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High Definition 3D: Soon on the Screen Nearest to You

numericableEarlier today in Paris, our customer Numericable announced that its customers will soon have available the world’s first true high-definition (HD) 3D video-on-demand service- based on the Cisco Content Delivery System (CDS) platform. It is a visionary and exciting development, and we are delighted that Cisco and Cisco CDS are playing an important role in its advancement.

3D content went through nothing short of an explosion on the big screen in 2009, culminating with the phenomenal success of “Avatar,” with the final box-office results clearly making it the world’s highest grossing movie of all time.

But, 3D films have been around for a long time. Unfortunately, there were several significant hurdles to overcome in order to create and show 3D images.

One problem has been the high-priced hardware and complex production processes that were required for content creation. Another was the costly installation of the systems required to display a stereoscopic 3D images on a cinema screen. Moreover, the apparent lack of a standard format for all segments of the diverse entertainment business also inhibited market development.

Can you imagine being able to experience Avatar, in full 3D glory, on your own television? Well, it seems that soon we all will. In fact, industry analyst forecasts are pretty bullish. Within four years, 50 percent of U.S. homes will own a 3D-ready TV, and the adoption of 3D-ready Blu-ray players won’t be far behind -- with one out of every three U.S. homes owning one, according to the latest market study by Futuresource Consulting.

Forward-looking pay-TV service providers can envision the surge of consumer demand and are quickly moving to seize this amazing opportunity. Take Numericable, for instance. They originally deployed Cisco CDS to support their VOD, catch-up TV and user generated content (UGC) services to TVs. Now the same platform is providing Numericable with the flexibility and scale to expand its service offering, as its 3.5 million customers begin to discover and request this exhilarating in-home 3D entertainment experience.

Note that high definition 3D can require the transmission of the equivalent of two traditional 1080 HD video streams, consuming massive amounts of bandwidth -- 15Mbps at a minimum. But Numericable has been steadily evolving its network infrastructure into a powerful medianet -- a network optimized for rich media. Its network is ready to support these immense bandwidth requirements. And, with Cisco CDS, Numericable has the advanced capabilities needed to deploy the new service quickly, cost-effectively and with unparalleled quality to its customers.

Again, we’re thrilled about the latest developments in 3D. Furthermore, we look forward to working with other HD 3D trailblazers, as this nascent but tremendous new service opportunity continues to evolve.

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