Pace CEO Neil Gaydon has told Broadband TV News that the purchase of Philips’ set-top box division was initiated earlier this year following an approach from the Dutch electronics company. “Philips came to us earlier this year and we got down to talk in September-October.” Gaydon said the conversations grew out of the sort of conversations he had taken place at shows during his 12 years at Pace.
The combined business now boasts a who’s who of pay-TV operators as its customers, from Sky Digital, Sky Italia, Canal+ and Numericable in Europe through to the US cable operator Comcast. The contracts make Pace the third largest set-top box manufacturer in the world. Although Pace was an early mover in IPTV, the company pulled away, and Gaydon said he thought the company could learn from Philips’ experience with BT Vision and Telefonica.
While Gaydon complimented Philips on its design work he said there were issues with the manufacturing process. “We think we can help sort that out,” he added.
The company is already planning for the future and Gaydon promised a New Year announcement on a product in the on demand space. The purchase also marks a return to the retail market, with an initial three-year licence on the Philips brand, though Gaydon hinted this might be extended.