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Summertime 2011: Observations of a CTO

By Bob McIntyre, CTO, Cisco Service Provider Group

I was digging around my PowerPoints on the laptop recently, getting ready for our “Cisco Live!” event, and came across a set of predictions I’d made, five years ago.

A CTO, making predictions five years out? What could possibly go wrong, right? Well, I wouldn’t be bringing it up unless it was so off base as to be funny, — or close enough to “correct” to boast a little.

Turns out it was mostly the latter, so allow me to boast a little. -- Just a little. I promise.

Back then, in 2006, I said what will make service providers successful would be the delivery to consumers of their own personal HD video stream, on any device, wherever they were. A two-way stream. (This was the year before the iPhone and smart phones hit the market, and four years before “pads” did.)

I also surmised that triple and quad play (voice, video, data and wireless) bundles would continue to be the big thing; that operators needed to move drastically faster on what we now call “apps;” and that what we now call Wi-Fi mobile hot spots and 4th generation wireless (back then, we called it “fixed mobile convergence”) would be critical. Read More »

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The Buzz About Cisco and Red Bee Media

By Bart Spreister, Sr. Director, IP Video Systems, Cisco

Today we announced our collaboration with Red Bee Media, an international media management company, to offer broadcasters and media companies the means to provide TV and other kinds of digital media through streaming video players and VOD portals.

That’s kind of a mouthful. Allow me break it down into my top three reasons why this is one of the more exciting deals I’ve had the good fortune to be involved with:

  1. Red Bee is cool, --plain and simple. Those who hang out on the U.S. side of the Atlantic may not have heard much about Red Bee Media before, so let me explain it this way: Imagine going to another country to hang out with your new colleague, who knows everybody and is doing all the coolest stuff in video. Red Bee is that kind of partner. They’re a highly respected TV and media aggregator in Europe, and especially the U.K. For instance, of the five major broadcasters there, Red Bee provides the online portal and client. They’re creative and connected and fun, which is a great combination. Read More »

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Cisco at Cable Connections

By now, you’re packed and ready to get to Chicago for The Cable Show. Last we saw you, as trade shows go, was six months ago, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). That’s when we announced our “Videoscape” strategy.

Quick refresher: Videoscape is our way to describe what happens when service providers integrate cloud, network and client, to deliver a more immersive customer experience.

Since January and CES, we’ve deepened our Videoscape efforts - with a focus on  reducing implementation complexity, while enabling service providers to roll out TV Everywhere style services.  We want to make sure it’s on your list of things to check out!

So, without further ado, here’s what’s going on with Cisco at the Cable Show (at least what’s public):

In the booth (#749):

  • Videoscape Experience: A showcase that unifies linear, on-demand and online content with a full lifecycle content management system that we call Videoscape Media Suite and powered by our CDN network.  Look for the 10-foot user interface (it’s kind of hard to miss) showing IP STB and soft clients running on IOS, Android and PC/Mac environments.
  • Videoscape Cloud: When you can’t put something in the end device, for whatever reasons, put it in a network that can optimize the experience for that end device. Our cloud contains elements of unified computing (UCS), transcoding into right-sized streams for different screens (CTM), and it’s a delivery platform for multi-screen video consumption (CDS). Why do it? To leverage the power of the network enabled cloud to reach your service to multiple end-points (managed and unmanaged) - all from a common back-end while retaining device independence.
  • Video over DOCSIS 3.0: Come see the CMTS that gives 10x the bandwidth at 1/10th the cost of D2 services.  Our CMTS platform can now demonstrate QoS levels for adaptive bit rate (ABR) streaming; also check out our soft client for video playback in non-traditional end devices.
  • Cisco Prime Network Management: “Prime” is the umbrella name for our management and automation solutions for analyzing, designing, fulfilling and assuring network performance. It’s a modular suite of applications, designed to lower the total cost of ownership and to provide A-to-Z management for next-generation packet and transport networks.
  • Healthcare via TelePresence: For so many people, it’s not convenient or near to go visit the doctor. Cisco TelePresence offers person-to-person (and person-to-doctor) communication, unbounded by distance or physical location. As service providers continue to enter new commercial business segments, health care is a leading candidate. It’s ideal for telemedicine applications, it lowers the cost of care, and it provides a new and efficient way for physicians and hospitals to do business.
  • Service Provider Wi-Fi Solutions: Interested in adding carrier-grade Wi-Fi to your services mix? Check out our Next Generation HotSpot technology, which aims to simplify customer authentication and monetize WiFi networks. Also new: Come see our High Density WiFi, designed to provide wireless broadband coverage in sports and entertainment stadium environments.

Read More »

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Deep Thoughts with Dr. Ken: Virtualization & Videoscape

Dr. Ken MorseContributed By Ken Morse, Chief Technology Officer, Cisco Service Provider Video Technology Group

It’s probably not all that surprising, given the state of the video marketplace these days, that what’s top of mind for me is the migration of video to IP (Internet Protocol) everything.

At this point, I think we’re all fairly clear on what the end game looks like – pick any definition you favor about “TV Everywhere” and “the four Anys” (anytime, anywhere, any thing, any device). I think we can all agree that that’s where we’re headed.

The challenge now is that so many different paths exist to get there. As usual!, right? Differences between service providers exist for understandable reasons: Starting position (which options were selected for bandwidth creation/preservation?), plant configuration (switched or not?), and economics (what’s the budget?)

As a vendor, one of the bigger challenges in building products for the IP video migration is identifying which elements to put in the toolbox, to support all of the different ways service providers are considering. There’s the QAM termination approach, there’s the “run high-speed data to the hilt” approach, and several other options in the middle.

My view is, serve them all by gradually “virtualizing” the elements in the toolbox.  Encapsulate the functionalities of a particular component - whatever it is - and then instantiate those same functionalities on another device.

Read More »

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Join Us for an NCTA TweetChat

It’s a new world of media, and consumers want more: more content, more interactivity, and more personalization. They also want their entertainment available across more screens, and in higher quality. With Cisco video and content delivery solutions, you can give your customers the “Connected Life”: the ability to access any type of content, anywhere and anytime, on a variety of devices.

We’re interested in hearing what you think about this trend.  So please join our Video Solutions Marketing Manager Sachin Sathaye and Marcia Bana in Cisco’s NCTA TweetChat series. Please feel free to send any questions or topics of interest to @CiscoSPVideo.

When?

  • Session 1 Transcript: Thursday, June 2, 1:30-2:30 pm PDT (4:30-5:30 pm EDT)
  • Session 2 Transcript: Thursday, June 9, 10-11 am PDT (1-2 pm EDT)
  • Session 3: Thursday, June 23, 2-3 pm PDT (5-6 pm EDT)

How?
On the day of the event, login to http://tweetchat.com/ and follow the #ciscospchat hashtag. To join the chat, visit http://tweetchat.com/room/ciscospchat

Alternatively, you can use your favorite Twitter client (such as TweetGrid, TweetDeck)  or TwitterSearch to follow the chat hashtag #ciscospchat.  During the event, you can follow the discussion, contribute questions, and submit your own comments by using the same hashtag.

Who?
The session will be hosted by @CiscoSPVideo managed by the Cisco Service Provider Marketing team.

  • Sachin Sathaye, Service Provider Marketing Manager, Video Solutions,  @sachinsathaye

Read More »

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