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Virtualization Meets Video Processing at NAB 2014

If anything is certain about the video business, it’s this: the volume of change is daunting and every change tends to make life more complicated, not less.

This is certainly true at the sharp end of the business -- digital video processing – where  “multiscreen” video, new video formats and new video technologies are together creating a perfect storm of complexity. Once there was SD over MPEG2 delivered to TVs. Now there is SD, various flavors of HD and, soon, 4K; and MPEG2, AVC and now HEVC; plus a wealth of encapsulation schemes and DRMs; And even more screen sizes and resolutions as the number of device to be supported grows ever larger.

The number of permutations of all these options is truly dizzying. Every permutation is a potential video “workflow” to be implemented – and the number of permutations is expanding rapidly, apparently endlessly and it’s exponential. Today Cisco deals with some media companies that have over 80 video workflows for their content. One more video format – for instance 4K – and this potentially doubles to 160. Another compression scheme – HEVC perhaps -- and now we have 320. And so on.

Keeping track of all these “workflows” is one thing, but Read More »

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Cisco @ NAB: We’ve Got Your 4K, HEVC, OTT, IP, SDN, NFV — Right Here!

There’s a reason the superlative term “broadcast quality” is the measuring stick and euphemism for “highest possible video quality” — and the people that make it happen are all here this week for the annual National Association of Broadcasters convention.

If you’re reading this, chances are high that you’re on your way or already here, perhaps for the second or third time this year — and it’s only April. We’re there too, not surprisingly, with a lot to share with our colleagues in broadcasting.

By “a lot to share,” I mean the new Videoscape Virtualized Video Processing solution, for handling the massive array of inputs, outputs, and related workflows; solutions for 4K/UltraHD video; advanced HEVC compression; new advancements enabling greater compression with no loss of video quality for MP2 and AVC; and a clear path for our broadcast television colleagues to swiftly transition to IP video, from production to ad insertion to delivery.

Probably the most exciting demo at Read More »

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On Teaming Up with Snell at NAB to Accelerate the IP Video Transition for Broadcasters

By Charles Stucki

The notion of combining enterprise-grade routing with broadcast television isn’t a new one, especially at a National Association of Broadcasters convention. Like everything else, the intersections between Internet Protocol-based technologies and just about everything — video included — have been building momentum for the last several years.

But! This year is different, and milestone-grade, if you ask us. Why? At this year’s NAB, Cisco and Snell, a long-time leader in broadcast television infrastructure, will demonstrate what we believe to be a first-ever integration of real-time, IP-based signaling — from production to the viewing screen.

In essence, the demonstration makes it possible for broadcasters to use off-the-shelf, enterprise-class IP routers to distribute video — in the same way they now ship SDI (serial digital interface) signals through the television ecosystem. If we were to Read More »

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Cisco Technologies featured at OFC/NFOEC’14: Programmable, Converged & Highly Scalable

By Leonard Luna, Senior Marketing Manager, Cisco Service Provider Solutions

This past March at OFC/NFOEC’14 in San Francisco, California, Cisco was a once again a significant part of the leading edge dialog.  Organizers took full advantage of the dynamic Moscone Center facilities to create a highly compelling environment for suppliers, analysts, industry experts and end users to collaborate on optical and networking solutions.  The event was very successful for Cisco from both a face-to-face and social media perspective.


Above: View onsite observations from Sanjeev Mervana, Cisco Sr. Director Product & Solution Marketing, direct from Cisco booth at OFC’14

This year, we leveraged one of our largest booths ever to create some ambitious live demos showcasing how Evolved Programmable Networks (EPN) are designed to handle the challenges and opportunities presented by the Internet of Everything.  The entire Network Convergence System (NCS 6000, 4000 and 2000) was live within the booth, and one year after its introduction at OFC, an expanded Cisco CPAK family of transceiver modules was also featured, including the LR4, SR10, ER4 and show favorite – the Cisco CPAK 10 x 10G LR solution.

If you missed your opportunity to engage with Cisco at OFC’14, you can view the following video demos created right on the show floor to see a few of our attendee’s favorites:  Read More »

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Small Cells Are Big For Business

Closing the big deal.  Calming an irate customer.  Clarifying instructions given in an email.  Voice has long been the killer app for business.  As the world goes mobile, smartphones are becoming a key way for business people to stay connected, not just when they are out of the office, but an important means of voice communication in the office.  Like consumers, many business users are cutting the cord and using their mobile device, instead of their desk phone, to make and receive voice calls.  A recent Cisco study of mobile users reveals that 50 percent of knowledge workers use their mobile phone at least one-quarter of the time to make calls in the office, instead of reaching for a desk phone.  And, 35 percent of knowledge workers equally choose between a mobile and desk device when placing a call.  We expect this mobile displacement of the traditional desk phone to grow as employees increasingly bring their own mobile devices to work and use them for conducting business.

Mobile cellular networks were built to cover large outdoor and semi-outdoor areas.  They were never built to penetrate the steel, glass and concrete of modern buildings.  While there may be some coverage near the windows, the signal strength rapidly degrades as you head towards the center of the building.  This is only going to get worse as new building materials, such as blast resistant glass, make it even harder for signals from the macrocell network to adequately cover the place of work.  Our research found that one-third of all business users receive only 1 to 3 bars of signal strength at their place of work.  And, 10 percent of business people obtain very poor quality mobile service (1 to 2 bars).

The shift to mobile in the workplace should be Read More »

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