ARRIS Group (ARRS), Charter Communications (CHTR) Enter Development Agreement Covering WorldBox 2.0
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ARRIS International plc (Nasdaq: ARRS) and Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR) announced plans for ARRIS to be a key participant in the development of WorldBox 2.0, Charter's next-generation video platform to be deployed on traditional television sets across Charter's footprint. ARRIS and Charter also recently entered into a warrant agreement, providing Charter with the opportunity to acquire ordinary shares of ARRIS based on specific sales targets of ARRIS equipment to Charter in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
WorldBox is a hybrid IP/QAM video platform that enables traditional and cloud-based user interfaces, content, and new video features to Charter subscribers. Worldbox 2.0 expands on Charter's current downloadable conditional access ("DCAS") capabilities, enhancing legacy hardware-based CAS systems across Charter's new footprint, allowing for faster and even more cost-effective deployment. This is made possible through the built-in security processing capabilities now available in generic chipsets. Worldbox 2.0 also adds more advanced graphics capabilities and processing power, leveraging the ever-growing capabilities of today's chipsets.
ARRIS and Charter's new warrant agreement builds on the two companies' long-standing relationship. The companies recently 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.
"While Charter is focused on providing a secure video product on all devices, WorldBox 2.0 provides the same advanced video experience consumers are demanding on traditional television sets, and gives Charter the flexibility to deploy a single platform across our entire expanded network," said Jim Blackley, Charter EVP, Engineering and IT. "Our ongoing work with ARRIS – in developing this platform, including the downloadable security component – and the establishment of the warrant program, speaks to the strength of our long-standing relationship and the value of ARRIS's expertise in large-scale, next-generation deployments."
"We share Charter's vision for a new era of entertainment technology that leverages the power of the network and cloud to adapt to its subscribers' evolving needs," said Bruce McClelland, ARRIS CEO. "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."
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