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Online Video: Quality, Content or Both?

During IBC 2010, 3DTV dominated much of the conversation with most of the chatter centered around topics like market uptake, screen size and the technology improvements needed to improve image quality.

When you think of how far technology has come during the last 20 years, or even the last ten, it is extraordinary to think of the leaps-and-bounds we have seen when it comes to video delivery and quality. Many could not have forecasted the boom of the iPhone, flat screen HDTV’s and how magical movies like Avatar and other pixilated movies would become – real life and video life are getting ever closer it seems. It is becoming increasingly evident that video and improved digital imagery is here to stay – there is no turning back.

That got me thinking about what do consumers REALLY want? Is it the quality of video or the actual content itself? Certainly, there has to be a minimal threshold for quality, right? And, can we expect both?

Now I have to admit that I still have at least 2 “old school” TV sets, and the quality is far less superior than what is provided by my plasma. But truth be told, if I am desperate to watch my home team’s football game on Saturday (Hook ’em), and it conflicts with my son’s soccer game, I can prioritize and have many options that fit my lifestyle and viewing needs. While big screen is great, I must admit I would watch that game on my 2 inch iPhone screen or any screen for that matter no matter the size, black and white or color screen – it would make little difference. I could also DVR it and watch it when I get back home. If I lived in the UK, I could enjoy 7 day playback with BBC’s iplayer. Or, if I am a subscriber to any one of the Tier 1 operators’ TV service in the US, I can login with my laptop and view it online.

I have choices.

I like choices.

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IBC 2010: IBC Wrap Up & Key Takeaways

In a final post from the show floor (ok, really it’s the exit this time), I give some parting thoughts on the Cisco team’s past few days and some key themes and takeaways resulting from the more than 250 customer meetings, and yes, I do say that devices are becoming less relevant and I use the “e” word liberally.

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Validation of Cisco IP Next Generation Mobile Network

The mobile communications market is in a great state of transition.

Mobile operators’ are addressing a variety of new opportunities and challenges that are impacting their business architecture. To take advantage of the business opportunities and address the challenges requires a technical architecture that delivers high performance, high intelligence and high availability.

Cisco recently accepted a challenge from Light Reading and testing firm EANTC to submit to an independent, public test of a complete network capable of supporting all generations of mobile network technologies, while delivering the capabilities and attributes that are required in this evolving market.

Light Reading and EANTC test Cisco's next-gen Mobile NetworkThe second of the two part series Testing Cisco’s Mobile Core, Data Center & Business Services was posted last week by Light Reading.

The test looked at our comprehensive IP next-generation mobile network, including mobile backhaul, which encompassed solutions from cell sites to the mobile service nodes; the network core, which looked at connections among service functions and to the Internet; and the “mobile core” or in other words, the intelligent packet gateways.

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IBC 2010: The Emergence of the Media Data Center

They are not just for IT any more. They are playing a critical role for service providers worldwide, making the devices that we all love actually do the functionality that we love. With so much of the growth in networks being caused by video, why should a provider service those same requirements using a data center that was developed primarily for Information Technology use? They shouldn’t, of course, which is why Cisco is highlighting its media data center, as the name implies, is optimized for video and rich media. George Tupy, who heads the broadcaster marketing for Cisco, gives me a quick review and shares the benefits that this approach delivers – benefits which make media data centers a top of mind issue for providers.

Also, be sure to check out my hair on this one…what’s that growing out of my head…a feather?

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IBC 2010: Traveler’s Diary from Amsterdam

IBC 2010: I amsterdam

Key takeaways from Amsterdam:

caution - cycle pathBicycles, Bicycles, Bicycles: With dedicated bike paths being adjacent to the street and thousands of bell-ring people using them (often while texting, smoking, having their kids in the front and a friend sitting on the back), getting across the street is like playing a first-person game of “Frogger: the Human Edition.”

rough roadBuses handle driving off-road: I’m not used to seeing luxury buses driving through the mud, much less riding in them – but thousands of IBC’ers found out first-hand when the bus route was under construction, that the big buses can handle driving off-road through a muddy field just fine. Look for them next in an upcoming rally race.

Air conditioning is a good thing, even in Holland:  Surprisingly warm this week, Amsterdam was flat out hot while inside the RAI center, with tons of equipment in full operation and even more people in close proximity to one another (not to mention wearing wool suits…)

Beer and coffee seem to be their own food groups here: No time during a day is either out of fashion – perhaps it’s because both are consumed in quantity and that the stein-drinking lunch-goers don’t need mid-afternoon naps…

looking good in 3D glasses

There is no way to look cool in 3D glasses: None. Nada. Nyet. Nein. My failed attempts are just that. Failed attempts. Here’s hoping that Ray-ban goes big into the 3D glasses production business soon. (Wayfarer for me, please!)

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