Good news on the VOD front. Looks like Cablevision awarded a large contract to Sony Corporation for a delivery of 3 million set top boxes.
September 16, 1999:
Cablevision in $1B Sony Box Deal
New York -- Sony Corp. of America landed a $1 billion deal Thursday to supply Cablevision Systems Corp. with 3 million digital set-top boxes and infrastructure for offering advanced interactive cable services beginning next summer.
The deal is the first U.S. advanced set-top win for Sony, which will provide OpenCable-compliant boxes running on the "Aperios" operating system it developed with General Instrument Corp.
Cablevision said the system -- plus yet-to-be-chosen middleware and applications -- will enable such services as video-on-demand; e-mail and Web browsing; customer access to their cable-account profile,which they can configure at will; expanded digital and interactive programming; and home-networking support.
Cablevision plans to begin deploying the boxes "aggressively" beginning next summer in its metropolitan market here, which passes about 4 million homes, CEO James Dolan said during a news-conference call announcing the deal.
Dolan sidestepped questions about Cablevision's strategy for putting the set-tops into a consumer retail-sales environment, saying the MSO would emphasize marketing the services enabled by the device, rather than the device itself.
The primary Sony set-top will incorporate an IEEE-1394 "fire-wire" standard high-speed digital interface for linking the box to other devices such as digital TV sets.
Sony and Cablevision said they would work to leverage the 1394 interface with Sony's "HAVi"(Home Audio/Visual interoperability)
home-networking software and the Aperios OS to expand the potential universe of applications enabled by the set-top.