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In Defense of the American Pay-TV Bundle

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

It’s not a popular opinion. On the internet, it goes over about as well as saying you hate kittens. But I have to say it: I love the cable bundle.

I realize this goes against the grain. Find any article on the web about bundling of TV channels, and at least 75% of the comments on it will be irate—people fulminating over the injustice of paying for channels they don’t watch, railing at networks for not selling their shows online the day they air, advocating that the entire pay-TV ecosystem be blown up once and for all.

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How the Acquisition of NDS Accelerates Cisco’s Video Entertainment Strategy

We are on the cusp of a whole new wave of digital entertainment experiences that will make video content much easier to find, navigate, interact with and enjoy, on any device and network. Today, Cisco took another important step towards realizing that vision by announcing its intention to acquire NDS Group Ltd. a leading provider of video software and content security solutions that enables users to intuitively view, search and navigate across digital content anytime, anywhere and on any device.

Video is transforming every aspect of our lives. Telemedicine services in New Mexico are helping patients in underserved communities to secure video consultations with expert doctors many miles away. In India, classrooms in tiny rural villages are now being taught by remote teachers using Webex video. We’re even seeing technology that lets us use video to try on dozens of outfits without ever stepping into a fitting room.  For thousands of business professionals around the world, attending a meeting with colleagues, customers and partners in some far flung corner of the world via TelePresence is a routine part of their day.

It’s impossible to argue with the transformational power of video, but perhaps the most noticeable changes are happening right in our own homes, and on our mobile devices.

Television has been truly transformed in the past decade, from a one-way inflexible viewing experience, to a highly dynamic one, which can be time-shifted and enjoyed on an increasing array of digital video devices. But this is only the beginning of an exciting journey.

While clearly a substantial acquisition and major landmark in Cisco’s history in its own right, today’s acquisition is the latest in a series of milestones for Cisco’s Videoscape strategy. Videoscape is Cisco’s vision and platform for the creation of new visual, mobile and social video entertainment experiences through the convergence of digital TV, online content, and social media and video communications applications.

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Service Providers & Consumer Experience: It’s High Time for Change

Roland Klemann believes one thing, when it comes to service providers and consumer experience: Something has to change. As today’s consumers look for new experiences, across multiple locations, screens, and sources, the service providers who deliver those very signals need to step up their game.

It starts with knowing what consumers want. In his 60 minute business briefing at this week’s IBC Show (Monday, Sept. 12, noon-1pm Pacific Time, IBC 2011 Connected World (Hall 13), Rooms G102-G103) Roland will discuss the results of recently concluded consumer research about cloud-based services, like remote storage and personalization, and pull from our “Future of Television” research, which highlights the predictions of 50 television experts. Read More »

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The Future of Television: Sweeping Change at Breakneck Speed

Have you ever wished you could watch the news on the bathroom mirror while you get ready for work? Wave your hand to order a pizza from an irresistible commercial? Not only watch shows, but smell, feel, and taste them, too? Turn your TV viewing into an immersive experience that allows you to engage with characters outside of the storyline and see additional scenes based on your profile and preferences? Well, you might be able to do these things and more in the not-too-distant future.

Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) interviewed 50 TV experts and examined three industry drivers -- technology, consumer behavior, and business models -- to paint a picture of what the future of TV will look like. Our point of view offers the first holistic vision of the future across all key dimensions of the television industry and sheds new light on the likelihood and timing of innovation.

Today, I unveiled our predictions on what the future of television might look like during my keynote presentation at OTTCon -- a trade show that hosts executives from the most innovative technology, media, and entertainment companies including PayTV operators, content producers, consumer electronics manufacturers, media aggregators and service providers.

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