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Signs of Collaboration

The moment you step off your plane at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, you face a barrage of signs. That’s always been the case, but the old neon signs of the ‘50s and ‘60s are rapidly being replaced by giant LED displays announcing concerts, fine dining, magic acts and shopping malls. Everyone’s vying for your attention to tell you about the latest, greatest, biggest or best.

That approach continued last week in the massive Las Vegas Convention Center, a complex as large as 56 football fields.  At the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show, more than 1,700 companies (including Cisco) demonstrated their latest technology innovations. Every booth had someone imploring you to come see the latest digital camera, mobile production studio, lighting grid or satellite uplink.

Yet there was another strong message that came through to me during my visits to the show floor: partnership. As the traditional broadcast suppliers seek to move their products and services into the IP-enabled realm, you’re seeing more strategic alliances being formed to accomplish that end.

For example, over the past three years, Cisco’s Sports & Entertainment Solutions Group has been partnering with EVS, the digital video production leaders, to transform the way video is delivered to sports fans in stadiums and arenas around the world. The formula is quite simple: EVS captures massive amounts of game content on its video servers and Cisco has the wired and wireless networks in place to deliver the replays of touchdowns, goals and slam-dunks to every screen in the stadium. Read More »

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Cisco’s Virtualized, Software-Only 4K Encoding Solution: The Secret Ingredient Winning in Customer “Bake-offs” Around the World

If there’s one common element across the major television/video trade shows this year — the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the upcoming National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show, and likely those that follow, it’s the focus on “the rest of the ecosystem,” as it relates to 4K, Ultra High-Definition (UHD) TV. Meaning, the televisions are out there. Everything else is still catching up.

With NAB coming up, and video picture quality a hot topic, I wanted to highlight what’s been going on with Cisco’s 4K encoder work, as evidenced by customer wins — some of which we can discuss, some of which we can’t — in a series of recent “encoder bake-offs” around the world.

One that we can discuss is our work with India’s Videocon d2h, Read More »

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The Future of Media: Four Key Drivers Altering an Industry

Until recently, the global media industry had been relatively stable, with a robust value chain and well-defined business models.

Today, multiple factors are tearing at the fabric of those finely tuned business models: new players such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Apple offer consumers new ways of accessing professional video content; technology standards are in flux; and regulatory and macroeconomic factors undermine consumer and investor confidence.

Last week, more than 90,000 media and entertainment officials from 150 countries descended on Las Vegas for NAB Show, the annual National Association of Broadcasters conference. I attended to share some of predictions for the industry that we have developed in the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG). In particular, I spoke at a breakfast briefing for CxO-level executives about the impactful yet uncertain effects of four key drivers—consumer behavior, regulatory changes, technology, and macroeconomics—in an effort to better define their media-industry disruptions: Read More »

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See it at NAB: Cisco & Fox Running Live, Uncompressed Video – Over Ethernet

It’s early April, which means it’s time to trek back to Las Vegas for the annual National Association of Broadcasters show (Booth A113, North Hall.) It’s a busy NAB for us this year, for lots of reasons – starting with the (way cool!) proof of concept demonstration we’re doing with Fox, to run live, uncompressed video over Ethernet.

That’s right: Video over Ethernet. Read More »

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Wondering What Content Networks Will Look Like in the Future? Cisco at NAB 2013

If you’re wondering what’s been facing video content creators like Fox and TV Globo, and how they view their future in these madcap days of TV everywhere, you’ll want to find a seat at the Las Vegas Convention Center room S222 at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9. That’s where a panel of experts on the matter is scheduled, featuring Fox and TV Globo, on the content creation side, and Verizon, for the distribution point of view.

It’s all part of an NAB Super Session that we’re glad to be sponsoring, titled “What Will the Content Network of the Future Look Like?” Read More »

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