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Jewel: Up Close and Personal at NAB 2011

This Wednesday, April 13, at 2:00pm PDT, singer and songwriter Jewel will be performing a solo, acoustic set, live, to attendees of the National Association of Broadcasters convention, in Las Vegas. And to viewers in Chicago, and Dallas, and New York. And in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, D.C. and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Live simulcast? Not really. More, the show is another example of how Cisco TelePresence technology and intelligent networking are bringing people together - audiences and artists, in this case - through video. It’s a collaboration between us (for the TelePresence components), AT&T (for intelligent TelePresence connectivity) and Marriott (which operates TelePresence viewing rooms throughout the world.)

Here’s how it works: Jewel sings, in our San Jose TV studio. Video capture moves through two TelePresence codecs, then through AT&T TelePresence Bridges, to link to the multiple receive sites. Simultaneously, the video moves through a Ustream encoder, for live streaming on the Web and any type of display screen.

Those of you who know Jewel know that she doesn’t believe in a set list of songs, performed in sequential order. Rather, and from her childhood experiences performing on the road with her father, she prefers to read her audiences -- to feel them out for the right song mix.

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News@Cisco Week in Review and Look Ahead: April 4-8

Check out some of our top news stories of the week here at Cisco!

1.) ’Socialnomics’: When Word of Mouth Goes Global

There are many social media sites that have turned out to have been fads, but it’s hard to imagine the greater social media movement grinding to a halt. Author Erik Qualman says social media is here to stay, and companies must embrace it. Where do you see social media going? Do you think it’s a fad? Read More »

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NAB: New Tools for News Gathering

Next week is the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, I thought it timely to look into some of the ways in which technology is intersecting with the business of video broadcasting.

Going on location to capture a news event, as one example, used to be about getting a truck there in time, setting up a remote studio, and everything that goes along with that: Travel time, travel costs, and the setup logistics that almost always add latency to the process. Every minute spent getting on-air is a minute not spent airing a live event, as any broadcast news editor will attest.

But as the world of IP intersects more deeply with the world of video, it’s becoming much easier, faster and cost-effective to capture and transmit live news. Here’s a few examples, all based around the Cisco TelePresence EX Series:

  • CNN’s coverage of the 2010 mid-term elections used EX90s to bring in on-air commentators James Carville (broadcasting from his home in New Orleans) and David Gergon (via his Harvard University office). In essence, the technology enabled CNN to quickly and easily take the studio to the talent, not the other way around. CNN got quick, on-air expertise; Carville and Gergon got to save time and travel expenses by working locally.
  • MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show regularly uses the EX-90 to capture live 1:1 interviews, extending the studio virtually as if the guest was physically present.
  • The National Basketball Association (NBA) put up a circular kiosk, outfitted with a TelePresence screen, during a fan appreciation event in Phoenix. Fans were able to talk live with their favorite players, in a “you are there” setting.

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Blending Art and Technology to Reach Dance Students around the World

We’re excited to share that earlier this week Cisco was honored at the National Dance Institute’s 34th annual gala at the Best Buy Theatre in New York City. National Dance Institute (NDI), a non-profit organization founded by world-renowned dancer Jacques d’Amboise, provides students access to classes and performances in the arts free of charge.

NDI Celebration Team dancers perform at NDI's 34th annual Gala

What a fantastic event!  Founder d’Amboise spoke about his experience using Cisco TelePresence to globalize dance.  Cisco was recognized for its part in hosting the first dance rehearsal via Cisco TelePresence for dancers to share virtual performances between New York and Shanghai in June 2010.

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From Cairo to Nairobi – Eye to Eye at the Touch of a Button

In my last blog, “Africa – Connected Continent – At last”, I described how the arrival of affordable internet bandwidth in Africa is enabling companies to use technology to transform how they do business. Today at Cisco we have realised huge efficiencies in how we conduct our business internally and we have fundamentally changed how we communicate and collaborate with customers and partners, thanks to TelePresence.

TelePresence allow people to meet face to face over the network without the need to travel. Participants enjoy a high definition, high quality, life-size video experience and can share rich media content. We can now bring in subject matter experts from over one thousand Cisco TelePresence rooms across the globe and put them together with the vast majority of our workforce in Africa as if they were sat just across the table from each another; all at the touch of a button. In fact we can connect Cisco’s TelePresence rooms with any customer or partner TelePresence room, provided they have a B2B exchange with Cisco, so the possibilities are huge.

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