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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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How we plan to use Cisco’s Reverse Mentoring programme to encourage Inclusion and Diversity

Last week, I shared with you some of the great work Cisco is doing in Europe to drive our Early in Career Network (ECN) – one of our employee resource group  that focuses on Cisco’s new hires and people who are early in their career at Cisco. Initiatives like ECN are vital in helping us promote a more inclusive work environment and diverse work force worldwide.

Another initiative that Cisco’s Inclusion and Diversity Ambassador Network is helping to drive is Reverse Mentoring. This is a formalised program where an executive or senior manager is mentored by an individual contributor in the company. In other words, our individual contributor (the Mentor) is mentoring an executive (the Mentee).

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MLB Network and Cisco Announce Multiyear Technology Relationship

Opening Day is here! Baseball, long revered as America’s pastime, sets the stage of anticipation for the beginning of summer. It’s an exciting time of the year, as many fans will head out to the “yard” or gather with family and friends to watch some of the world’s best athletes play a game that is so near and dear to their hearts.

As fans, we consume content in a variety of ways, through the use of immersive video, online communities and blogs, and other collaborative tools and channels. We are always seeking ways to get closer to the sports we love.

Today, I am very happy to announce that Cisco has established a multiyear technology relationship with MLB Network, featuring the use of Cisco technology solutions in key video-dependent areas of their broadcasts.

Of note, MLB Network will use Cisco Ballpark Cams that are positioned either in center field, behind home plate, or in the dugouts. MLB Network sends video from these cameras over the Cisco network from these ballparks back to MLB Network’s studios. This enables the network to gather live shots and visibility into the game like never before. Since the inception in 2009, MLB Network has now deployed this solution into 29 of 30 ballparks across the league.

Additionally, you’ll see Cisco TelePresence used on MLB Network’s new talk show, “Intentional Talk,” which airs Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. ET. When hosts Chris Rose and Kevin Millar are not broadcasting from MLB Network’s studios, they’ll use Cisco TelePresence solutions to connect with each other, creating a life-like and unique way to use Cisco video collaboration technologies for face-to-face conversations.

Enjoy the game… even more, thanks to Cisco & MLB Network!

Cisco Ballpark Cam’s [VIDEO]

For more information, please see:

MLB Network


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