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Virtualization Meets Video Processing at NAB 2014

If anything is certain about the video business, it’s this: the volume of change is daunting and every change tends to make life more complicated, not less.

This is certainly true at the sharp end of the business -- digital video processing – where  “multiscreen” video, new video formats and new video technologies are together creating a perfect storm of complexity. Once there was SD over MPEG2 delivered to TVs. Now there is SD, various flavors of HD and, soon, 4K; and MPEG2, AVC and now HEVC; plus a wealth of encapsulation schemes and DRMs; And even more screen sizes and resolutions as the number of device to be supported grows ever larger.

The number of permutations of all these options is truly dizzying. Every permutation is a potential video “workflow” to be implemented – and the number of permutations is expanding rapidly, apparently endlessly and it’s exponential. Today Cisco deals with some media companies that have over 80 video workflows for their content. One more video format – for instance 4K – and this potentially doubles to 160. Another compression scheme – HEVC perhaps -- and now we have 320. And so on.

Keeping track of all these “workflows” is one thing, but Read More »

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How Black Arrow, Cisco and Innovid Are Partnering to Advance Advertising at CES 2014

BConrady: Conrad Clemson, VP of business development, Cisco Service Provider Video

Let’s start this blog with this simple observation: TV didn’t kill radio, but it did disrupt how advertising flows. Same for the impact of online media, on print.

And by our reckoning, it’s about to happen again — the diverted flow of advertising resources and revenues away from traditional, big broadcast TV, to online and over-the-top video.

Will TV advertising dominate over other forms of video consumption, for a really, really, really long time? Unquestionably. But increasingly, brands want a mixed media spend, because it gets them greater reach and greater engagement — and that’s what advertising is all about.

Our work to help service providers expand advertising beyond the primary TV screen, to the other screens we’re all watching, is a big part of what we’re demonstrating at this week’s CES, in Vegas. And we’re not going it alone — we’ve strengthened our work with Black Arrow, on ad decisioning, and with Innovid, on multi-screen.

Here’s what you’ll see: Read More »

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The Cloud, the TV, and The Cable Show

ConradBy Conrad Clemson, VP of strategy, Cisco Service Provider Video Technology Group 

Well, we’re nothing if not patient. For those of us who’ve been active in cable VOD (video on demand) since it began, 12+ years ago, it’s totally great to finally see glimmers of acknowledgement for the category. It’s like knowing your kid is truly gifted at something, but not seeing validation of it until a dozen years after it seemed “time.”

I’m talking about this item, from the May 20 edition of the New York Times. Titled “Viewers Start to Embrace Television on Demand,” it plucks out all kinds of killer data points — like the fact that VOD views of ABC shows are up 32% (without fast-forward) over the last year. Cisco’s own VNI forecast issued 5/29 shows that VOD will be the fastest growing and highest penetrated residential TV service globally, with 402 million subscribers, reaching 29% of digital TV households globally by 2017.

Of course what started as movies on demand has changed over the years. It’s now more like Read More »

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For Mobile Carriers, Five Key Trends Promise Pain and Prospects

Mobile carriers face no shortage of pain points as new data streams create unprecedented and staggering amounts of information. But it is important to remember that pain points often arrive in tandem with new opportunities.

From my perspective, observing the driving forces shaping the mobile industry, five key trends stand out. All are laced with challenges and opportunities. And each represents a core element in an interconnected system that is pushing the entire marketplace forward, while demanding innovative breakthroughs in monetizing and optimizing data.

On February 25-28, I will be attending Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona. This year’s event is expected to be the largest ever, with 1,500 exhibitors. I expect these five trends will be major sources of discussion:

  1. Video. We are already seeing the true inflection point in video where it becomes mainstream on multiple devices. The mobile and nomadic consumption of video—whether served by mobile carriers or localized Wi-Fi—is popular, commonplace, and growing rapidly. But video will completely reshape the demand side of the industry, creating enormous amounts of data. It threatens to load and clog networks, and it will demand new models for monetization.
  2. Accelerating connections. As the Read More »

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Four Ways TV Advertising Will Change During this Decade

lizdebskBy Leszek Izdebski, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG)

The past few years have brought sweeping transformation to television—a trend that will only accelerate in the coming decade. Following up on a 2011 study on the future of television, Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) recently examined the ways disruptive technology and user behavior trends are impacting TV advertising. We identified four major trends that will transform advertising and the viewer experience.

1. Channels Will Go Away

While we do not believe that all future distribution will be through on-demand unicast technologies, consumers will not think about “channels” as the means of accessing programming. Adoption of video on demand, Intelligent Programming Guides and personal video recorders (PVRs) is shifting viewing from linear broadcasts on a TV screen to a multiscreen, multi-device, multi-modal, on-my-schedule, user-controlled experience. Brands and networks will no longer be able to ensure that ads placed in specific episodes will have sufficient audience reach. This behavioral shift will force advertisers to focus on new forms of addressable advertising: Read More »

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