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Cisco Flashmob! Did You See the Green Men? … and Other Cool Cable Show News

This year’s Cable Show kicked off with a … well, with a flash mob! First one ever for this event. All very exciting, if you ask me, or the hundreds of other cable onlookers on hand at the Boston Convention Center this morning.

Here’s how it went down: When the Show floor opened yesterday, at 11:00am, attendees mixed it up with 100 or so professional troupe dancers, some dressed in green stretchy suits, head to toe, with signage: “Don’t miss the event of the Show! Imagine Park, today at 11:30am! Be there!”  Mysterious.

When Cisco Fellow John Chapman took the Imagine Park stage at about 11:40am, it wasn’t to talk about CCAP, or the future of DOCSIS, or anything else, for that matter – because the green people and flash mobbers took over, in a big way. See for yourself:

But flashmobbing isn’t all we’re doing in Boston to shine the spotlight on the many good things happening in cable technology. We’re also glad to announce our work with Bright House Networks, to help businesses and school districts manage the security risks that come with the “BYOD” (bring your own device) realities of today.

Specifically, we’re working with Bright House to help the nation’s 10th-largest school district, serving 179,000 students, with a cloud-based managed services mix (IP VPNs, security; unified communications to come) to more than 250 sites. More here.

And today we announced another Videoscape deal with one of China’s largest cable operators. Oriental Cable Network is working with Cisco to advance its multi-screen video efforts, using Videoscape Quickstart, featuring a mix of products including Videoscape Media Suite, Content Delivery System IS (CDS-IS), Cisco Media Processor (CMP) and Cisco Digital Content Manager (DCM).

On the floor, do please come by Booth #1453, to check out our brand spankin’ new DS384 line cards, for our RF Gateway 10 chassis. Why you care: 10 cards, each capable of 10 Gbps. Apply one for redundancy, still get 160 Gbps of potential downstream throughput. Hello, full spectrum!

All in, it’s a great cable week in Boston! We’re here ‘til Wednesday afternoon, come on by.

Meanwhile, check out what John Chapman has to say about DOCSIS:

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A Cable Show CCAP Update

The last time I blogged about CCAP, we were checking the online anagram universe for words one could make out of “CMAP” and “CESAR,” then two competing labels for the work of converging the QAM modulators used by digital voice, video and data services in cable.

Happily for me (because the anagram selections were abysmal), it settled out as what is now “CCAP” – the Cable Converged Access Platform. Watch for it to be a pretty hot topic at next week’s Cable Show — and not just because we announced a pretty incredible new downstream line card (the DS-384) related to it. Although… ;-)

CCAP matters at this year’s Cable Show for the same reason it mattered last year: Because consumer usage of broadband is off the hook, and cable operators need to stay ahead of that very tight curve, because narrowcast services are Read More »

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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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