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Why We’re Joining the Linaro Digital Home Group

Ken Morse HeadshotWritten By Ken Morse, CTO, Connected Devices, Cisco

One of the unmistakable trends happening in consumer electronics is the steady and seemingly unstoppable rise of ARM-based chips as the norm in all kinds of gear, and particularly mobile devices such as tablets, and smart phones.

It follows that ARM-based silicon is favored in the mobile environment because it’s designed to work in smaller and smaller form factors, with keen attention to power conservation and heat mitigation. Similarly, we are now seeing a trend of ARM-based designs taking hold in Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) such as set-tops and gateways.

(And after all, what’s the difference between an IP set-top box and a tablet? One has a wire that goes to the TV, essentially.)

The “keeper,” if you will, of Linux distributions for ARM-based silicon is The Linaro Foundation. Which is why you might have seen news (if not, click here) about us and several others, Read More »

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Creating a Cloud Sandbox for Video to Bring More Innovation to TV

gtupyWritten By George Tupy, Marketing Manager, Cisco Service Provider Video

For TV service providers, one of the key promises of cloud architectures is the ability to innovate at Internet speeds. This enables a host of business outcomes, including new experiences which can be delivered and monetized more rapidly.

Beyond the speed of innovation, a key question – actually aspiration – that we often hear from our service provider customers is “how can I bring more innovation into my TV environment.” At Cisco Live in San Francisco this week, we have been able to share with our customers and partners how a transformation to cloud operating models, with Cisco’s Videoscape Cloud Services, can help increase the quantity of TV service innovation.

Two key obstacles to innovation are risk and uncertainty. You can never be certain that a new enhancement in feature/functionality will stick and be widely adopted by your subscribers. And you face the risk of lost investment in failed innovations. With Videoscape Cloud Services, Read More »

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Standing out from the cloud: why agility is key in tomorrow’s TV

Nick Thexton 2012Written by Nick Thexton, Vice President and CTO, Service Provider Video Software and Solutions, Cisco

With almost a quarter of our waking time spent watching TV, video consumption is on a definite rise. Rather than competing, different devices and platforms are proving to complement each other, collectively contributing to that growth. But our digital lives are becoming more complex as we consume content in diverse ways across a growing number of screens. The chance of missing a programme, for example, is arguably greater than ever, but at the same time easier to overcome.

It’s a truth that’s prompting media organisations and service providers to recognise the value of improving and simplifying the user experience – providing viewers with the content that’s relevant to them, at the right time and place. Those primed for success are investing in technologies that deliver their content to more devices at the lowest incremental cost, cutting the time and complexity associated with enhancing multiscreen services.

But the companies winning in the TV arena are those who also recognise that consumers don’t always know exactly what they want beyond the short-term. Take tablets, for example – few could have foreseen the impact the iPad would have on TV viewing habits and the way we engage with content. Likewise, operators don’t have the luxury of being able to foresee which of their new services will resonate with subscribers. Paramount to success, therefore, is having Read More »

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The Low Rumble of the 4K Resolution Revolution

It hasn’t been all that long since HD-quality video gained widespread acceptance as an industry standard. Yet a new resolution standard is capturing the attention of the broadcast world. It’s known as 4K (or Ultra High Definition – UHD), and it offers viewers four times the picture resolution of standard HD. At CES 2014, one of the hot trends among TV set manufacturers, along with sets that curve and flex, was a 4K display. It’s the new standard for TVs, and while it currently has a price point that keeps it firmly high-end, the story sounds familiar: 4K TV sets will only get cheaper to manufacture, consumer demand will grow, and broadcasters will need to adapt.

So is change inevitable? Actually, no.

For 4K to truly develop into an industry standard, it will require several players in the video value chain to row in the same direction at the same time. This could certainly happen, but by no means is this assured. For instance, 4K TVs need content filmed in 4K. Will this become a new standard? Perhaps, but this would require significant and costly changes for an industry that only recently embraced the HD standard.

Even if Read More »

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And the (Two!) Technology & Engineering Emmys Go To….

seebecjBy Jeff Seebeck, VP/GM, Video Control Plane Business Unit,Cisco

…Cisco! As you can imagine, this super-charged our annual trek to Las Vegas for the International CES show, which serves as host for the fanciest-ever black tie event for tech people. (It even had a tech host – David Pogue, himself an  Emmy award winning tech columnist for the New York Times.  Cool.)

This year marked the 64th time the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ put on its annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards, and on the evening of January 10th, I was glad to be amongst my friends and colleagues to accept two, count’em two, Emmys. Read More »

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