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Multiscreen Video Delivery: Tangled Solutions, Smoothed by the Cloud

bill-Gerhardt11By Bill Gerhardt, Director, IBSG Service Provider

Online video is growing at a rapid — if not explosive — pace, with innovation and disruption spreading across all areas of the value chain. Some of the greatest innovation is currently occurring around multiscreen delivery and related services.

To better understand the climate for video consumption, in March, 2012 the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) surveyed 1,152 U.S. broadband consumers between the ages of 13 and 75+ to gain a better understanding of how they watch video: their habits, preferences, and the devices they use.

The study found that consumers spend more time watching Internet video today than watching DVDs/Blu-ray Discs, video on demand (VoD), or live premium cable channels — and they want to watch streaming video across a variety of screens. In the future, multiscreen delivery will take on greater importance as laptops, tablets, and smartphones advance and become even better video devices.

Service providers must address these Read More »

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AT&T Sweeps IPTV World Forum Awards!

It’s been a great week for AT&T at the IP&TV World Forum, and by proxy, a great week for Cisco!

In case you hadn’t heard the word from “over the pond,” the IP&TV World Forum recognized AT&T with not one, but TWO accolades: Best TV App, for its U-verse for Tablet, and “Best Consumer Device,” for the U-Verse TV Wireless Receiver (built by guess who!)

The IP&TV Industry Awards, which occurred in London on the evening of March 21, honor service providers for their innovation, excellence, and achievement in the IPTV sector.

The AT&T Wireless Receiver, which launched across U-verse markets last October, is an IPTV set-top equipped with video-optimized Wi-Fi. From a consumer perspective, it means hanging the TV set anywhere, and not necessarily near a coaxial wall outlet — a no-wires way to arrange the TV to go with people’s lives, furniture, and living environments.

In Cisco-speak, we call this fabulous device the ISB7005 wireless DVR set-top, coupled with our VEN401 wireless access point. The former is a set-top that can go anywhere in the house; the latter is the video-optimized wireless access point.

So allow me to raise a (virtual) glass, on behalf of the hardworking team here at Cisco who helped make these technologies possible — and to our colleagues at AT&T, for making it happen! Clink and congrats.

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Hello, IP&TV World Forum! We’re in MR1, Gallery Level

It’s springtime in London (or near enough), which must mean it’s time again for the IP&TV World Forum. Here’s a handful of reasons why you should come by and see us this week!

1. Strong coffee that is free and plentiful. Enough said.

2. To check out a (deployed) way of wiring homes that aren’t wired. Last year, AT&T launched its “Free Your TV” offering in its U.S. footprint – an instantly popular product, because it lets consumers place their HDTV screens wherever they want – regardless of whether there’s a coaxial outlet nearby. If getting to signal to usual or unusual places in your house is on your wish list, come by.  We’ll fill you in on how the AT&T deployment is going (hint: really, really well).  Check out the AT&T ad here:

And while you’re in the stand, do check out our Videoscape demonstrations – Lots of cool new developments to see!. And if that’s not enough, ask us about progress to date with recent Videoscape newsmakers TELUS, Rogers, and Numericable. Read More »

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Cisco’s “Pole Position” Driving Service Provider Video Infrastructure Investment

If you read the trade press, service provider video business models are under assault.  IPTV operators are challenged by the high cost of video services, while traditional pay-TV operators are seeing growing OTT traffic threatening their cost and revenue structures.  Amidst all this, ACG Research recently reported that the service provider video infrastructure market grew 4.5% sequentially in Q2 2011, to $3.5 billion.  According to ACG, Cisco grew its market leadership position in the overall service provider video infrastructure market to 41.9%, added three share points in the CMTS market to 65.8%, and gained a commanding 34.6% share in the IPTV set top box market.

What’s contributing to this growth? Two factors: an evolving understanding of video, and an appreciation of the shifting composition of network traffic. Read More »

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Video Streaming: How it’s Transforming Entertainment

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

The ultimate cultural vision of video streaming was laid out in an iconic Qwest TV commercial from 1999. In it, a man wanders into a dusty, remote motel asking about room amenities. It’s not promising. The bored young lady behind the desk recites in an apathetic tone that the beds are all king-size, and the only breakfast offered is donuts and coffee.

But when the man asks about entertainment, that’s a little different. In the same monotone, the girl answers, “All rooms have every movie ever made in every language any time day or night.” It’s taken a while — probably longer than the technoptomists among us expected — but we’re getting closer to that vision.

For one thing, according to a survey recently conducted by Goldman Sachs and reported by HedgeFundLive, 27 percent of Americans now stream TV shows and movies, up from 16 percent in 2010.

Read More »

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