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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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Who enables over 50% of all digital cable homes in India to watch TV? We do.

jayant_changrani_zdpBy Jayant Changrani, Country Head and General Manager – India, NDS, now part of Cisco

As we near the end of the calendar year, the last part of which as a newly acquired Cisco company, we’ve reached yet another milestone in India. At the end of 2011, NDS celebrated that its solutions were enabling digital TV for over 20 million homes in India, and according to market statistics effectively 100 million viewers. Today, we are proud to announce that we are enabling digital TV for over 50% of all digital cable homes in the country.

Our work with small, medium and large operators to help transition their platforms to digital ahead of the government mandated analogue switch off (the first deadline for which just passed on 31st October), has meant that we’ve been able to support the transition and launch of digital TV services across the country.

As a company we are actively supporting the digitization process in India for Read More »

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DOCSIS 3.1: Here’s To the Next New Thing in Broadband!

Thursday, at a specially-added session during the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers annual Cable-Tec Expo, another milestone was placed in the evolution of cable modems and broadband networks: The expansion of the specification, to eke even more bandwidth out of existing HFC plant.

It’s called DOCSIS 3.1, and it’s a big deal. Every chapter in the DOCSIS specification added substantially new features – from 1.0 to 1.1 to 2.0 and, the latest workhorse for IP video, DOCSIS 3.0.

DOCSIS 3.1 will take that even further. I’ll stop short of saying it’ll make Read More »

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What’s Going On at Cisco During the 2012 SCTE Cable Tec Expo

I’m predicting this year’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo will go down as another cable technology milestone date. Why: The details of DOCSIS 3.1, the next chapter in cable modems, will finally go public on Thursday, October 18. Also: We’re in Orlando, and we’re within a few years of the 20th anniversary of the Time Warner Cable Full Service Network, which of course happened in Orlando. A milestone in its own right.

And for us, it’s already a milestone year, in a way. Why: We are demonstrating new Videoscape experiences expanded by the recent NDS acquisition, now including the NDS Snowflake experience, and my friend and colleague John Chapman, who pioneered the very first DOCIS spec (1.0, in the mid-‘90s), will be inducted into the SCTE Hall of Fame today. It’s a big deal and we’re really proud of him.

And now for what’s happening in our booth (#2034) at this year’s Expo:

  • Videoscape Experiences: We will demonstrate new Videoscape-delivered services and user experiences including NDS Snowflake and companion screen solutions.
  • CCAP: The Converged Cable Access Platform is an industry effort to make a “one-size-fits-all” QAM, to keep up with the growth in IP traffic, and to reduce rack space requirements and power consumption.
  • Unifying QAM & IP: We will show how digital network control system (DNCS) is evolving to simplify headend management and unify and harmonize QAM and IP connected devices.
  • DOCSIS leadership: We will demonstrate how our video-over-DOCSIS 3.0 solution enables cable operators to allocate their DOCSIS network resources to delivery IP video, and maximize the Cisco quality of experience for their subscribers.

And the Expo wouldn’t be the Expo without a wide-and-deep roster of technical papers and presentations. We’re glad to contribute seven papers/presentations this year!

Last but not least, we’re proud to sponsor the SCTE IP Challenge again this year – a friendly competition, held in a fast-paced, “Jeopardy”-styled format, to test attendees’ knowledge of Internet Protocol (IP) technologies. The IP Challenge was scheduled on “Expo Eve,” (Tuesday Oct. 16); we’ll get the results and photos of the winner(s) to you later in the week.

Until then: See you in Orlando and have a productive, tech-rich Expo!

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Cisco Networked Video Strategy: The Cisco Difference in Video

Part 2 of a 4-part series

In part one of this series, Cisco Video Collaboration Group SVP Marthin De Beer kicked off our exploration of the new Cisco Video strategy unveiled at Cisco Live 2012 in San Diego.

Video drives more traffic than any other application on the network and it’s changing how people communicate, collaborate, and consume content and entertainment. By 2016, we forecast 86% of traffic on networks will be video.

Using video is about the optimal experience for the task at hand – it is about creating that in-person experience from immersive TelePresence, but also about creating the best possible experience when you are on the road participating via your iPad.

When it comes to video, Cisco does three things differently to ensure superior end-to-end video experiences with greater efficiencies:

  • Architectural Approach: The Cisco Medianet architecture delivers superior experiences and efficiencies by integrating video capabilities all the way from the network to the application. Cisco video endpoints use Medianet to discover and configure themselves, dramatically reducing deployment cost. Medianet infrastructure provides detailed performance information, which allows IT organizations to detect and fix problems in a fraction of the time required by traditional approaches. Medianet also helps companies leverage existing investments to build new capabilities more cost efficiently, such as adding recording and sharing to TelePresence or providing common call control for voice and video endpoints. Cisco’s advantage comes from the network, which allows us to build and manage systems that best “understand” network performance, complexity, interactivity, and capacity.  While Medianet provides compelling experience and total cost of ownership advantages today, we believe an architectural approach like Medianet will become absolutely required as video becomes pervasive.

Read More »

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