Internet video, along with recorded, live, and on-demand TV.

The kicker is that Cisco won't be offering up these boxes on their own, and prospective purchasers won't be able to get these devices from Cisco. Instead, Cisco will offer up the boxes through cable operators directly, and then these cable operators will lease them out to subscribers. As of right now, pricing for the boxes, along with any other pricing specifications haven't been decided on.

We'll be on hand on Wednesday, so stay tuned.

[via Wall Street Journal]