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A View from This Year’s “Tech Emmys” in Las Vegas

By Bart Spreister, VP/GM Digital Media Networks, Service Provider Video Technology Group

The 61st Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy AwardsIt’s always gratifying to be part of a winning team, even (and perhaps especially!) as a behind-the-scenes contributor. I’m talking about the 61st annual Technology & Engineering Emmys, put on by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Las Vegas, during the recent Consumer Electronics Show.

I had the good fortune to sit with friends and colleagues at Fox Entertainment Group, which won a Tech Emmy for their “pioneering efforts in development and implementation of network distribution workflows for ATSC DTV Development.”

Here’s what that means: Fox, which, with all other U.S. broadcasters, switched to all-digital transmissions in 2009, pioneered a way to maintain a consistent and high-quality look and feel of its video feed, including graphics transitions amongst affiliates. The Fox national feed reaches 294 affiliate stations, so the ability to automate the process was a big deal, internally.

Maybe this sounds obvious - to splice between national and local content and graphics, without degrading picture quality. Turns out it’s not -- or it wasn’t, prior to Fox’s work.

Prior to the digital cutover, any national feeds entering a local station often required decoding and manipulation (e.g. to insert a different logo or message), then re-encoding, prior to airing. Each time a piece of video is manipulated, the potential exists to degrade quality -- which is why it was and is important to maintain a clean, high-quality feed, between national and local locations.

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NBC Olympics SVP, Digital Media on How Medianet Enables Coverage of 2010 Games

Perkins Miller knows a thing or two (or ten) about the Olympic Games. As Senior VP of Digital Media Olympics for NBC Universal, Miller oversaw the push to deliver the Games on multiple digital platforms, back in 2008.

This year, he says in this video interview, it’s all about capturing the culture of the Games - from fans, journalists, and athletes (except when they’re actually competing, obviously) - while vastly improving the behind-the-scenes editing workflows.

That means putting Cisco Flip cameras in the hands of participants, before the games, as well as NBC talent and producers to gather “the rest of the story.”

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Announcing Cisco Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Solution for Service Providers

A very happy new year to you all!

Today, we announced the Cisco Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution for service providers. Service providers are looking for new ways to enter the market for IaaS (providing compute-on-demand, network-on-demand and storage-on-demand for their customers)

Cisco is working with Service Providers to provide them with the tools, design guides and advanced services to be able to “fast-track” the implementation of IaaS offerings. The benefit for our SP customers is that they are able to develop a service with greater confidence and are then able to realize revenues faster than would have otherwise been possible.

Any customer of the SP can now gain access to cost-efficient resources at SP scale. Not having to deploy these services on their own makes your customers more agile and productive.

The benefits for the customer include:

  • Access to world-class IT services on-demand
  • Highly efficient, low-cost services without up-front investment
  • Security and management provided by their service provider

The benefits to Service Providers include:

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Social Media Marketing for Service Providers – David M. Scott: Is Social Media a Fad? Part 5

David Meerman Scott addresses head-on the topic of social media and whether it’s a fad or here to stay. In this fifth video of a multiple-part series between David and Stacy Spognardi of Cisco, David asserts that social media is, in fact, not new and has been in practice for a long time.

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PAETEC: Evolving their Cisco IP NGN to Prepare for the Future of Business Services

PAETEC Announces Its Standardization on Cisco IP NGN NationwideAs we enter a new decade in 2010, forward-looking communication solutions providers will continue to invest in building and evolving their IP NGN infrastructure. They are preparing for the increased demand from their business customers, as the Enterprise 2.0 phenomenon moves into the next phase of market development.

Many of what were once considered early-adopter collaboration applications are now going mainstream. If you’re like me, then you’ve already embraced many of these next-generation online collaboration services and applied them in your daily routine -- after all, why just have a phone call when you can have a webex? Why fly for an hour meeting when you can TelePresence?

Earlier this week, PAETEC announced it will standardize on Cisco IP Next-Generation Network edge and core platforms, and I believe this is an example of how more and more providers are proactively moving beyond providing more traditional data, voice, and Internet business solutions for business customers. Instead, they are using their advanced network platform for delivering a wider array of value-add services, including some of the emerging ones that are entering the market.

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