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A Treat for U-verse Customers: Cisco and AT&T Launch Wireless TV Today

By David Alsobrook , Director of Business Development, Connected Home Solutions, Cisco Service Provider Video Technology Group

It’s a big day here at Cisco (and it’s not just because it’s Halloween and there are bowls of candy everywhere…!)

Today, we go to market with AT&T with an industry first: IPTV set-tops equipped with video-optimized Wi-Fi. AT&T calls it the “AT&T U-verse TV Wireless Receiver” — a first-ever way to arrange your TV to go with your life, furniture, and living environment.

Guests for the weekend? Move the TV to the guest room. Wish you could have three TVs to follow this weekend’s games? Go for it.   With this no new wires solution, the “plumbing” is no longer an issue.

We Cisco people call it our ISB7005 wireless set-top box and our VEN401 wireless access point.  One is a set-top that can be located anywhere in the house; the other is a video-optimized wireless access point. Read More »

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An Historic Look into the Future

Earlier this week I came across a great bit of history, thanks to All Things Digital. It was a look back at an AT&T campaign from 1993, featuring a remarkable voiceover by Tom Selleck. What made it so remarkable was that Selleck was positing about futuristic capabilities that in the past 18 years have all come to be—thanks to the power of innovation.

If you haven’t seen the spots, here’s a list of the rundowns of “Have you ever?…” that were included in the campaign.

  1. …Borrowed a book from a thousand miles away
  2. …Crossed the country without stopping for directions
  3. …Sent someone a fax from the beach
  4. …Paid a toll, without slowing down
  5. …Bought a concert ticket from a cash machine
  6. …Tucked your baby in from a phone booth
  7. …Opened doors with the sound of your voice
  8. …Carried your medical history in your wallet
  9. …Attended a meeting in your bare feet
  10. …Watched the movie you wanted to, the minute you wanted to
  11. …Learned special things from faraway places

What struck me about these predictions is that Cisco has really been at the forefront of delivering this stuff. And with AT&T as a valued partner, we’ve nailed what began as pure imagination—not a bad track record from 1993 to 2011.

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The Big Apple: NYC Digital at the Core

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Municipalities around the world have been targeting broadband deployment, with varying degrees of success, as noted in our recent editorial, Intelligent Communities: A Smart Choice? The biggest U.S. city of all, New York, has committed extensive resources to make its broadband deployment a huge economic success, focusing on some traditional areas — government information, business support — and also some non-traditional areas.

Much of the program, dubbed NYC Digital, mirrors what many municipalities have already done. It includes deploying broadband access throughout the five boroughs to improve digital capabilities for industry, citizens, educational institutions, and city government itself. It also includes the traditional feature of giving citizens electronic access to government services — for example, permits, public records, and street cleaning schedules.

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Putting Your Tablet to Work with AT&T and the Cisco Cius

Cisco Cius2011 is shaping up to be the year of the tablet. As seen by overwhelming consumer demand, the trend that started in 2010 continues to rapidly gain momentum.  More and more people see value in the advanced video and collaboration capabilities combined with the mobility that tablets offer.

Within the enterprise, mobile tablets are positioned to be a critical part of a company’s suite of collaboration and communications tools.  Organizations can leverage the unified communications and collaboration capabilities of the tablet to enhance productivity for an increasingly mobile workforce.  Cisco saw the power of this tool and responded with the release of the first mobile tablet made specifically for businesses, the Cisco Cius™.

Today, May 11, AT&T announced plans to offer the Cisco Cius to its business customers, and Cisco expects the Cius to be available for AT&T’s HSPA+ network in the fall of 2011. The purpose-built Cius delivers virtual desktop integration with anywhere, anytime access to the full range of Cisco collaboration and communication applications, including full interoperability with Cisco TelePresence®. The Cius will move easily between wired connectivity to Wi-Fi and mobile broadband networks, including AT&T’s HSPA+ network.

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Jewel: Up Close and Personal at NAB 2011

This Wednesday, April 13, at 2:00pm PDT, singer and songwriter Jewel will be performing a solo, acoustic set, live, to attendees of the National Association of Broadcasters convention, in Las Vegas. And to viewers in Chicago, and Dallas, and New York. And in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, D.C. and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Live simulcast? Not really. More, the show is another example of how Cisco TelePresence technology and intelligent networking are bringing people together – audiences and artists, in this case – through video. It’s a collaboration between us (for the TelePresence components), AT&T (for intelligent TelePresence connectivity) and Marriott (which operates TelePresence viewing rooms throughout the world.)

Here’s how it works: Jewel sings, in our San Jose TV studio. Video capture moves through two TelePresence codecs, then through AT&T TelePresence Bridges, to link to the multiple receive sites. Simultaneously, the video moves through a Ustream encoder, for live streaming on the Web and any type of display screen.

Those of you who know Jewel know that she doesn’t believe in a set list of songs, performed in sequential order. Rather, and from her childhood experiences performing on the road with her father, she prefers to read her audiences – to feel them out for the right song mix.

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