Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > SP360: Service Provider

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 »

Tags: , , , , ,

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 »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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 »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Cisco Committed to CPE as Part of Overall Video Strategy

chowjBy Joe Chow, Vice President and General Manager, Connected Devices Business Unit

Following Cisco’s 2Q FY ’13 earnings call last week, we received questions about our commitment to certain elements of our set-top box business. Comments were made that Cisco is walking away from low-margin deals. I would like to clear up any confusion surrounding those comments here.

Cisco remains committed to providing world-class managed customer premise equipment (CPE), which includes digital set-tops, intelligent media gateways and other devices. CPE is an integral part of Cisco’s end-to-end Videoscape TV services delivery platform. For emerging markets, CPE enables Cisco to offer a complete end-to-end solution for new customers as they launch and grow their digital platforms. For customers with more advanced video platforms and in more advanced video markets, CPE provides a key strategic advantage and opportunity for Cisco. Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

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 »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,