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Prepare Your Network for Video Streaming and Telepresence Meetings

The right router can make all the difference between a smooth user experience and frustrating, choppy video

Small companies have found many compelling reasons to use video solutions and telepresence systems in their day-to-day operations: as a marketing tool, as a point of contact for customer service, and as a way to train employees. Internally, telepresence and its use of video technology is gaining traction among small businesses that want to conduct face-to-face meetings without the expense of travel. As advantageous as video can be, before you can successfully stream video broadcasts, you need to make sure the underlying network can handle the extra traffic.

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How the Acquisition of NDS Accelerates Cisco’s Video Entertainment Strategy

We are on the cusp of a whole new wave of digital entertainment experiences that will make video content much easier to find, navigate, interact with and enjoy, on any device and network. Today, Cisco took another important step towards realizing that vision by announcing its intention to acquire NDS Group Ltd. a leading provider of video software and content security solutions that enables users to intuitively view, search and navigate across digital content anytime, anywhere and on any device.

Video is transforming every aspect of our lives. Telemedicine services in New Mexico are helping patients in underserved communities to secure video consultations with expert doctors many miles away. In India, classrooms in tiny rural villages are now being taught by remote teachers using Webex video. We’re even seeing technology that lets us use video to try on dozens of outfits without ever stepping into a fitting room.  For thousands of business professionals around the world, attending a meeting with colleagues, customers and partners in some far flung corner of the world via TelePresence is a routine part of their day.

It’s impossible to argue with the transformational power of video, but perhaps the most noticeable changes are happening right in our own homes, and on our mobile devices.

Television has been truly transformed in the past decade, from a one-way inflexible viewing experience, to a highly dynamic one, which can be time-shifted and enjoyed on an increasing array of digital video devices. But this is only the beginning of an exciting journey.

While clearly a substantial acquisition and major landmark in Cisco’s history in its own right, today’s acquisition is the latest in a series of milestones for Cisco’s Videoscape strategy. Videoscape is Cisco’s vision and platform for the creation of new visual, mobile and social video entertainment experiences through the convergence of digital TV, online content, and social media and video communications applications.

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A Data Deluge, Driven by Tablets and Mobile Video, Is Disrupting Mobile Carriers

Only a few years ago, the challenges facing mobile providers seemed well within the realm of their traditional expertise. Their vast and complex infrastructures, built around towers, antennas, core networks, and the like, focused on providing the bandwidth and signal quality necessary for providing clear voice signals. Early mobile Internet applications were limited to services like weather, news, and stock quotes. As video entered the picture, it was mostly limited to a quick, manageable snack here and there on YouTube. After all, on a tiny, phone-sized screen, the prospects for a sumptuous two-hour movie feast were limited.

The situation, however, is being radically transformed. And at this years’ Mobile World Congress, which I attended last week in Barcelona, a clear focus was on a prime disruptor: the tablet and vast, media-rich applications. For with the sudden and phenomenal growth of the iPad—along with its Android-based counterparts—end users who had been limited to quick bites on YouTube are ready to indulge in long-form video buffets, anytime and anywhere. And while those game-changing tablets don’t quite provide an IMAX experience, their larger screens nevertheless offer the perfect mix of visual quality, mobility, and convenience.

For mobile service carriers, however, this has created a certain amount of havoc. Read More »

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Not Your Mother’s Signage! DSE 2012 Recap

Digital Signage Expo (DSE) was full of energy this year and the continued expansion of the digital signage market was clearly evident. I’ve watched the digital signage industry evolve over the past five years from static content on traditional screens to customized, rich media content on a multitude of connected devices. At this year’s DSE the continued innovation and excitement was undeniable. The exhibit hall floor was packed with attendees who were eager to learn about the advancements in the technology and the industry as well as how to get the most out of their digital signage deployments. Throughout the EXPO floor, speaking sessions, and events the buzz was around interactive and engaging signage.

Cisco announced new digital signage innovations, delivered through the Cisco® Interactive Services solution set, that provide enhanced interactive capabilities through video, Web applications and touchscreen digital signs. Cisco also announced new customers that showcase the continued expansion of the digital signage market, including the Canadian city of Edmonton and parx casino® in Pennsylvania. In addition, Cisco received four Apex Awards, handed out by the Digital Signage Federation recognizing innovation and excellence in the digital signage industry. For more insight from the show floor, check out this video of Erica Schroeder, Director of Marketing for Enterprise Video at Cisco.

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“What If” Could Be Now: Truly Mobile Healthcare

March 14, 2012 at 7:26 am PST

Once upon a time in the days of Opie and Andy, doctors made house calls. I’ve seen it on TV, so it must be true. Now, a doctor visit usually requires that you do the visiting to a clinic, office, or hospital. An initial appointment may result in referrals for tests or to specialists – more visits, parking lots, waiting rooms. Sometimes your information gets transferred along, sometimes it doesn’t.

Mobile devices are showing up everywhere, healthcare included. There’s even a new word: mHealth. (We had e-everything in the early 2000s, then came along iSomething, so let’s now move further into the alphabet with mWords.) Read More »

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