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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.

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Pay-TV Market Study Reveals Segmentation Upside

When you think of the  broadcast video entertainment arena, it seems to have been centered upon the notion that there’s a huge undifferentiated mass-market of consumers who — by and large — all want the same thing.

Incumbent pay-TV service offerings have tended to follow this belief, by delivering a small set of standardized service packages. And for the longest time there’s been no compelling need for traditional service providers to more closely scrutinize the market segmentation variables.

Now though, we’re clearly seeing a shift in the marketplace, that reflects an acknowledgement of the growing market fragmentation. In an on-demand, personalized world  some service providers are already voicing their intent to offer more flexibility in their pay-TV service options and associated pricing.

Granted, a small subset of U.S. pay-TV subscribers have, for a number of different reasons, decided not to wait for their incumbent service provider to introduce more granular or flexible service packages. These people are among the early-adopter cord-cutters that have been equally vocal about their preference for alternative value-based offerings.

We’ve been intrigued by these recent developments, and so we commissioned a market study to learn more about the potential for increased diversity of U.S. pay-TV customer needs and wants. The following are some highlights of what we were able to uncover. Read More »

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How do I keep iPads off of my factory floor?

This question was posed by the Manufacturing IT Director for a major Pharma producer, as part of an annual customer advisory board hosted jointly by Cisco and Rockwell Automation. One answer:  Good luck! …And why would you want to?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diHUhLh5VH4

Chet Namboodri talks about how consumer products are entering production and maintenance workflows and how “Rockwell and Cisco are in the forefront of enabling those solutions” during a recent customer innovation council session.

The migration of technology and applications from Consumer to Business to Industrial has become a well worn path, and the use of Smart Phones, Tablets, Mobile Video and other Operator Interfaces powering work flows and industrial intelligence has become a mainstay for Manufacturers.  Read More »

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Voice security is just as important as data security for small businesses

Learn the four most common threats that put your IP phone system at risk

There’s a big story about phone hacking that has kept newspapers in the U.K. and U.S. busy over the past month. Some former reporters of a popular tabloid newspaper in the U.K. have claimed that hacking into the phones of celebrities and members of the Royal Family was rife at the paper. The publication of conversations and messages between celebrities may be fun to read, but the unauthorized interception of communications inside businesses is no laughing matter.

The security of your small business phone system is just as important as the security of your network. Consider if someone hacked into your phone system and compromised your company voicemail. What could they learn? You need to be as diligent about voice security as you are with data security, particularly if you use IP telephony.

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