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My $0.02 on This Year’s NAB Show in Vegas

We’ve all now returned from the stardust of the annual National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas last week, which seems a useful time to reflect briefly on the major threads of the show. It was a great one for us, and I’m pleased and grateful to report the following, in no particular order:

1.     Broadcasters and program networks are getting fired up about the IP transition, like the rest of us, and not a moment too soon. We fielded tons of questions about the cost savings associated with CDNs (Content Delivery Networks), IP distribution over terrestrial fiber networks--the proliferation of IP-based, video-capable screens, and cloud--how to get new services to market more quickly and how to streamline workflows. Transcoding engines, contribution networks, and all of the tacit and explicit benefits of the overall IP migration were all hot topics.

Of course, we, as Cisco people, can talk about IP all day long. And so we did: One of the Cisco booth demos highlighted Read More »

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A Sneak Peak Behind the 2012 GRAMMY Awards

One of the tacit benefits of working for a technology provider is the access it provides to cool events. Like the 2012 GRAMMY Awards.

Here’s how it came down: Our esteemed partner, AEG Digital Media, needed a way to stream and monetize its production of GRAMMY Live, a three-day webcast covering exclusive events, parties, and red carpet interviews.

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New Age of Broadcast

It will not come as a surprise to anyone in the world of media and entertainment that we’re in a new age of broadcast. Take for a moment the success of premium video-on-demand portals over the last several years, like Hulu and Netflix, which indicate there is a viable market opportunity for long- tail content. Do you find that you are sitting on a library of content, but how do you tap into this revenue opportunity?

OK, you decide you want to be able to offer your library to your customers. Guess what they want to watch television when they want, and where they want—old and new content. But the road to what has been called TV Everywhere is littered with varying formats, new specifications and conflicting brands. Can you turn those vaults of older content into revenue? We believe that absolutely you can and are investing to research and development to make it possible.

When working on household projects we often hear how important it is to have the right tool for the job. Preparing media for TV Everywhere is really no different. For example, technology such as the Cisco Transcode Manager (CTM) gives you the right tools to turn your content library into on demand content for TV Everywhere. Whether you have hours of movies, television shows or broadcast content, you need a solution that can perform reliably, address your most strict requirements, and scale with your business. Cisco’s suite of Videoscape products and solutions also provides the ability to do just that (along with quite a few other capabilities).

Follow us on Twitter @CiscoSPVideo for the latest announcements and updates on Cisco and video.

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Virtualized Data Centers and The Media Cloud

By Tom Ohanian, Cisco Service Provider Sales Business Development Manger

The desire is all around us—being able to consume the type of content we want, wherever and whenever we want it.

It seems simple. A person merely wants to click on a button and have interactive control of content while it plays back on a range of consumer devices. When we click on a song or a film that we’d like to purchase or rent from an online store, we’re looking for content, convenience, and ease of use.

What the consumer probably isn’t aware of—and most certainly shouldn’t be concerned with—is that a complex digital media supply chain exists before that content becomes available across devices. That supply chain starts with raw materials—the video and audio clips that make up the program—through a series of processes that ultimately create a series of content choices for the consumer to download.

In the “good old days” of broadcasting, content was made available in two formats. Today, by adding Read More »

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The Evolving Video Landscape

As we approach the start of NAB 2012, I am struck by how much has changed in a year. What was vision 12 months ago is reality today. TV Everywhere is reaching the mainstream and consumer demand on continues to grow at a breathtaking place.  Media companies and service providers who are enabling this transition are wrestling with questions about how to manage, monetize, secure, process, and deliver quality experiences.

Amidst the growth some underlying trends reveal current consumer preferences -  compiling information from more than 10 billion video views shows that 60 percent of mobile videos consumed are done using an iPhone and iPod, while the iPad alone accounted for 20 percent of video consumption.  Add it all together and 80 percent of all mobile video is viewed using an iOS device. Keep in mind the iPad was first released in 2010!  We believe the multiple device phenomenon will diversify -- the number tells the tale.

Read More »

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