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The Future of TV: Coming Soon to a Wall Near You

The future of television may well include holographic, multisensory experiences worthy of science fiction. But many other visionary predictions are closer to the horizon, if not already upon us. These are creating exciting opportunities, while forcing all players in the television value chain to adapt quickly.

Recently, I met via Cisco® TelePresence® with more than 50 journalists from 11 countries—all in Central and Eastern Europe—to discuss the future of television and its impact on these mostly emerging markets. I participated with two of my colleagues: Kate Griffin, from the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) service provider practice; and Guillaume de Saint Marc, from Cisco’s service provider video technology group (SPVTG). The roundtable took place over two days and used a Cisco IBSG study, “The Future of Television: Sweeping Change at Breakneck Speed,” as a springboard for discussions that were lively and free-spirited. Read More »

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Observations from the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show

I am just back from attending the 2013 Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas where I was meeting with customers and visiting the massive show floor. CES is an intriguing blend of extremes and contrasts: biggest and the smallest; connected and unconnected; wired and wireless; high tech – low tech.  As personal and business technologies converge through the “consumerization of technology,” CES provides an exciting window into the current and future world of technology.

The following are my personal observations and extrapolations from the show based on my conversations with customers, colleagues and walking the floor.

  1.  New Next Generation TV Again – You could be mistaken for thinking that CES is really the TV show.  Televisions are everywhere and every company seems to produce one.  Manufacturers are still selling 3D television, but it has taken a back seat to the next big thing -- bigger and thinner new OLED sets and specular ultra-high definition screens.
  2. Connected Home – CE companies continue to try to connect all of our home devices.  But now appliances are getting in on the act.  There were lots of examples of connected refrigerators and washing machines.  Now you can even control how your clothes are washed from the comfort of your couch with your smartphone or even on your TV.
  3. Content Sharing and Mirroring – At last, Read More »

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Cisco and Cox at CES: Evolving Second Screen TV with Next-Gen Mobile App

Today at CES in Las Vegas, Cox Communications took the wraps off of a slate of expansions to second screen TV today, during a private press reception at the Wynn Hotel. Working with Cisco, Cox evolved their video services platform to deliver more personalized video experiences, offering their customers more of what they enjoy.

While Cox customers have been able to watch 90 channels of live, linear TV on an iPad for more than a year now, this new app – powered by Cisco’s Videoscape Unity software and technology – expands the service to iPhones and iPods, adding significant improvements in navigation.

This builds on Cox’s “Trio Program Guide,” which Read More »

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Streaming Is Going Mainstream: The Upward Arc of Online Video, Driven By Consumers

Only a short time ago, consumers had limited choices for accessing professional video content.

Today, a smorgasbord of options continues to multiply—from premium cable and DVDs, to online choices such as Apple, Netflix, and Hulu. Hardware options are equally dizzying, as traditional TV gives way to PCs, smartphones, and tablets. As portable devices meet the cloud, more consumers expect to view their favorite content anywhere, anytime.

The London Olympics this year were a case in point. NBC statistics reveal that more than 57 million U.S. viewers streamed Olympic events online. And over 7 million unique visitors per day accessed the BBC’s online Olympic sites, with nearly half of them watching on mobile devices.

Clearly, media consumption has evolved. Given the complexity of choices, it is essential for all players in the video value chain to understand what consumers need and want. To gain greater insight, the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) studied the trends and behaviors of 1,152 video consumers in the United States in 2012.

Chief among our findings? Streaming is going mainstream—and if the quality, variety, and delivery of streaming video are held to a high standard, consumers will be willing to pay
for it.

Streaming Is Going Mainstream

Seventy percent of U.S. broadband users are watching professionally produced Internet video every week, with an average viewing time of more than 100 minutes per week. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, viewership rises to 94 percent. Overall, streaming video is ahead of downloading and about even with DVDs and Blu-ray Discs (see Figure 1). Read More »

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Companion Screens Transforming the TV Experience

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

Pop quiz: How many screens does it take to watch television programming? For a growing number of people, the answer is two — a TV, plus a media tablet or mobile smartphone. That may seem counterintuitive, but for many of us (present company included) a mobile “companion” device has become an essential part of the living room TV experience.

According to a Nielsen survey of 12,000 connected device owners, 70 percent of tablet owners and 68 percent of smartphone owners use their devices while watching TV. Tablet owners in particular seem unable to put down the iPad while flipping channels, with respondents saying that nearly a third of the time they spend using their device is in front of the TV.

Read More »

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