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SP360: Service Provider

If I had to sum up how the 2011 NAB Show will be remembered in years hence, I’d say this: Proliferation pandemonium. The year of the explosion of video content types, formats, and profiles -- most of which require processing, storage, and distribution.

It’s a matrix of complexity that’s expanding at a pace both exhilarating and exhausting.

It was also the year of an unusual level of consensus amongst the various constituents of the video eco-system, many of them competitors. From content owners to technology providers to service providers, there’s one general acknowledgement about managing and scaling all these different platforms for content delivery: This is hard!

The TweetChat we hosted about hot topics at NAB showed that people are focused on streaming TV-like experiences to multiple screens. That, and transcoding, preparing video files in different formats, and adaptive bit rate techniques, to manage the consumer experience when network conditions aren’t ideal. (See “proliferation pandemonium”)

My crystal ball is no clearer than anyone else’s, but it was gratifying to see such a high level of interest in Cisco’s offerings for content distribution focused on secondary distribution, which we call Videoscape, and in our IP video contribution solutions. Likewise for booth activity and interest around the virtualization of video and IT functions, onto a common compute and storage architecture.

This was also the year we streamed an “up close and personal” live acoustic performance by singer and storyteller Jewel, to highlight the ways in which TelePresence helps us to connect with the world of entertainment. We partnered with AT&T, for intelligent TelePresence connectivity, and Marriott, which operates TelePresence viewing rooms throughout the world. It was very cool!

Also very cool: AEG Digital Media, which announced plans at NAB 2011 to expand its deployments of our “Spinnaker” adaptive bit rate solution to enable the delivery of live, streaming video to any device, over any IP network. AEG is a leading provider of webcast management and digital media services for live streaming events. For us, it’s another exciting validation of our Videoscape mission.

That’s my two cents on the highlights of this year’s NAB in Vegas. Great show, exhausting, exhilarating. Thanks to all of you who stopped by to see us.

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