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Unmanaged Networks: Disruption or Complement to Pay TV?

For a long time, the Pay TV world had a reliable division of labor. It used to look something like this:

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Film and TV studios generated content. Aggregators purchased this content and packaged it in the form of linear TV channels. TV operators acquired channels and offered it to viewers by means of a set-top box. But gradually, this model changed. Aggregators began to create and distribute their own content. STB manufacturers became distributors. But the biggest change, the one that has blown the doors off the old model, is the introduction of unmanaged networks, also known as OTT (Over the Top), into the viewing space.

What is OTT? It’s any content delivered over the internet, but outside a managed network such as the ones your local cable or satellite operator provide. It’s YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and countless other video providers. They’re wildly popular, and they provide content on any device. You probably don’t need statistics to see how widespread these video sites have become – you can see it with your own eyes – but here’s some anyway:

--Between Q1 2011 and Q1 2013, online viewing has increased 50-100% Read More »

Observations from the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show

I am just back from attending the 2014 Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas where I was meeting with customers and visiting the massive show floor. CES is an intriguing blend of extremes and contrasts: biggest and the smallest; connected and unconnected; wired and wireless; high tech – low tech.  As personal and business technologies converge through the “consumerization of technology”, CES provides an exciting window into the current and future world of technology.

As with every show, there are things which are the same, more advanced or completely new from the previous year.   The following are my personal observations and extrapolations from the show based on my conversations with customers, colleagues and walking the floor.

1. Internet of Everything – Not only are all things (machines, sensors, devices) being connected to the Internet but so are people and data, creating the Internet of Everything.  IoE is a fitting overall theme for CES – everything at the show is connected to everything else.  As Cisco CEO John Chambers stated in his keynote speech “IoE is bigger than anything that’s ever been done in high tech.”

2. New Next Generation TV… Again – You could be mistaken for thinking that CES is really the TV show.  Televisions are everywhere and every company seems to produce one.  Manufacturers are still promoting 3D television, but it has taken a back seat to the next big thing – spectacular ultra high-definition or 4K TVs – four times the resolution of typical HD TVs.

3. The World is Curved Read More »

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Connecting Everything at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show

By Joe Cozzolino, SVP and GM, Cisco Service Provider Video Infrastructure

Right now, in North America, home security is the leading beachhead into the Internet of Everything (IoE) landscape. AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Rogers, among others, moved into homes this year with advanced security products. All are actively cooking up ways to improve those beachheads, to make our homes – and our things more useful to us.

The ability for service providers (SPs) to drive more ARPU

So far, anecdotal evidence suggests that consumers like the add-on features — like video, water metering, smoke detection, thermostat control, water shut-off valves, proximity detection, and a long list of others. (They also like the break they get on their homeowners insurance…!) With takeup rates for home security systems still hovering in the “below 25%” range, there’s still a lot of room to grow.

As our CEO John Chambers will discuss in his CES keynote, we think the Internet of Everything is the next big thing in the overall transition to all-IP. We define it as a combination of devices, people, data and processes, which all come together in a life-improving way. (As the sole provider of the AT&T Digital Life controller, we’re very familiar with how to build that beachhead into the home.)

Here at CES, we’re showcasing a future vision of the IoE/Connected Life movement — with everything from gluten-detectors to connected basketballs to breaking glass detection. The point of it isn’t to plumb the depths of eyebrow raising use cases, which we’ve all seen perhaps too many times.

The point is to illustrate how the IoE can positively impact service provider networks. Maybe after the basketball breaks the window, the homeowner, who’s at work, gets a notification of three window companies that can be there within the hour.

Those are but a few examples of how the IoE can grow residential service satisfaction, and help service providers grow revenue. We have plenty more! It’s what we call Cisco Connected Life solutions. We are demonstrating these things in action this week at the Cisco booth #13342 in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center and in private demonstrations for our service provider customers at The Wynn Hotel Las Vegas.

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4 Million Video-Optimized Wireless Set-top Boxes Shipped: Who Else Can Say That?

chowj-300x400By Joe Chow, VP and GM, Connected Devices Business Unit, Cisco

A milestone is a foot, and we’d like to commemorate it with this brief blog to promote our latest set-top box triumph. The milestone: Four million! That’s the number of video-optimized wireless set-top boxes now enhancing how consumers watch television, thanks to the notably successful rollouts by our partners AT&T, CenturyLink and Telus.

The cool factor of a wireless video set-top box — AT&T’s Read More »

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Cisco at the 2014 International CES

It’s a new year, so one thing is certain: It’s time to go to Las Vegas for the International Consumer Electronics Show. CES is always an energetic annual kickstart here at Cisco, since so much of our mission is to develop and build the technologies that link consumers and businesses to service providers and big networks.

CES is especially big for us this year. For starters, John Chambers, our Chairman and CEO, is keynoting this afternoon (4:30 PM PT, Venetian Palazzo Ballroom), to talk about the Internet of Everything (IoE), as part of the Tech Titans keynote series.

Company-wide we are so focused on the IoE, we’re sponsoring the “Internet of Everything” Tech Zone, in the Central Hall (#13342) — so come see us there if you’re thirsty for details on how sensor-based technologies will jazz up your life at home, and on the go.

Our Service Provider Video business announced Read More »

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