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World IPv6 Day: Working Together Towards a New Internet Protocol

We’re pleased to announce that Cisco is joining The Internet Society for World IPv6 Day, a 24-hour global “test drive” of IPv6 on June 8, 2011.

For over 25 years, Cisco has been central to the development of the Internet Protocol (IP) that has helped fuel the incredible growth in global connectivity the world enjoys today. Very soon, the free pool of IPv4 addresses will finally run dry, and IPv6 is the only long-term solution the industry has available to continue growth in the manner that the world has come to expect.

Cisco has been involved in developing standards and products for IPv6 since its inception more than a decade ago. While we have helped a number of customers deploy IPv6 on networks large and small, stitching this together ubiquitously and seamlessly among not just the networks themselves but the software and applications running on top has been challenging.

On June 8, the industry is coming together to deploy and test IPv6 in what we believe will be an unprecedented manner in terms of participation and scale. On this day, major web companies, Internet Service Providers, enterprises, and equipment vendors will work together to “switch on” IPv6 for 24 hours. The switch that will be thrown is one within the global Domain Name System, or DNS, which translates a name such as http://www.cisco.com into an IP address. Today, while a number of large websites have IPv6 connectivity, in order to reach many of them over IPv6 the user must use a special DNS name. For example, even if you have an IPv6-enabled device connected to an IPv6-enabled network, you must type http://www.ipv6.cisco.com in your web browser in order to receive an IPv6 destination address to connect to. Read More »

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Cisco, Service Providers Aim to Reinvent the TV Experience With “Videoscape”

Coming soon, to you – The next-generation TV experience.

It’s called Videoscape.    

It’s a comprehensive TV platform for service providers.  It combines digital TV and online content with social media and communications applications to create a new, immersive home and mobile video entertainment experience.

And it’s from Cisco.

Announced today, Videoscape is an open platform that utilizes the cloud, the network and client devices to deliver new video experiences on the next-generation Internet.  Cisco introduced five product families that work in conjunction with its portfolio of network products and technologies.

  • The Videoscape media gateway for the integration of voice, linear and online video, high-speed data, Wi-Fi and network traffic routing.
  • The Videoscape IP set-top box, engineered to support all forms of video – pay TV, broadcast, premium channels, VoD and online — to new Web 2.0 applications.
  • Videoscape software clients that extend the Videoscape experiences to a wide variety of home and mobile devices, from connected TVs to tablets, smartphones and more.
  • The Videoscape Media Suite which offers full life-cycle content management offering service providers the ability to efficiently and cost-effectively manage and publish content across multiple screens.

For consumers, Videoscape offers:

  • Access to vast entertainment content sources, including broadcast, pay TV and online, that integrates the Internet, social media, communications and mobility. 
  • Ease of use
  • More sources of video to your screen
  • More social and interactive features
  • More choices for content on the go
  • Cisco quality of experience

Check it out!

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Videoscape: Cisco and Service Providers Reinventing the Television Experience. Together.

Today is an exciting day for us at Cisco with the launch of Videoscape.

As our Chairman and CEO, John Chambers, announced in a press conference this afternoon, Cisco Videoscape is both an experience and a solution, purpose-built for delivering and reinventing the next generation of TV experience. Together we will bring , entertainment, social media and communications and mobility together to transform how users engage with video and how providers can prosper.

Right now the consumer video experience is fragmented requiring consumers to go to multiple sources for their content. They are going to their cable or IPTV subscriptions for some content. Or, looking to their DVR and on-demand content for others. At times, they stream online content or do applications from their PC. Even still they must find additional boxes to stream their PC experience to their TV and to others that help sling content from one place to another. And, the list goes on. Some homes are so complex that it seems users need to have CCIE just to hook it all up and make it work; but all of that still doesn’t address the experience where users are having to navigate all of these different silos and devices just to watch what they want to watch or do what they want to do (and, we haven’t even spoken of quality yet). Challenges also exist for service providers as they now must now handle the ever increasing load of traffic while simultaneously losing some traction with the portion of their audience that is considering trimming of the cord. Both dynamics can have a negative effect on their business.

Today’s announcement intends to change all of this for consumers and providers alike. With Videoscape, SPs can do for TV experience (and other screens) what the mobile internet did for the phone.

Let’s look at what Videoscape delivers to the consumer, service provider and media company. Read More »

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The History and Future of TV

From the first electromechanical television (the “pantelegraph,” in case it slipped your mind…), to the 64 million people who tuned into a website to view the 2010 World’s cup — and for the 168 years separating those two events — the ways by which we consume video entertainment morphed many times over.

Experience television’s transformation yourself by clicking into The History and Future of Television. It’s a comprehensive compilation of the technical and societal influences that shaped television – to learn from the past, and move with confidence into the changing landscape ahead..   Read More »

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The Business Case for Unbundled IP Video

As I mentioned in an earlier post on the recent market study of U.S. pay-TV subscriber needs and wants, the segmentation of the video marketplace potentially  brings both new challenges and opportunities for incumbent service providers.

That said, the debate around what to do about the unprecedented growth of the Netflix phenomenon now seems to be a moot point – as incumbent pay-TV service providers openly acknowledge its disruptive impact on the traditional video entertainment industry. And, now they’re proceeding with their plans to execute their long-awaited counter strategy.

Clearly, 2011 could prove to be a pivotal year for testing new business cases, as the marketplace becomes more fluid and is subject to further significant changes that are on the near horizon.

While it’s perfectly understandable that incumbent pay-TV service providers might prefer to bundle a Netflix-like, on-demand IP video service offering with their standard digital cable tier subscriptions, let’s remember that this is but one potential scenario.

Revisiting the results of the Cisco market study, it’s interesting that note that – by far – “the most likely motivation to pay for an online video package…” is a low price point. Call this the “value-based” market segment, if you will – it likely includes some current subscribers and previously lost customers. To win-back these prior subscribers, such as those that are looking at more of an iTunes or Hulu approach to catch up on their TV, an unbundled IP VOD offering by the provider could be very attractive.

Read More »

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