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Identity Management: It’s About You, Not Your STB.

In an age where we routinely view content on our STBs, laptops and handheld devices, service providers are revisiting a fundamental issue – how to define their subscriber base. For decades, subscribers have been associated with the STB sitting in their homes. But as subscribers watch content on an ever-broader range of devices, that model is creeping into obsolescence.

Cisco’s Videoscape Identity Management platform offers service providers a means of managing subscribers that reflects the new reality. The model is oriented toward the subscribers themselves; the devices they use for viewing are no longer integral to their identity. Conceptually untethering subscribers from their devices has a liberating effect on the user experience: the content they have on one device can be viewed on another, and as far as subscribers are concerned, it matters not all at what that device is, what room of their house it’s in, or even where in the world they are. They can even pause what they’re viewing on one device and resume playback from the exact same point on a different device.

Looking at things from a service provider perspective, the newfound ability to target subscribers individually on any device opens a world of monetization opportunities, either by providing entirely new services or enhancing existing features. Below are six new features service providers can offer subscribers as a result of this shift: Read More »

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4 Million Video-Optimized Wireless Set-top Boxes Shipped: Who Else Can Say That?

chowj-300x400By Joe Chow, VP and GM, Connected Devices Business Unit, Cisco

A milestone is a foot, and we’d like to commemorate it with this brief blog to promote our latest set-top box triumph. The milestone: Four million! That’s the number of video-optimized wireless set-top boxes now enhancing how consumers watch television, thanks to the notably successful rollouts by our partners AT&T, CenturyLink and Telus.

The cool factor of a wireless video set-top box — AT&T’s Read More »

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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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A Treat for U-verse Customers: Cisco and AT&T Launch Wireless TV Today

By David Alsobrook , Director of Business Development, Connected Home Solutions, Cisco Service Provider Video Technology Group

It’s a big day here at Cisco (and it’s not just because it’s Halloween and there are bowls of candy everywhere…!)

Today, we go to market with AT&T with an industry first: IPTV set-tops equipped with video-optimized Wi-Fi. AT&T calls it the “AT&T U-verse TV Wireless Receiver” — a first-ever way to arrange your TV to go with your life, furniture, and living environment.

Guests for the weekend? Move the TV to the guest room. Wish you could have three TVs to follow this weekend’s games? Go for it.   With this no new wires solution, the “plumbing” is no longer an issue.

We Cisco people call it our ISB7005 wireless set-top box and our VEN401 wireless access point.  One is a set-top that can be located anywhere in the house; the other is a video-optimized wireless access point. 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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