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NAB 2011: On Making One Linear Channel into 20+ Video Streams

Just a few years ago, the big topic at the annual National Association of Broadcasters event was the digital transition. In that same time frame, we used to refer to “two screen” and “three screen” environments, to describe the shift of video programming to PCs and smaller screens.

All of that seems quaint now, in hindsight. The digital transition happened, without a lot of fanfare, in July of 2009; now, the number of screens capable of displaying television and video streams is into the double and triple digits.

Indeed, today’s all-digital marketplace is placing new challenges on the shoulders of the nation’s broadcasters.


John Bishop, Sr. VP of Business Development & Strategy for Inlet Technologies, now a part of Cisco, talks about Inlet’s multi-screen delivery and monetization and how these will add to Cisco’s offering.

For starters, today’s broadcast and cable networks are being asked to deliver one linear channel in as many as 30 different versions, because of the plethora of adaptive streaming methods in market. One linear stream might need to be encoded in to eight versions for Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), six to eight for Adobe Flash, and so on for Microsoft Silverlight and other emerging platforms.

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Welcome to NAB 2011

I wanted to take a moment and extend a brief welcome from Cisco’s booth at the 2011 National Association of Broadcasters Show, happening this week in Las Vegas.

Hear about our extended adaptive bit rate work with AEG Digital Media, as well as what the Cisco booth holds in terms of Videoscape cloud technologies for content management and video transcoding,  digital watermarking, TelePresence for broadcast networks, and rich media delivery to TV screens.

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NAB: New Tools for News Gathering

Next week is the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, I thought it timely to look into some of the ways in which technology is intersecting with the business of video broadcasting.

Going on location to capture a news event, as one example, used to be about getting a truck there in time, setting up a remote studio, and everything that goes along with that: Travel time, travel costs, and the setup logistics that almost always add latency to the process. Every minute spent getting on-air is a minute not spent airing a live event, as any broadcast news editor will attest.

But as the world of IP intersects more deeply with the world of video, it’s becoming much easier, faster and cost-effective to capture and transmit live news. Here’s a few examples, all based around the Cisco TelePresence EX Series:

  • CNN’s coverage of the 2010 mid-term elections used EX90s to bring in on-air commentators James Carville (broadcasting from his home in New Orleans) and David Gergon (via his Harvard University office). In essence, the technology enabled CNN to quickly and easily take the studio to the talent, not the other way around. CNN got quick, on-air expertise; Carville and Gergon got to save time and travel expenses by working locally.
  • MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show regularly uses the EX-90 to capture live 1:1 interviews, extending the studio virtually as if the guest was physically present.
  • The National Basketball Association (NBA) put up a circular kiosk, outfitted with a TelePresence screen, during a fan appreciation event in Phoenix. Fans were able to talk live with their favorite players, in a “you are there” setting.

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Cisco @ NAB: TweetChat Series

Broadcast industry professionals are going into this year’s NAB show amid a number of challenges to content lifecycles, monetization and copyrights. To think! The “digital transition” was less than two years ago, but already it’s a distant memory, eclipsed by the rise of national broadband networks -- which, in turn, turned up the heat on over-the-top video and today’s TV Everywhere trends on tablets, smartphones and PCs. Who gets to define the “where” in TV Everywhere, anyway? Speaking of serving video to multiple screens -- is it time to better integrate the digital life cycle of content?

Let’s discuss some of these questions with our Videos Solutions Marketing Managers in Cisco’s NAB TweetChat.  Please feel free to send any questions or topics of interest to @CiscoSPVideo.

When?

  • Pre-NAB Session: Friday, April 8, 9-9:30 am PDT (12-12:30 pm EDT)
  • Post-NAB Session: Friday, April 22, 9-9:30 am PDT (12-12:30 pm EDT)

How?
On the day of the event, login to http://tweetchat.com/ and follow the #ciscospchat hashtag. To join the chat, visit http://tweetchat.com/room/ciscospchat

Alternatively, you can use your favorite Twitter client (such as TweetGrid, TweetDeck)  or TwitterSearch to follow the chat hashtag #ciscospchat.  During the event, you can follow the discussion, contribute questions, and submit your own comments by using the same hashtag.

Who?
The session will be hosted by @CiscoSPVideo managed by the Cisco Service Provider Marketing team.

  • Sachin Sathaye, Service Provider Marketing Manager, Video Solutions,  @sachinsathaye
  • Marcia Bana Tonetto, Service Provider Marketing Manager, Video Solutions, @marciabana
  • Ran Chen, Service Provider Marketing Manager, Video Solutions, @ran2877

Questions / Comments?
Please email us at csco_sp@external.cisco.com. Feel free to send us questions or topics you’d like to hear addressed!

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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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