The firm is also a major manufacturer of white label personal video recorders (PVRs) which it sells to service providers. A PVR uses a hard drive to store and play back television shows.
"Video is becoming critical not only to traditional video providers but to new providers like telcos," said Dan Scheinman, senior vice president of corporate development at Cisco.
"Scientific Atlanta's video expertise combined with Cisco's internet expertise is going to lead to a combination to deliver customers new services and high quality video."
A study by the Yankee Group earlier this year predicted that consumers will see a large push by service providers towards IP television (IPTV) by the end of 2007 or the start of 2008. Scheinman even expects that the market could be ready as soon as next year.
Ken Rehbehn, research director for telecoms infrastructure at analyst firm Current Analysis, called the timing "perfect" for Cisco.
DSL providers are starting to move into IPTV, while traditional cable TV providers are starting to look at internet technologies to deliver video on demand.
The acquisition of Scientific Atlanta allows Cisco to hit the road running in the video delivery market, while Cisco's primary expertise is the field of IP networks.
"Scientific Atlanta has relations with a large number of cable and satellite television companies, and has the expertise for dealing with these issues. This is not something to grow on your own," Rehbehn told vnunet.com.
The acquisition marks IPTV as one of the first new 'advanced technologies' for Cisco. Chief executive John Chambers announced earlier this year that the company is looking to add four of these "advanced technologies" in its current fiscal year to 30 July 2006.
In Cisco's vocabulary 'advanced technologies' form part of a product group that has the potential to reach $1bn in annual sales, and will see a focus of the company's investments in research, acquisitions and partnerships.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago