Lots of tech news breaking in Europe this week, as media companies, cable and telecom providers convene in Amsterdam for IBC 2012. Cisco will be there in full force and IBC is the debut of the Cisco and newly acquired NDS combination. Europe is a hot bed of video innovation and we have our share of exciting news issuing today.
For starters — the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Sure, they’re over. But for those of us who spent (a whole lot of) time and effort helping our customers around the globe get ready for the Games, and especially this year’s unofficial-but-palpable “Olympics Everywhere” trend, we’re still in a debrief state of mind.
Eurovision, the European Broadcasting Union’s (EBU) business/ops/network arm, streamed thousands of hours of live Olympics coverage on its www.eurovisionsports.tv site, using our (Videoscape) Media Processors to encode video into various adaptive bit rates needed by end display screens (set-tops, IP-connected TVs/tablets/phones/PCs.)
At IBC we are announcing an expanded and enhanced content delivery system, now named the Cisco Videoscape Distribution Suite (VDS). New component elements include the Video Recorder (cloud-driven video recording), Origin Server (everything in, HTTP out), Optimization Engine (to reduce transport costs), Service Broker (for federated CDN activities) and Transparent Cacher (to offload OTT/unmanaged content to the network edge).
In short, VDS is all about the professional-grade equipment required to enable video on multiple screens, over multiple applications, and multiple networks. Several major global service provider customers, including Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia, SBB-Telemach, BT and others, are relying on Cisco’s VDS to empower video experience delivery across devices multiple devices including PCs, TVs, smartphones and tablets.
Also news at IBC: On the set-top front, we’re excited to announce SBB-Telemach Group as a customer of our PDS set-top box series. SBB-Telemach is the largest pay-TV provider in eastern Europe, serving about 1.5 million customers in the former Yugoslavia. Specifically, SBB-Telemach needed a way to deliver time-shifted TV/VOD, over-the-top video, social TV, advanced search/navigation, and second screen service. Which is a great match for the PDS 2000 and 3000 models they chose – they feature all of that plus dual MPEG 2/4 processing, over cable, wireline and satellite plant.
Meanwhile, in Germany, the Association of Public Broadcasting Corporations of the Federal Republic of Germany – (ARD) a non-profit group of regional public service stations there – is using our Videoscape platform for advanced video encoding and content processing technology for its direct-to-home video playout system. Specifically, ARD is using our D9036 multichannel/multiformat encoder, which encodes up to four HD stream simultaneously, and our Digital Content Manager (DCM), which handles multiple bit rate delivery.
The gear will populate ARD’s “Starpoint” facility, the international TV control center and core backbone for all TV and radio program exchanges amongst ARD members.
Said ARD-Starpoint’s GM, Stephen Wagner: “With Cisco’s expertise, we were able to re-architect our network to more efficiently encode, decode and transmit HD signals to viewers’ homes.” Because of that, HD services will expand into more German markets, more quickly.
All the announcements are super-exciting to us, and we’re grateful to everyone involved for making them happen. We’ll keep you posted from Amsterdam!