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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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Cloud DVR: Reaching back in time for the shows you’ve missed

Some of us still remember, in the pre-DVR days, when missing an episode of your favorite show meant it was lost forever – unless you chanced upon it in reruns. Even when technology allowed us to book content for recording, whether by VCR or DVR, you had to plan beforehand what you intended to record. The next generation of TV recording technology allowed us to “pause” live viewing and resume at our leisure, thanks to a review buffer that knew to record in the background whatever we happened to be watching. But what if you could spontaneously decide to go back in time – minutes, hours or even days – and view whatever content you missed?

Cloud DVR, one of the latest offerings from Cisco Videoscape Solutions, brings the latest time-shift technology home. An extension of Videoscape Video Everywhere, Cloud DVR leverages cloud technology to store content on a scale impossible for traditional DVRs to replicate. How much content can be stored? Enough for a viewer to browse the programming grid and view any program broadcast over the previous three days.

Enabling this technology is a Content Distribution Network which continually stores broadcast content with high availability and performance. And it’s not just for traditional TV viewing. Because Cloud DVR runs on the multi-device Video Everywhere platform, recently broadcast content can be made retroactively available on any device.

Several new Cloud DVR features take advantage of this technology. Restart TV allows you to view any event from the beginning, no matter when you tuned to it. Catchup TV, a souped-up version of Restart TV, makes available the previous three days of broadcasts. A complementary product, Reverse EPG allows you to search back in time for content previously broadcast. And you can now Pause Live TV even if you don’t have a DVR, so you don’t have to worry about unexpected viewing interruptions. . Because the content is derived from the same cloud-based source, you can pause viewing on one device and resume viewing from the exact same point on a different device.

Cloud-based storage offers several additional advantages:

  • Storing more content – storage capacity is no longer limited to the disk size of your DVR.
  • Storing multiple shows broadcast simultaneously – no need to worry if your DVR is tied up with multiple recordings
  • Scheduling, managing and accessing stored content from multiple devices
  • No need for a hardware upgrade

Sound good? This solution is on its way. The biggest hurdle to implementation, however, may not be perfecting the technology, but rather the legal implications. One particularly thorny issue, particularly in US markets, is the legality of retrieving content that has already been broadcast. Under current US law, individual customers must request their own copies of a recording. As a result, VOD content can be viewed, but copy-protection arrangements severely curtail the amount of broadcast content that a viewer can legally retrieve and view. Resolution of the legal issues surrounding the viewing of recently broadcast content is shaping up as a major factor in how soon and to what extent we’ll see Cloud DVR introduced to our homes.

Link: An analyst discusses the future of Cloud DVR (posted on YouTube by Cisco):

For more information about the Cisco Cloud DVR, click here.

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Cleaner, Greener Set-top Boxes Under a Landmark Voluntary Agreement

chowjBy Joe Chow, VP & GM, Cisco Connected Devices BU

The Set-top box sits at the heart of our home entertainment centers, providing hours of enjoyment for the best of what’s on television. Over the past few years, it has become clear that we can do better when it comes to reducing set-top-box energy consumption.

That’s why Cisco has engaged in a robust dialogue with energy advocates, television providers, other equipment manufacturers and, ultimately the Department of Energy (DoE), to see if common ground could be reached on the energy efficiency of set-top boxes. Today, we are pleased to announce that a voluntary agreement has been forged.

This agreement preserves the highest quality consumer television experience, while making significant reductions in energy usage and greenhouse gases. This is a landmark agreement, which saves consumers money, protects the environment, and provides regulatory certainty for manufacturers and providers alike. That’s what I call a win-win-win.

Here’s what the agreement will do:

This agreement will save consumers at least $1 billion annually in energy costs, it will save 500 megawatts of energy every year (enough energy to power 4 million light bulbs all year round) and will prevent five million tons of CO2 emissions per year.

It commits PayTV providers to deploying energy efficient set-top boxes to at least 90% of all subscribers nationwide. Additionally, Cisco and other manufacturers are committed to design, build and provide set-top boxes and multifunctional gateways that meet stringent energy efficiency requirements, while maintaining the ability to provide the anytime, anywhere, any device video experience consumers have come to expect.

Cisco is proud of this agreement, and we look forward to providing our customers with cleaner and greener set-top boxes, so we can all return to our regularly scheduled programing.

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Unlocking Wi-Fi Enabled Value-Added Services

Competing with the virtual, e-commerce world is becoming increasingly challenging for real-world businesses. Traditional retailers have long envied the massive amounts of valuable data that online retailers have available to help them better understand customer behavior and implement winning marketing tactics. Online retailers know valuable information such as how frequently customers return, how long they spend on their sites, what the customers looked at but didn’t buy, and where they went before and after coming to the site. Businesses as diverse as hotels, banks, stadiums, airports, and large public venues are all looking for ways to get similar detailed data on customer activities in their facilities, so they can improve the customer experience and their bottom lines. The data and insights have not been available to bricks-and-mortar facilities, until now.

That situation is changing through the growing availability of Wi-Fi in business locations. Many retailers, hotels, and other businesses are increasingly offering Wi-Fi as a service that allows their customers to connect mobile devices to the Internet. Hidden in this valuable service is a vast amount of information and insight, which retailers and others can use to deliver tangible value to their bottom lines. Hypersensitive location information, device details, identification of returning customers, and sophisticated path analysis are just some of the customer data captured by Wi-Fi networks. Businesses are now realizing that the data and capabilities offer new ways to improve the customer experience and support a range of market-leading monetization models.

For many businesses, these new location-based experiences and Read More »

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Securing Critical Internet Infrastructure: an RPKI case study in Ecuador

Securing the Critical Internet Infrastructure is an ongoing challenge for operators that require collaboration across administrative boundaries. A lot of attention has been given in recent years to securing the Domain Name System through a technology called DNSSEC. However, in the last couple of years, the attention has shifted to the security of the Internet routing system and the best practices adopted by network operators around the globe in this area. The main questions these efforts are trying to answer are: is your network authorised to use resources such as IP addresses? Do my packets travel through the advertised path or are diverted on their way? These problem statements may sound too technical for the audience but in reality they can quickly be converted in real business impact. Unauthorised claiming of network resources are proven to cause downtime not only for one web server but to complete networks. Particularly, imagine a phishing attack where the IP address, the domain name and the TLS certificate are legitimate but you just interacting with the wrong network. The hijack of IP addresses is normally due to bad operational practices (basically miss-configurations that leak to the global Internet) but it is also suspicious of playing a role in SPAM and other sensitive areas in security.

The global inter-domain routing infrastructure depends on Read More »

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