Cisco’s Former Video Software Biz Renamed ‘Synamedia’

A new video technology company named Synamedia has been formed from the recent sale of Cisco Systems’ Service Provider Video Software Solutions unit to investment firm Permira Funds.

“Syna” means “together” in Greek, reflecting Synamedia’s goal to empower broadcast, pay-TV and over-the-top video services to optimize their current infrastructure and capitalize on OTT distribution to expand consumer choice and convenience, secure revenue streams, and develop new offerings.

“From day one we will be the vendor with the ability to deliver products on a global scale while also offering the flexibility required for market localization,” Yves Padrines, incoming CEO for Synamedia, said in a statement.

Padrines is currently VP of Global Service Provider for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Cisco.

Synamedia will offer software for hybrid broadcast/IP services on multiple devices, including set-top boxes devices. Features will include an anti-piracy service for rapid detection of, and response to, illegal streaming. Other new offerings include “VideoGuard Everywhere” and “VideoGuard Server” support for Android devices.

“We will intensify our focus on innovation, building even closer links with our customers and ensuring that we continue to provide the world’s most complete, secure and advanced end-to-end video delivery solution,” Padrines said.

The company is also offering software it claims can reduce streaming latency on a STB down to six seconds – comparable to a live broadcast. This would be lower than traditional streaming technologies, where latency can be as high as 40 to 90 seconds for streaming video to receiving devices.

“Synamedia enters the market at a time when the TV landscape is being redrawn. Building on a 30-year heritage in the pay-TV industry, a market leadership position, and an unrivalled reputation for innovation, we will hit the ground running as a private, independent entity committed to help customers boost engagement and revenues by capitalizing on the myriad opportunities that IP distribution and cloud- based services bring,” said Dr. Abe Peled, incoming chairman of Synamedia.

Cisco Sells Video Business to Private Equity Group

Cisco Systems is selling its video software business (NDS Group) to private equity firm Permira Funds – reportedly for $1 billion – six years after Permira sold the business to Cisco for $5 billion.

Cisco retains video and media technology related to its core business in networking, multi-cloud, security, data, and collaboration.

Following the close of the transaction, Permira will create a new, rebranded company focused on developing and delivering video services (i.e. interactive content to set-top boxes, DVRs and portable media devices) for the pay-TV industry. Abe Peled, CEO of NDS, will serve as chairman of the new company.

“This is a unique opportunity to lead and shape the video industry during its transition with the flexibility as a private company,” Peled said in a statement. “The new company will have the scale, technology innovation, and world-class team to deliver outstanding go- to-market execution, customer engagement, and new end-user experiences.”

Perhaps wishful thinking as pay-TV operators face increasing consolidation (Time Warner Cable/Charter and DirecTV/AT&T) and subscriber losses to over-the-top video services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Paolo Pescatore, VP, multiplay and media, at CCS Insight, contends Cisco’s move reflects a changing media landscape as increasing numbers of consumers switch to alternative home entertainment options such as SVOD.

“There are too many solution providers chasing too few dollars. Bottom line, many of these solutions providers have diversified and now need to focus on core areas,” Pescatore said in a statement reported by “There will be more casualties due to further disruption. This represents an opportunity for other providers who still focus on connectivity and delivery of video over the Internet.”