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Open UX Foundation Blog Setting the Foundation for HTML5

For pay-TV service providers, delivering multi-screen TV services is a must. Same goes for embedding web and social applications. But with the proliferation of video-enabled devices such as set top boxes (STB) and computer electronics (CE) devices, software platforms become more fragmented. And that makes it more of a challenge to deliver and maintain a high quality video service across the device ecosystem. Many rightly consider HTML5 to be the Internet technology for delivering commercial TV to video enabled devices. Indeed many devices already support HTML5. And all new devices will have native HTML5 browsers built-in. Furthermore, many open source frameworks also make it easier to create new services while social sites provide SDKs to help integrate existing services.

But that’s not enough.

The fact is that many HTML5 implementations simply don’t match the capabilities required by today’s commercial TV applications. Nor do they achieve the performance levels to which users are accustomed. Take, for example, the 3D effects and animations that are part and parcel of an award-winning EPG design such as Videoscape Snowflake. Or accessibility to metadata, authorizations and user preferences. Not to mention app life cycle management. Essentially, there is a need for more than an HTML5 standard browser.

So what can be done? Well at Cisco, we have an answer. Read More »

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The 4K / HEVC Video Roadmap: Follow Cisco’s at CES 2014

Ken Morse1207_-138By Ken Morse, CTO, Connected Devices Business Unit, Cisco

One of the trending topics here at CES in Las Vegas this week, without question, is 4K video/ 4K television, and its consumer-facing brand, “UltraHD.”

Like HD did, 4K redefines TV and this is what CES is all about – compelling new technologies that ultimately draw dollars from consumer wallets.  This year, examples of 4K video will be everywhere (including in our demo suites at The Wynn Hotel…)

But there’s another angle, outside of the visual wow that comes with 4K’s pixel doubling, faster frame rates, deeper blacks, and brighter whites. And it’s all about the shape our industry is going to take. 4K is a disruptor and when there is a disruption, there are winners and losers and speed counts.

For instance: Read More »

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IPv6 Video Rollout via RDK Hits Europe, You Heard it Here First!

By Bill Ver Steeg, Distinguished Engineer, Cisco Systems

We are proud to put down in writing what we believe to be the first Reference Design Kit (RDK)-based deployment of IP video. Oh, and it is the first IPTV system running on IPv6. And one of the first based on a combination of premises based products and cloud-based services. And it all went from concept to turn-up in 50 days!

The deployment happened in Europe, but if you’re in Las Vegas this week at CES, we will also be demoing it for customers at The Wynn Hotel.

What was involved:

Our customer wanted to showcase its brand new IPv6 network by delivering a world-class IP video experience. An all-IPv6 IP video system had never been deployed before, so this was a non-trivial challenge. We chose to use the leading edge components in RDK in the IPv6 environment. Our challenge: they wanted it in and complete in 50 days, from project start to subscribers using it. To meet this challenge we turned to a combination of our new Videoscape Cloud Services SaaS offerings and premise based solutions.

Let’s talk about the toolkit that allowed us to deliver this customized solution in such a rapid timeframe. First and foremost, the delivery required all of the components to work in IPv6–only mode. It’s no great secret that Cisco is highly focused on IPv6 (understatement), and our RDK based systems are no exception. As our customers migrate from IPv4 to Ipv6, all of our video products are being widely deployed in mixed IPv4-IPv6 environments worldwide. As can be imagined, there were considerable production, testing and integration challenges with working in a pure IPv6 deployment.

We started by Read More »

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How Black Arrow, Cisco and Innovid Are Partnering to Advance Advertising at CES 2014

BConrady: Conrad Clemson, VP of business development, Cisco Service Provider Video

Let’s start this blog with this simple observation: TV didn’t kill radio, but it did disrupt how advertising flows. Same for the impact of online media, on print.

And by our reckoning, it’s about to happen again — the diverted flow of advertising resources and revenues away from traditional, big broadcast TV, to online and over-the-top video.

Will TV advertising dominate over other forms of video consumption, for a really, really, really long time? Unquestionably. But increasingly, brands want a mixed media spend, because it gets them greater reach and greater engagement — and that’s what advertising is all about.

Our work to help service providers expand advertising beyond the primary TV screen, to the other screens we’re all watching, is a big part of what we’re demonstrating at this week’s CES, in Vegas. And we’re not going it alone — we’ve strengthened our work with Black Arrow, on ad decisioning, and with Innovid, on multi-screen.

Here’s what you’ll see: Read More »

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Cloud DVR: Reaching back in time for the shows you’ve missed

Some of us still remember, in the pre-DVR days, when missing an episode of your favorite show meant it was lost forever -- unless you chanced upon it in reruns. Even when technology allowed us to book content for recording, whether by VCR or DVR, you had to plan beforehand what you intended to record. The next generation of TV recording technology allowed us to “pause” live viewing and resume at our leisure, thanks to a review buffer that knew to record in the background whatever we happened to be watching. But what if you could spontaneously decide to go back in time – minutes, hours or even days – and view whatever content you missed?

Cloud DVR, one of the latest offerings from Cisco Videoscape Solutions, brings the latest time-shift technology home. An extension of Videoscape Video Everywhere, Cloud DVR leverages cloud technology to store content on a scale impossible for traditional DVRs to replicate. How much content can be stored? Enough for a viewer to browse the programming grid and view any program broadcast over the previous three days.

Enabling this technology is a Content Distribution Network which continually stores broadcast content with high availability and performance. And it’s not just for traditional TV viewing. Because Cloud DVR runs on the multi-device Video Everywhere platform, recently broadcast content can be made retroactively available on any device.

Several new Cloud DVR features take advantage of this technology. Restart TV allows you to view any event from the beginning, no matter when you tuned to it. Catchup TV, a souped-up version of Restart TV, makes available the previous three days of broadcasts. A complementary product, Reverse EPG allows you to search back in time for content previously broadcast. And you can now Pause Live TV even if you don’t have a DVR, so you don’t have to worry about unexpected viewing interruptions. . Because the content is derived from the same cloud-based source, you can pause viewing on one device and resume viewing from the exact same point on a different device.

Cloud-based storage offers several additional advantages:

  • Storing more content -- storage capacity is no longer limited to the disk size of your DVR.
  • Storing multiple shows broadcast simultaneously – no need to worry if your DVR is tied up with multiple recordings
  • Scheduling, managing and accessing stored content from multiple devices
  • No need for a hardware upgrade

Sound good? This solution is on its way. The biggest hurdle to implementation, however, may not be perfecting the technology, but rather the legal implications. One particularly thorny issue, particularly in US markets, is the legality of retrieving content that has already been broadcast. Under current US law, individual customers must request their own copies of a recording. As a result, VOD content can be viewed, but copy-protection arrangements severely curtail the amount of broadcast content that a viewer can legally retrieve and view. Resolution of the legal issues surrounding the viewing of recently broadcast content is shaping up as a major factor in how soon and to what extent we’ll see Cloud DVR introduced to our homes.

Link: An analyst discusses the future of Cloud DVR (posted on YouTube by Cisco):

For more information about the Cisco Cloud DVR, click here.

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