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Cisco Chasing After Couch Potatoes

A beefed-up Internet/cable TV box could also significantly strengthen Cisco's attempts to tap the home video market, potentially spelling good news for investors who were dismayed by Cisco's recent less-than-stellar first-quarter results.

With markets already saturated with networking gear, Cisco's video push shows that the company is looking for new and lucrative revenue streams. Last year, for example, Cisco unveiled its Umi home telepresence system, which aims to transform TVs into live-chat and video-making stations.

Cisco also spent $590 million to acquire Flip camera maker Pure Digital in 2009, and has subsequently sold more than 3 million of the devices. The company will join the tablet fray later this year with the launch of its Cius business tablet, which will combine high-definition voice and video with telepresence.

Cisco is also hoping that entering these new markets will boost demand for its switches and routers through video. The tech giant, for example, estimates that every dollar spent on its video technology drives $5 worth of networking sales.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

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