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It’s a Brave New Virtualized World With InterCloud, 4K, Analytics, Advertising, and So Much More

christelle gentalWritten By Christelle Gental

The IBC (International Broadcasting Conference) opens again in Amsterdam this autumn with Cisco demonstrating advanced solutions that push the envelope of new technologies offering Service Providers new and innovative services to their customers whilst reducing the costs in delivering these advanced services utilizing newer infrastructure architectures.

Cisco’s report on the growth of Internet traffic (the VNI Global IP Traffic and Service Adoption Forecast) declares that by 2018, the world will reach 2.5 trillion Internet video minutes per month.  That’s 5 million years of video will cross the Internet each month. The quality of video is also increasing, with 4K video technology now becoming available. Soon this will become mainstream as video Service Providers are gearing up toward providing HEVC across all delivery platforms -- cable, satellite and broadband.

4k demo-Scott Meek

It isn’t just the high resolution services that are changing; the demand from customers to view their content on more and more devices, with differing formats and a more ‘personalized’ experience, is still prevalent. New trends are also starting to emerge. The Internet of Everything (IoE) is an exciting new market for Service Providers to explore and leverage to provide innovative new services outside the traditional delivery of video. Cisco have been at the forefront of the IoE revolution, with John Chambers predicting that IoE will have a significantly greater effect on people’s lives than even the internet has done!

As services provided to customers change, so do infrastructures.  An example is the move from large private data centres to Read More »

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What Did the Olympics, World Cup and CommonWealth Games Have in Common?

We interrupt the 2014 IBC convention with this 10-point bonus question: What do the Olympics, World Cup, and the Commonwealth Games have in common?

Hints: It’s a two-part answer. Both big topics at IBC, and everywhere else; one of them is a word simultaneously associated with both weather and software; it rhymes with “plowed.” The other gives new meaning to “better than your eyes can see.”

One is the cloud, of course, and the other is 4K/UltraHD video. Both showed up strongly at this year’s big sports tickets around the world.

Starting with the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, where we dispatched to NBC most of our Videoscape suite of next-generation IP video components — from signal acquisition to media distribution and client software, serving both set-top boxes and HTML-5-based devices. Essentially, we sent over everything from contribution video products to the end screens, with a lot in between.

One thing was different this year — Read More »

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Why We Will Forever and Fondly Remember The 2014 NAB Show

By now, those of us who attended this year’s National Association of Broadcasters convention are back home (or onto the next trip!) The last of the crates are packed out, we got the job done, and we’re ready to move on to NCTA or the Cable Show, then ANGA.

But before we file 2014 NAB along with other trade show memory, I wanted to take a moment to call out a few things high points. This NAB represents a milestone, even a leap forward in the broadcast industry’s slow-but-steady transition to all-IP technologies.

The question is not if, or how gradually, but when and how soon!

Cisco is a company that hails from the Internet. We make equipment and software that is seeping into other industries. This takes time. We know that, which is why we began developing tools and technologies for video broadcasters and service providers over two decades ago. (In Internet time, that’s a lot of cycles…!)

But this time, Read More »

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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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